Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Live Green in Toronto

Toronto is one of the most beautiful cities in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario. The city has a lot to offer with all its tourist attractions. But with over 2.5 million residents, even if Toronto is considered as green, it is hard to keep it clean and hide the pollution effects. This is why several programs have been established to reduce the Torontonians effects on the environment and to make become Toronto a greener city.

The first step to a better world is greening buildings. Indeed, the city introduced the Energy Retrofit Program (ERP) in order to reduce energy used in city-owned buildings by 15 percent. Since 2004, the ERP has updated more than 200 of the city owned buildings such as community centers, police and fire stations, arenas and Exhibition Place building. Solar walls were also installed in many buildings to assist in heating them.
About vehicles, through a partnership with the Federal Government and Fiba Canning Inc. the city plans to develop a hydraulic hybrid garbage packer that will run on 100 percent biodiesel. Emission reductions will occur through the fuel efficiency from the hybrid system and through using biodiesel. The Toronto Transit Commission (T.T.C) is also looking forward to a use of hybrid buses.

As you can see, the city is trying very hard to make it better but the government also strongly encourages the citizens to make moves by themselves. Composting is one of them. Compost, yard waste and lawns are all organic substances and they all factor “organically” into the City’s waste reduction program. Also the Yellow bag Program is a waste management initiative that encourages Toronto’s commercial customers to decrease garbage while increasing recycling and organics collection.

Composting and the Yellow Bag Program are just a few programs to help the environment situation. There is also the Green Bin Program and the Blue Bin recycling Program just to name a few. But with all those little steps, the city of Toronto has reduced greenhouse gas emissions from its own operation by 40 percent since 1990.
In 1998, Toronto hosted the first world conference on global warming. And in 1991, Toronto was the first city to establish an agency devoted solely to climate change. Since then, Torontonians have built on their green traditions, created new programs such as Live Green Toronto to engage the public, and city-wide initiative like Tower Renewal to revitalize communities while reducing energy consumption. Strong commitment, innovative programs, and over $8 billion in investments are getting results and transforming Toronto into one of the greenest cities in the world.

These days, and for the following years, environment is an important subject. As residents of the earth, we must do what is best for the planet because it is for ourselves and our children. We leave here and if we want to continue in a healthy way we have to take care of it.

Words by Kristina Michaud; photos by Delphine Dionne

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