The Town of Halton Hills is painting their town green. From their comprehensive Green Plan to their brand new Sustainability Office, the Town of Halton Hills is gearing up for change. The motto for their Green Plan is 'the end is the beginning,' which means they're always looking forward to the next steps.
"The Mayor and Council want to be leaders, not followers. We are all committed to making sure that the Town's sustainability initiatives are practical, affordable, enforceable, educational and functional," says Damian Szybalski, Sustainability Coordinator for the Town.
This pragmatic, let's get to it attitude, motivated the Town of Halton Hills to sign onto the Living Planet Community website. In the first four months of the town signing on, ten groups joined, including: the Chamber of Commerce, Town employees and the municipal government, Halton Hills Hydro, an environmental group named P.O.W.E.R., Sustainable Halton Hills, and several local schools.
"The Living Planet Community gives us a numerical tool to implement our Green Plan," Szybalski notes. Quantifying change also inspires residents to keep up the good work. Residents, businesses and organizations have already demonstrated their readiness to make sustainable lifestyle choices through their support of a number of green initiatives.
The Town of Halton Hills distributed almost 7,000 CFL light bulbs throughout their community via Project Porchlight. Over 150 local volunteers stepped up for this massive job. This local Project Porchlight campaign will generate approximately $340,000 in electricity savings over the lifetime of the bulbs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,400 tons.
The Town of Halton Hills is enthusiastic in their support of Earth Hour - last year they were ranked fourth among GTA municipalities with a total reduction of energy use of 9.4%. This year, the Town achieved a significant 13.5% reduction!
Working from the ground up, the Town of Halton Hills is reducing municipal energy use on several fronts. The Town is currently constructing two new fire stations to a LEED Silver rating as well as a planned library extension. The Town has also held an event using LED lights and Bullfrog Power in order to showcase the advantages of each.
Halton Hills is also starting to build its hybrid vehicle fleet.
Smart meters are being distributed to residents this spring. In addition, devices that measure household appliances' energy consumption are being loaned by the Town, in partnership with Halton Hills Hydro.
Building on its Green Plan, the Town will also soon be proceeding with the development of a Corporate Sustainability Strategy. This Strategy will seamlessly integrate sustainability principles into the Town's internal decision-making processes.
It's a comprehensive program to reduce the Town of Halton Hills' footprint on the planet and residents are networking through the Living Planet Community to make this happen. "The Living Planet Community helps to educate and inform our residents," says Szybalski. "We're aiming to get as many people participating as possible!"