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Environment

The City of Oshawa is committed to Environmental Leadership through the Oshawa Strategic Plan - Creating Our Sustainable Tomorrow.

Oshawa is a recognized leader in many areas, including brownfield development, naturalization, energy conservation, integrated pest management, municipal beautification and volunteer participation through the Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee (O.E.A.C.), Communities in Bloom, Community Clean-up and other programs.

Oshawa Earth Hour

The Oshawa Environmental Advisory Committee (O.E.A.C.) invites you, your family and friends to attend Oshawa's Earth Hour Event on March 28, 2015, 7:00 p.m., at the Regent Theatre, 50 King Street East, Oshawa.

This fun evening will include presentations and displays with information on what you can do to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and save money on your energy bill. The evening will also feature a screening of the film "No Impact Man”, and prizes for the best eco-tips.

Light refreshments will be provided, along with a cash bar. Admission is FREE. Donations of non-perishable food items will be accepted.

If you are unable to attend the Regent Theatre event, the O.E.A.C. reminds everyone to turn out their lights and other non-essential power during Earth Hour – 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Carbon Reduction Challenge

The O.E.A.C.'s Carbon Reduction Challenge will be launched during the Earth Hour event on March 28, and will continue until Earth Day, April 22.

 Daily challenges will be posted on the City’s website, along with Twitter (#OshEco) and Facebook.

The O.E.A.C. is working with its partners at U.O.I.T., Durham College and the Oshawa Public Libraries to spread the word about how committing to small daily challenges can add up to big savings – both for your wallet and the environment.

The Oshawa Public Libraries will be collecting your creative ideas on how to “reduce the juice”, as well as provide information and resources to help you with the daily challenges. At the end of Challenge, the best tipsters will win eco-friendly prizes.

Eco-tips can also be dropped off at Service Oshawa, 50 Centre Street South, or emailed to oeac@oshawa.ca

Week One Challenges - In Your Home

Day 1 – Saturday, March 28 - Observe Earth Hour 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.

  • Attend Oshawa's Kick-off to our 26-Day Carbon Reduction Challenge at The Regent Theatre, 50 King Street East at 7:00 p.m.
  • Share your favourite Eco-friendly tip for a chance to win a door prize.
  • Turn off your lights, T.V., appliances and non-essential power before you leave home.
  • If you stay at home, spend the evening storytelling or catching up on some extra sleep.
  • Remember fire safety during Earth Hour.
  • Visit Earth Hour Canada for more information about what’s happening across the country.

Day 2 – Sunday, March 29 - Math Anyone? – Calculate your Carbon Footprint

  • Your carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases that you and your activities generate.
  • Carbon calculators can add up your daily activities – everything from the burger you ate at lunch, to your daily commute - and translate them into equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide.
  • Canadians are the second largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions, per capita, in the world.
  • Commit to one activity a day to reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Calculate your carbon footprint to find out how you can reduce your energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and save money in the process.

Day 3 – Monday, March 30 - Don't Be All Washed Up – Reduce Water Use

  • 95 percent of the water you use in your home is consumed in your bathroom and laundry room.
  • On average, of all indoor water use, toilets account for 35 percent and showers 30 percent.
  • Laundry accounts for 30 percent.
  • Drinking and cooking only accounts for five percent.
  • Replacing your existing toilet(s) with a high efficiency (4.8L or less) model can provide you with substantial savings on your water and sewer bill.
  • Installing water-efficient aerators and showerheads is another great way to reduce your water consumption
  • Shortening your shower times – if you put a timer in your bathroom, kids will love racing the clock.
  • Check out the following for more great ideas:

Day 4 – Tuesday, March 31 - Chill Out! - Setback your Thermostat

  • Nearly 60 percent of energy used by Canadian homes is directly related to heating.
  • Turn your home thermostat down by one degree during the day and two degrees at night and when you go away on vacation.
  • Learn about OPUC’s Peak Saver Program to help you reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and air conditioning costs in the summer.
  • For more great home energy conservation tips and money-saving coupons, check out Save on Energy.

Day 5 Wednesday, April 1 - Catch a Thief – Stop Phantom Energy

  • Many electronic devices use electricity even when turned off (DVD, printers, microwave).
  • Unplug devices when not in use or use a power bar to turn off devices not in use.
  • Here’s a list of the 26 Top Energy Stealth Hogs.

