Climate Change

Hamilton Climate Challenge

By Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko
Published July 16, 2007

The optimism of the action is better than the pessimism of the thought.

-- Harald Zindler

In these days of global warming and climate change, we're often left feeling we have no power over what happens to the Earth. In a recent Decima Research survey, 62 percent of Canadians believe that in another 100 years' time the Earth will no longer support human life.

Other studies show that Canadians aren't doing much about it either. But if you look at our individual lifestyles and how much greenhouse gas emissions each person is individually responsible for, you'll be amazed that indeed we do have a say in what the outcome of our home planet will be.

Look at transportation, for instance. According to Transport Canada, at is the largest single source of greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions in Canada.

Or energy consumption;the second-largest source of personal emissions is heating our homes. Heating water, using appliances and lighting, and cooling our homes are the other most frequent sources of emissions. (Envirozine; Environment Canada)

The truth is, we can decide today to do our part, cut our personal ghg emissions and make that difference. Every single person's action counts.

That's the message Environment Hamilton's climate challenge is sending throughout Hamilton neighbourhoods this summer. Hamilton Climate Challenge is inviting you to take steps to reduce your personal ghg emissions. These steps range from baby steps such as hanging clothes on the line to dry and saving energy, to ditching your carbon-spewing, gas-guzzling, money-thieving vehicle.

How about reducing the food miles your victuals travel by promising to buy locally grown food more often? Perhaps you might consider starting a community garden or planting your own?

We also come bearing gifts for pledge signers (while supplies last); these are a free energy savings kit worth $30 courtesy of Union gas, or an eat local map of over 50 Hamilton locations where you can buy locally grown food from Environment Hamilton's own Eat Local working group.

There is strength in numbers so consider becoming a member of Environment Hamilton and add your voice to the movement. Conserve, reduce, live in a non-wasteful way, not only to help rescue the climate and save the Earth, but because a slower, more aware lifestyle can be satisfying and healthier.

It's not about feeling deprived. It's about being in touch with reality and sensitive to scale – we North Americans have more then our fair share as it is.

Simplified living - what a dignified, elegant, beautiful life this can mean to all of us if we will it so. Check out our blog for the latest updates.

Contact us at

Beatrice Ekwa Ekoko is a member of the dedicated team at Environment Hamilton.


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