Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

Power all with the Powerwall!

Written by: Ramsha Ahmed

If you haven’t heard of the new Tesla battery, you may be living under a rock. Tesla’s new battery is the talk of the town and it’s everywhere in the media. Why? It aims to take homes and businesses off the grid.

What is the Tesla Battery?

Model S Lithium Ion Battery

Model S Lithium Ion Battery

The new Powerwall Tesla Home Batteries are lithium ion batteries that come in two sizes – 7kWh and 10 kWh – and are combined with solar panels. The 7kWh battery is for daily usage and is designed to be mounted on a wall while the larger counterpart is stored for backup when the electricity may go out. The battery charges during off peak times when the rates are lower. The 7kWh batteries, when paired with other batteries, are sufficient enough to store customers’ generated electricity and use it during those expensive peak hours, or when the sun goes down. The start-up costs begin at approximately $3000 to $3500 and may be more before installation, making this new upgrade a less desirable option for many consumers. Tesla batteries are said to decrease in price by at least 50% in the next 10 years making them more affordable for homeowners and making them more practical in our daily lives.

Tesla Powerwall

Tesla Powerwall

What is its use?

When energy is generated in excess amounts, the unused energy is stored within a battery. When a battery is not present to store the energy it is often sold back to utility companies and then sold to customers later when they need it. In Ontario, we have to get people to pay us to take our excess energy at night time. The utility companies end up making money from the power you generate. The Tesla battery allows you to store the energy you make from solar energy and use it when you need it. Not only does it provide an economic benefit to home and business owners, but it also provides benefits for the environment.

Green Venture’s Plans for the Future

Current GV Battery System

Current Battery System at EcoHouse

Green Venture currently has two solar systems and a wind turbine on site to harvest renewable energy. We hope to replace our current batteries with the Tesla battery as soon as possible. The investment will help conserve more energy and will allow us to explore newer technologies and implement them into our daily lives. Right now we are using a battery bank, 24v dc system. We plan on using the tesla batteries in conjunction with our solar panels that we have on site. The power we save, we can store and use in the EcoHouse or to power the on-site Community CarShare Plug-In Prius Hybrid. During blackouts we will still have power at EcoHouse and be able to go about with our daily activities. There are endless possibilities with the new Tesla battery here at Green Venture!

Advertisements

Climate Change Action of the Month: Depave Paradise

On September 27th and October 4th, St. Margaret Mary Catholic Elementary School and Green Venture, a local not-for-profit, teamed up to host Hamilton’s second and largest Depave Paradise.

On September 27th, a crew of over 30 staff, students, parents, volunteers and members of the community removed over 1400 square feet of asphalt from the schoolyard to increase the school’s green, play space.On October 4th, over 50 volunteers came back to fill the space with a native species rain garden.

This was Green Venture’s biggest Depave Paradise project after Depaving St. Augustine Catholic Elementary School in 2012 and it will add to the over 10,000 square feet depaved across Canada through the Depave Paradise program. To learn more, please visit www.depaveparadise.ca/.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For pictures from the Depave Day on September 27th, click here. For pictures from the Planting Day on October 4th, click here.
Removing asphalt and concrete renews and beautifies community spaces. Demonstration projects like St. Margaret Mary help to build sense of community and motivate participants to consider other depaving projects. Beyond the community building, the benefits of depaving are numerous. They include:
  • Increasing green, community space by adding in a natural playgrounds, community vegetable gardens, trees, rain gardens, or other permeable surfaces
  • Decreasing the heat island effect to help cool things down
  • Decreasing the runoff of stormwater to lower its impacts on our sewers and help improve our community’s water quality

We would like to give CN EcoConnexions: From the Ground Up and Shell Fuelling Change a huge thank you for their generous support of this project.

Totally Transit – Connecting Older Adults with Public Transit

hsrGreen Venture has been offering bus education programs for several years through the Totally Transit program.  This program introduces people to the HSR, and provides them with the information needed to take the bus.  This is the second year that Green Venture has expanded this program to cater to older adults.

Taking the bus is one of the most convenient and affordable ways to get around our city.  The HSR carries millions of passengers per year and operates comprehensive bus routes throughout Hamilton.  These workshops will discuss HSR bus services and focus on the neighbourhood around the workshop location.

Lets ride the bus oct 24 _121024 vs 007

Through a series of free workshops offered at ten locations across Hamilton, older adults will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to confidently navigate public transit.  Topics such as local bus routes, bus fare and passes, seniors’ discounts, and trip planning will be covered.

After a 45 minute presentation on taking the bus, an optional 15 minute presentation will be offered on how to use Google maps to plan your trip, for those who use the internet.  All workshop participants will have the opportunity to fill out a form requesting bus trip planning to two destinations.  Green Venture will mail participants step by step instructions explaining how to take the bus to their destinations.

