Can Ottawa reach zero greenhouse gas emissions in our city by 2050? That’s the ambitious goal we set for ourselves in our recently released Energy Evolution plan. To reach it, we’ll all have to do our part, and residents, businesses and governments all have different roles to play.
As a resident, we’re asking you to consider these top three ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate the impacts of climate change.
1. Choose electric for your next car, or go car free
Almost half (44 per cent) of Ottawa’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. Electric vehicles could greatly reduce our emissions, especially since electricity in Ontario mostly comes from low emission sources. That means switching to an electric vehicle would reduce your car’s greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 90 per cent.
Electric vehicles are also cheaper to operate and maintain, are better for public health and are fun to drive.
To find out what it’s like to own an electric vehicle, check out EnviroCentre’s Drive Green Week. You can view and test drive some of the latest models in a sales-free, no pressure environment. Book an appointment to visit Plug ‘N Drive’s mobile EV education trailer, which will be at IKEA until December.
Of course, not everyone needs to drive a car. Another way you can help is by going car-free or car-light. Cycling, walking and taking transit all help get cars off the road.
2. Make your home more energy efficient
The majority of Ottawa’s greenhouse gas emissions (45 per cent) come from homes and other buildings, mostly from burning natural gas for heat and hot water.
By installing a smart thermostat, sealing drafts and adding insulation you can reduce your bills and make your home more comfortable as you reduce your contribution to climate change.
Visit Natural Resources Canada to discover ways to make your home more energy efficient. Incentives and rebates are available for some home energy efficiency improvements, especially for low-income residents. Before making any changes to your home check what funding might be available to you.
3. Use your green bin
Using the green bin is one of the easiest things you can do to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
Organic waste breaking down in the landfill produces powerful greenhouse gases like methane. By using your green bin, you are ensuring your organic waste goes to a composting facility where it is converted into compost without creating methane. Find out more about the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our waste.
Do you live in an apartment or condo and don’t have access to a green bin? Talk to your condo board or property manager about joining the Green Bin program.