Last year we shared a variety of monthly challenges for you to partake in, to bring a focus on green initiatives into your everyday life. This year the Green Initiatives Committee (GIC) wants to broaden that focus into our community and our city. We want to share with you the successful changes our community and city have already incorporated and what the main challenges are going forward from a Green Initiatives perspective. The best place to start is Education. Education is a powerful tool when it comes to incorporating change into our lives. We do better when we know more and can acquire new skills. Learning how our actions make a difference and knowing what they affect creates more responsibility and accountability. So what is available in Calgary for education on climate impact?
The Mount Pleasant Community is fortunate to have a volunteer committee that is dedicated to both learning themselves and educating our residents on Green Initiatives. The committee can share knowledge and resources with the community through our Pulse articles and events as well as work to implement changes. Just this last year we were able to start up the We-Haul Bike Trailer Share program, install a community pantry and host a World Environment Week event that shared a variety of environmental education information with the community. There will also be a quarterly newsletter coming out this year – send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to sign up!
Within our city, there are a few great organizations that provide ongoing climate change education through events, newsletters and initiatives. Green Calgary (https://www.greencalgary.org) and Calgary Climate Hub (https://www.calgaryclimatehub.ca) are two to check out. These organizations host frequent webinars and events on climate change – check them out at the websites above or follow our GIC Green Initiatives Facebook page where we share as many as possible.
On a high level, The City of Calgary has resources available to its citizens on climate change. Did you know that in 2021 the City of Calgary voted to declare a Climate Emergency? Visit https://www.calgary.ca/environment/climate/climate-change.html to learn more about the actions the City of Calgary is taking. There is even a checklist you can download to educate yourself on actionable items you can take: https://www.calgary.ca/environment/climate/actions-you-can-take.html
The above opportunities are valuable and great for those looking to seek out climate change education. However, the GIC would like to see more daily and easier-to-access education to help remind us of our climate impact.
One of our committee members wanted to share this example from their hometown. In Grenoble (France), the City “repurposed” an old, very visible monument (la Tour Perret) to inform citizens about air quality. Every day, from 7 pm to 11 pm, the tower is illuminated (using LED lights) to indicate the expected air quality for the next day (six different color codes, ranging from good to extremely bad). The same color coding message is also visible at bus and tram station shelters. The goal is to inform citizens so they can decide to use public transportation rather than individual vehicles or to adapt their plans for the following day. In a city like Grenoble, air pollution can be very bad (the city is surrounded by mountains and air becomes stagnant), and being informed about air quality without having to check websites or apps is an easy and efficient way to adapt our behavior to the expected air quality. This can help to preserve our health (skip strenuous activities on that day for example) but it can also help improve air quality as citizens will make different choices as not to contribute to the pollution. In addition, on days where the air quality is extremely bad, the City limits the circulation of the most polluting vehicles (all vehicles have a sticker, showing their level of pollution) and also applies a flat day fee for public transportation.
Source: ActuGrenoble, February 2022
Source: Ici – par France Bleu et France 3, February 2022
We would love to hear your thoughts on what you want to see in the community to encourage climate change education!
If you want to get involved and be a part of making Mount Pleasant a greener community, we would love to have you join the committee. Please email email@example.com for more information or if you have any questions. As well, please check out our Mount Pleasant Green Initiatives Group on Facebook! You can find us on the Mount Pleasant Community Association page. The Facebook group is a great place to share knowledge and resources and check in to see what others are saying.
The MPCA Green Initiatives Committee