Pocket Change not Climate Change

Help our neighbourhood become a carbon-neutral community

 

Read on for information about:

  • Reducing the Pocket’s carbon footprint
  • A proposed community-based approach
  • What’s included
  • Next steps
  • A brief history of the project

 
Reducing our carbon footprint

Many Pocket residents are concerned about climate change and are anxious to help reduce our carbon footprints. The first step is energy conservation, and the simplest and most cost-effective way to do that is to retrofit our homes. This includes plugging air leaks, installing new windows, adding insulation, improving heating and cooling systems, purchasing high-efficiency appliances, and setting up alternative water-heating installations.

 
Community-based approach

While there are government grants to help individual homeowners retrofit their homes, the Pocket Community Association’s Energy and Environment Committee fears that an individualized approach will not achieve the results that our governments are seeking or that the Earth requires. We believe that community-based solutions can have a greater impact for less money. We are proposing a more innovative approach to achieve economies of scale by doing many homes at once.

When we took our idea to City Hall with the help of Councillor Fletcher, the response was “great project” “perfect timing,” and “we will help.” Their Energy & Environment Division has offered to create a community energy plan for the Pocket.We want to audit how much energy each home is currently using, so we have a baseline. The next step is to conduct a feasibility study on how best to retrofit our homes and meet their remaining energy needs, perhaps with a district heating system.

 
What’s included

While our initial focus is to retrofit the 1,100 homes in the Pocket, we also want to outreach to the First Nations School, the Madinah Mosque, and the shops along the Danforth.

We will need support and potential participants: households interested in a deep retrofit of their home and district heating and cooling. We want to hear from you!
For more information, please contact David Langille at langille@yorku.ca

 
Next steps

A community town hall will be held in January 2018 to introduce the Pocket Change project to the neighbourhood. Stay tuned for information about the date and location. If you are on the PCA’s email list, you’ll receive town hall information by email.

We also hope to start a blog so you’ll be updated regularly!

 
Brief history of the Pocket Change project

The initiative was discussed with PCA members at the AGM in June 2017. The Energy and Environment Committee had expanded to look at ambitious idea for addressing climate change right here in the Pocket –calling it the “Pocket Change” project. Key information presented at the AGM included:

  • Donald Trump may be the only human left who still denies that our climate is changing due to our consumption of fossil fuels.
  • Buildings account for roughly 22% of green house gas emissions. The easiest and cheapest way of reducing GHGs is to better insulate our buildings.
  • The Ontario Government and City of Toronto are offering funds to help do that. Experience suggests that it’s cheaper and more effective to do this on a community-wide basis.
  • The Energy and Environment Committee will return to the PCA with recommendations for a feasibility study into how we can make the Pocket a carbon-free or “net zero” community – funding is available for such studies.

The Energy and Environment Committee is collaborating with an environmental consulting firm, Rivercourt Engineering, to determine how best to proceed. This summer, the Committee applied for (but didn’t receive) a grant from Environmental Defence for community engagement. See the PCA’s minutes of May 3rd, June 13th, July 31st, September 19th, 2017 for more information about the Committee’s activities.