 Day 6 – Thursday, April 2 - Say no to landfill – donate, trade or sell used items

 Day 7 – Friday, April 3 - Be Green, When you Clean

  • Chemical cleaners end up in our water system when they are washed down the drain or evaporate releasing harmful chemical into the environment.
  • Make your own cleaners – vinegar, baking soda and lemon are your new best friends.
  • Instead of fabric softener, for static cling, dampen your hands when you shake out clothes from the drier or line dry your clothes.
  • Find out more about Non-Toxic Home Cleaning.

Week Two Challenges - What You Eat

Day 8 - Saturday, April 4 - Be a part of Oshawa’s growing local food movement

  • Look for information on gardening opportunities in Oshawa including community gardens and backyard garden sharing on the City’s website and at your local branch of the Oshawa Public Library.
  • Attend a local gardening event such as: Tuesday at The Table at The Table Restaurant at 20 Simcoe Street South, Oshawa.
  • The Oshawa Garden Club Annual Plant Sale and free mini-workshops at the South Oshawa Community Centre on Saturday, May 30, 2015.
  • To find out more about community and neighbour gardens, check out:

 Day 9 - Sunday, April 5 - Don't bite off more than you can chew – avoid waste

  • Up to 30 percent of food the food we buy is discarded as waste.
  • Shop for food using meal-specific shopping lists and buy only what you need.
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables can be just as healthy and cut costs and waste from spoilage.
  • Bonus: Frozen fruit and vegetables can be fresher since they are frozen immediately.
  • Freeze surplus food and use leftovers for soups or stews.
  • Compost remaining food waste in your green bin or create your own compost.
  • Tip: Keep your small bin or compost bag in the freezer until it is full to minimize odours.
  • Store fresh fruits and veggies in bags or containers that can keep them fresh longer.
  • Freeze foods like bread, fruit and meat if you know you won’t be able to eat it before it goes bad.
  • Move food that’s likely to spoil soon to the front of the shelf or a designated “eat now” area each week.
  • For more ideas, check out 29 Ways to Reduce Food Waste.

Day 10 - Monday, April 6 - Start a New Tradition – Meatless Monday

  • A vegetarian's carbon footprint is about two-thirds of the average Canadian.
  • Commit to a plant-based diet one day a week and try to incorporate more vegetarian and vegan meals into your diet.
  • Check the Canada Food Guide for the number of servings of meat and alternatives and the portion size you should be consuming. You may be surprised at how tailoring your food consumption accordingly and balancing meat consumption with alternatives can reduce your carbon impact and your waistline.
  • For more information, check out:

Day 11 – Tuesday, April 7 - Be a Locavore

Day 12 - Wednesday, April 8 - Ditch the ‘Dirty Dozen’ - Go Organic!

  • Buy organic when you can- it tastes better and is better for you.
  • Avoid the Dirty Dozen as indicated by the Environmental Working Groups Shopper's Guide. Find out which fruits and vegetables have the highest pesticide residue.
  • Rinse all fruit and vegetables with water and a bit of vinegar.
  • Check out Oshawa Public Library’s Seed Library this Spring for free seeds to grow your own veggies.
  • Mark your calendar for Durham’s Spring compost giveaway.

Day 13 - Thursday, April 9 - Cooking Green

  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cooking smarter.
  • Save time and energy by doubling recipes and freezing half.
  • Let foods thaw in the refrigerator.
  • Get together with some friends and having a batch cooking party at home or rent the Teaching Kitchen at the South Oshawa Community Centre.
  • Join a cooking group like Oshawa Community Health Centre’s free fun and interactive cooking group.
  • For more ideas, check out Eco-Friendly Cooking.

Day 14 - Friday, April 10 - Get off the Bottle – Drink Tap Water

  • An estimated 40% of bottled water is filtered tap water.
  • 2.7 million tons of plastic is used annually to bottle water, most of which is made from oil, an non-renewable resource.
  • It takes 1.5 to 3 litres of water to create a litre of bottled water.
  • The distribution of bottled water is both costly and elaborate.
  • 27 out of 49 bottled water products have been recalled since 2000.
  • Bottled water costs from 240 to 10,000 times the price of tap water.
  • Carry a refillable water bottle.
  • Refill your water bottle for free when you see the Blue “W” at City Hall, Oshawa businesses and services, or find a location wherever you are.
  • For more information, check out these Bottled Water Facts.