Participants will have the opportunity to sign up for a guided bus trip, where they will travel in small groups of 2-4 on the bus with a trained bus travel guide.  Free bus tickets will be provided, and the travel guide will orient them on how to use the bus while they ride to a fun location for an outing, before travelling back to their starting point on the bus together.

Workshops will be offered at:

Wednesday September 10, 10:30 to 12:00pm- Concession Street Library, 565 Concession St, Hamilton

Tuesday September 23, 2:00 to 3:30pm -Westdale Library 955 King St W, Hamilton,

Monday September 29, 2:00 to 3:30pm Turner Park Library 352 Rymal Rd E, Hamilton

Wednesday October 1, 2:00 to 3:30pm Red Hill Library 695 Queenston Road Hamilton

Monday October 20, 10 to 11:30am – North End Community Health Centre, 438 Hughson Street North, Hamilton

Thursday October 23, 10 to 11:30am – Sackville Hill Senior Center, 780 Upper Wentworth Street, Hamilton

Wednesday October 29, 10 to 11:30am – Dundas Library, 18 Ogilvie St, Dundas

 

Registration is required to attend a workshop.

To sign up for a guided bus trip, please call 905-540-8787 ext. 151

 

-30-

 

Media contact-

Michael Albanese

Green Venture

905-540-8787 ext 151

gvcoordinator2@gmail.com

www.greenventure.ca

October is Climate Change Action Month!

Hamilton’s 5th Annual Climate Change Action Month is here October 1-31, 2013. There will be lots going on this month to get involved with and to highlight the activities in the community that are addressing climate change. We hope you can get involved!

How can you get involved in Climate Change Action Month?

Take the Challenge

Take Green Venture’s Community Carbon Challenge from September 30th to October 11th for your chance to win a $200 gift card to Mountain Equipment Coop and other great prizes. The Community Carbon Challenge is a fun and interactive way to explore ways you can reduce your carbon footprint over the span of two weeks. For the next two weeks they’ll challenge you with different ways you can live more sustainably in everyday life and reduce your carbon emissions. You can explore different ways to reduce your carbon footprint (and save some cash) during the challenge and even after. For more information about the challenge, visit http://www.climatechangehamilton.ca/community-carbon-challenge.

To participate in the Community Carbon Challenge, you just have to follow these 3 easy steps:

1. Register for the Community Carbon Challenge here

2. Follow Green Venture on Facebook or Twitter (@Green_Venture) for daily challenges from Monday, September 30th to Friday, October 11th. No challenges will be posted over the weekend but that doesn’t mean it’s time for you to quit, it’s time for you to get creative! Additional points will be given to any participant who submits an action that reduces their carbon emissions over the weekend (October 5th and October 6th).

3. Take a picture of you completing the challenges each day and send it to us on Facebook or Twitter

It’s that easy! You can keep sending us pictures of completed challenges until October 18th. Green Venture will announce the 3 winners on Facebook and Twitter, and contact winners by Friday, October 18th.

Tell Us about What Action You’re Taking

Are you already taking action on climate change at home? At work? At school?

Take a picture of it and help us put it on the Hamilton Climate Change Map to show and share what you and others are doing in Hamilton. This map will be used in the Annual Climate Change Report on the progress of addressing climate change and meeting emissions targets in Hamilton to the City’s Board of Health on October 21st

For more information on Climate Change Action Month, the Community Carbon Challenge, Climate Change Map or various events happening throughout the City during Climate Change Action Month please contact Deirdre Connell at 905-540-8787 ext 113 or by email at deirdre.connell@greenventure.ca.

Climate Change Champions Update: It’s Always Bike Month at THAAT Delivery

Climate Change Champion Activity Update

June is Bike Month so we thought we’d use this month’s Climate Change Champions update to highlight a bicycle-friendly organization in Hamilton. THAAT Delivery, a signatory of Hamilton’s Climate Change Action Charter since its inception, brings Hamilton human-powered, local, and sustainable delivery services. THAAT Delivery, newly located at 237 James St. N. (entrance on Severn St.), offers convenient, efficient, and CO2-free delivery with a 500lb cargo capacity of all kinds of goods throughout the lower city from Stoney Creek to Dundas. You may be asking “How is it CO2-free”? Well, it’s all delivered by bike! At the time of this interview, THAAT Delivery had offset 893.54 pounds of CO2e by cycling 1528 km for 1126 deliveries, and these numbers just keep growing!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

During the average week, THAAT is on the road delivering regular customer’s products like magazines and subscriptions, light-weight deliveries, coffeecology coffee, community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm deliveries, and bread and egg deliveries. Not only are many of these products local and sustainable, but they are being delivered to doorsteps across the city with no associated carbon emissions because they’re delivered by bike. Starting in June, THAAT will be out on the road making even more deliveries! THAAT Delivery has partnered with vendors from the Locke Street Market to launch The Local Basket. This website is an online platform where residents can access menus of local growers to buy local and sustainable produce, coffee, and much more and have it delivered to their doorstep by bike. The Local Basket is a great way for people to access local food without driving to a farmer’s market and negating the impact of buying local.

That’s not all you can expect from THAAT this summer. THAAT will also be unveiling a new Vélo Stage which made a special appearance at Bike to Work/School Day this year at Gore Park. The Stage is a partnership between THAAT Delivery and Reuben and Heidi Vanderkwaak, also known as the Pedal Powered Family and the folks behind Kidical Mass, to raise awareness and advocate for cargo cycling by showing all of the great possibilities bikes can bring us. You might have seen the Velo Stage this past Sunday at Open Streets Hamilton on James Street North.

THAAT also received the Community in Motion Active Transportation Award for Bicycle-Friendly Business/Organization at Bike to Work Day this year. This award recognizes businesses and organizations that demonstrate significant impact on promoting cycling and a cycle-friendly environment through infrastructure, promotional programs or other similar initiatives. THAAT Delivery is an active member of the community and has made a huge effort to actively support and promote the use of healthy and sustainable forms of transportation not only through the way the business operates but other ventures as well.

We hope THAAT Delivery keeps up the great work and can’t wait to see what comes next!

– Deirdre

Hamilton Achieves Milestone 5!

We at Green Venture are happy to share the following press release from the City of Hamilton announcing the City has achieved Milestone 5 – Monitoring Progress and Reporting Results. Milestone 5 is the final milestone of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ Partners for Climate Protection program, a network of Canadian municipalities that have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and taking action on climate change. The City has continued to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as tackle the causes and consequences of climate change in Hamilton.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Hamilton Achieves Climate Change Milestone

HAMILTON, ON – April 22, 2013 –  The City of Hamilton achieved Milestone 5 from the Partners for Climate Protection program for taking steps to reduce greenhouse gases and improve energy efficiency as recognized by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

The Partners for Climate Protection program is a results-oriented network of Canadian municipal governments that have committed to reducing greenhouse gases and acting on climate change. This recognition places Hamilton amongst the top 6% of 239 Canadian municipal members of the program.

Since 2005, the City of Hamilton has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 16% by, retrofitting municipal buildings, replacing street lighting with energy efficient LED lighting, capturing methane from landfills and water treatment and converting to energy at the Glanbrook landfill and the Woodward Wastewater treatment plant, introducing hybrid and electric vehicles into the city’s vehicle fleet, reducing paper consumption, and encouraging active transportation and commuting by employees.

In 2011, Hamilton was the first municipality in Ontario to introduce a community Climate Change Action Charter. The charter is a voluntary agreement that outlines the need for local action and commitment on climate change from individuals, organizations and businesses of all types and sizes throughout Hamilton. Under the charter, the City reports annually on its progress addressing climate change.

For more information visit www.hamilton.ca/climatechange

Climate Change Champions Update April 2013: Dundas in Transition and Ecowham

Saturday March 23rd, 2013 marked the 7th annual Earth Hour. Earth Hour is the single largest mass participation event in the world. Based on the hope that we can mobilize people to take action on climate change, Earth Hour now inspires millions of people in over 7000 cities and towns in over 150 countries to switch lights off for an hour and is a great first step towards reducing our environmental impact. This year, Hamilton residents turned out the lights and were able to reduce energy consumption by 4% and Horizon Utilities reported energy usage was down 21 MW during Earth Hour – enough power to run 913 homes for an entire day.

While some Hamilton residents participated in Earth Hour by turning lights out at home or local restaurants, Dundas in Transition and the Ecological Churches of West Hamilton (Ecowham) took celebrations a step further by holding the Earth Hour Resilience and Sustainability Night. During Earth Hour and throughout the night, over 70 local residents celebrated by examining ways to become a more resilient and sustainable community through movies, presentations, and great treats from sponsors Café Domestique and Picone Fine Foods. Those who came to this terrific event at St Paul’s United Church were even given a sneak peek at The Revolution Movie. This movie tries to uncover the secret to saving ecosystems we depend on for survival. From coral reefs to deforestation to tar sands, he reveals that all of our actions are interconnected and that environmental degradation, species loss, ocean acidification, pollution, and food/water scarcity are reducing the Earth’s ability to house humans. This great evening night ended after lights went out to celebrate Earth Hour at 8:00 PM and flashlights came on!

Although turning the lights out for an hour isn’t the solution to all of our environmental issues, we hope that you go beyond the hour and start making small and simple changes that reduce your energy consumption today and every day.

To find out more about the Climate Change Champions program and ways you can reduce your environmental impacts, visit the Climate Change Hamilton website.

For more information about Dundas in Transition and Ecowham, check out their websites at http://www.dundasintransition.ca/and http://ecowham.blogspot.ca/.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

– Deirdre

%d bloggers like this: