Eden Mills & District Community Club
Going Carbon Neutral
On November 22 Eden Mills Going Carbon Neutral was featured on Global’s National News. Global’s European office was in the process of interviewing representatives of the English village of Ashton Hayes about going carbon neutral. (Ashton Hayes inspired Eden Mills to launch our going carbon neutral project in 2007.) The Ashton Hayes folks immediately suggested Global contact Eden Mills too! Of course! And so they did. Visit the link below to see the video clip!
We’ve accomplished a lot! Next year is our 10th Anniversary! In November 2007, Eden Mills launched a challenging new project. The village would aim to be the first village in North America to go carbon neutral, to emit no more carbon that we absorb. People felt that it was time to act, in the face of climate change and global warming, that it was time to put aside a general feeling of helplessness, to decrease this one village’s carbon footprint and to share our experience on this quest with other interested communities around the world. Key to the project was the decision to measure progress concretely and regularly, household by household. It was also agreed that we would take a three-pronged comprehensive approach to change. We would reduce our use of fossil fuels, replace unsustainable energy sources and increase the plant and tree life to promote carbon sequestration.
By 2011, Eden Mills had assessed the rate at which the current tree coverage neutralized emissions, and had further, actively reduced its footprint by 12%. Individual households were making changes both small (eg. changing habits) and dramatic (eg. installing solar pv panels.) These happy results resulted, in part, from a significant educational outreach. To date 14 workshops have addressed everything from insulating a pocket light to the finer aspects of earth energy heating systems. All workshops have been filmed, and videos of these workshops are available for anyone to explore on the website www.goingcarbonneutral.ca. In addition two handbooks were published – Empowering Your Home – An Introduction to Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and So You Want to Go Carbon Neutral? It Takes a Village! The second book is a how-to for like-minded communities. It has been widely circulated. In fact, two neighbourhoods in Toronto are following the Eden Mills’ example – pilot projects for Project Neutral. Excellent media coverage including CBC’s The National and the Weather Channel has brought the project national attention.
The project collaborates on research with the University of Guelph and on tree planting with Wellington County’s Green Legacy. Several village residents bring expertise in design, architecture, engineering and communications. The Going Carbon Neutral project operates under the umbrella of the Millpond Association.