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TORONTO, Oct. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Two years ago, two neighbourhood groups, Green 13 in the Junction and a group now calling itself RiverdalePN, joined forces with Project Neutral to explore ways of encouraging households to transition to carbon neutrality. Since then over 400 households have embarked on this journey. Participation has spread from two neighbourhoods to areas right across the City, and plans for expansion outside of Toronto are being considered. Project Neutral is hoping to engage 600 households in the 2013 survey - and is offering over $2,000 in incentives and prizes to households that complete the survey before December 1, 2013.
"I would say what I've found most fascinating about this process so far is how little most of us know about the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we generate and where they come from" said Karen Nasmith, Director and Co-Founder of Project Neutral. "I've talked to individuals who had no idea their footprint was remarkably low compared to the average. On the other hand, there are also folks that didn't realize the considerable impact some of their actions have, such as air travel. There are lots of options out there for reducing or offsetting emissions - so there's a lot of good news scenarios as the general awareness grows - and certainly that is one of our goals - to raise awareness about how easy it can be to reduce your footprint."
Households that complete the Household Carbon Footprint Survey (at www.projectneutral.org/survey) will be able to view a breakdown of their carbon footprint based on energy and water use, how much waste they produce, what they eat, and how they get around. Participants can see how they compare to their neighbours and other households across the city. As a result of a the generous support of TD Friends of the Environment, Metcalf Foundation and the Earth Day Canada Community Environment Fund, in partnership with Sobeys Inc., Project Neutral will soon be launching another tool - the Household Challenge - which will allow households to learn about actions to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, set a reduction target and prioritize actions.
Project Neutral (PN) is an ambitious initiative to transition neighbourhoods to carbon neutrality. A primarily volunteer-led, grassroots initiative, PN works with community leaders to establish a greenhouse gas baseline, create spaces and tools for knowledge sharing, and inspire actions that reduce energy use and carbon emissions. PN is developing a scalable model for different neighbourhoods, communities and cities, working at the juncture of homeowners, neighbourhoods, municipalities and the energy sector. PN was initially incubated by CivicAction's Emerging Leaders Network and is now a project of Tides Canada Initiatives Society (TCI).
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