Week Three Challenges - At Work and School

Day 15 – Saturday, April 11 – Don't be Idle – Turn off your car

  • If Canadian motorists avoiding idling for just three minutes a day, it would reduce our total greenhouse gas emissions by 1.4 million tonnes annually.
  • The City of Oshawa’s Anti-Idling by-law prohibits the unnecessary idling of vehicles.
  • Save gas and reduce pollution – don't idle your car.
  • Avoid drive-thrus – take a few steps for your health and the environment.
  • For more information, read Clearing the Air on Idling.

Day 16 – Sunday, April 12 – Reduce Fuel Consumption and G.H.G. Emissions – Drive Smart

  • Fuel-efficient driving can reduce your cars fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent.
  • Accelerate gently, avoid high speeds, keep a constant speed and coast to decelerate.
  • Check your tire pressure once a month. Just one tire under-inflated tire can increase your fuel consumption by 4 percent and reduce the life of your tires.
  • For more eco-driving tips check out Durham Sustain Ability’s Eco-Driver program.

Day 17 – Monday, April 13 – Say No to Disposable Coffee Cups

  • Disposable coffee cups are responsible for 14 percent of litter found on Toronto streets.
  • Reduce your carbon footprint and fill-up your reusable cup.
  • Reusable travel mugs are available for purchase at Service Oshawa.
  • For more information read:

Day 18 – Tuesday, April 14 – Be Cool Going to School – Walk or Bike

Day 19 – Wednesday, April 15 – Be a Recycle Ranger – Erase your e-Waste

  • Electronic waste (e-waste) is growing four times faster than other waste streams, but only 12.5 percent of e-waste is being recycled.
  • Ontario businesses and schools produce 60 percent of Ontario’s e-waste and recycle only 13 percent.
  • There are many programs to help you recycle used batteries, printer cartridges, cell phones and other e-waste.
  • For more information, check out:

Day 20 – Thursday, April 16 – Be Eco-Smart at Your Office or School

Day 21 – Friday, April 17 – Don't be “Fuelish” – Carpool or use Durham Region Transit

  • According to The Canadian Index of Wellbeing, Oshawa residents have an average daily commute of 63 minutes.
  • Celebrate Carpool Week from April 20-26 - Find a buddy and try carpooling to reduce your commuting costs.
  • Taking public transit is a great way to reduce your stress and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • For more information, check out:

Day 22 - Saturday April 18 - Breathe the air – Get Outside with Family and Friends

Day 23 - Sunday April 19 -  Get Serious About Trash and “PITCH IN”

  • Oshawa's “PITCH-IN” campaign runs from April 19 to the 25.
  • Last year almost 19,000 students and community groups participated in Oshawa's community clean-up program.
  • Organize a clean-up in your neighbourhood, join an already established, or just go out with your family.

Day 24 - Monday April 20 - Knowledge is Power so Get the Facts

  • By becoming more knowledgeable about GHG emissions and climate change you can learn to make a difference.
  • Find resources at your local library.
  • Commit to reading a book or watching a documentary.  OEAC FAVOURITES: Food Inc., An Inconvenient Truth, Watermark, The Polar Explorer, No Impact Man.
  • Share your Eco-tips to “Reduce the Juice” at an Oshawa Public Library Branch for a chance to win one of many prizes.
  • For more information, check out:

Day 25 - Tuesday April 21 - Get Involved to make your community greener

Day 26 - Wednesday April 22 - Celebrate Earth Day – Plant a Tree

  • A single tree will absorb about one tonne of carbon dioxide during its lifetime.
  • If you can, plant a tree. Encourage neighbours to plant and protect trees.
  • Participate in a tree planting event in your community.
  • For more information, check out:

 Resources and Related Websites

 

Energy Management

Energy Management

Energy Conservation:

Energy Projects & Organizations:

 

Land Use

Land Use
 
 
 

Contact

Contact: Suzanne Elston
Senior Environmental Coordinator
Location:
5th Floor, Rundle Tower, City Hall
50 Centre Street South
Oshawa, Ontario  L1H 3Z7
Phone:
905-436-3311 ext 2132
Toll Free:
1-800-667-4292
Fax:
905-436-5699
TTY:
905-436-5627
Email: