District trudges on with green initiatives

Goals include carbon neutral corporate operations, measuring community’s greenhouse gas emissions

The District of Clearwater (DOC) is pushing ahead with its goals on climate action and greenhouse gas reduction.

Council recently asked district staff for a list of initiatives that have been completed, as well as a list of projects that are ongoing, and ones planned for the future.

The DOC signed on to the B.C. Climate Action Charter in 2008 and agreed to take action on a number of goals, which include trying to become carbon neutral with its corporate operations, measuring and reporting the community’s greenhouse gas emissions profile, and creating a more energy-efficient community at large.

In 2012, the DOC undertook a Community Energy Emissions Plan (CEEP) along with the Community Energy Association of BC and BC Hydro.

Several of the actions laid out in the plan have been completed and in the same year, the DOC engaged with the Community Energy Association, Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition, District of Barriere, Simpcw First Nation and Thompson-Nicola Regional District to complete a North Thompson Green Energy Opportunities Scan.

The administration department has gone ahead with things as simple as recycling paper and cardboard, reducing paper use in general by using electronic agendas for council members, providing battery recycling services and promoting composters.

It’s also made water meters mandatory in new construction projects, offers BC Transit services to encourage people to use public transportation, and poses water restrictions in the summer months.

The Parks department has been trying to do its share by planting perennial pollinators in various parks, planting more trees, reducing irrigation frequency and duration in all parks, banning herbicides and weed killers using only natural products as well as constructing more trails around the community to promote walking and biking.

As for the district’s buildings, the Dutch Lake Community Centre installed a biomass heating system to reduce propane consumption and put in an energy-efficient propane backup boiler system.

They also installed energy-efficient lighting with LED and T8 fluorescent tubes, though there are still some areas in the building to complete in terms of lighting, and much of the same work has been done in the North Thompson Sportsplex as well as the Clearwater Fire Hall.

The fire hall also plans to have sensors installed for indoor lighting and is looking to replace decades-old baseboard heaters and windows with more energy-efficient variants.

In May 2019 the DOC was awarded the 2019 Southern Interior Local Government Association Community Excellence Award for Environmental Sustainability for its Bio-Energy Systems.

READ MORE: Award for Environmental Sustainability for its Bio-Energy Systems

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