Promise the Planet Winners

Simple actions..BIG impact! For the second year, local resident Clare Weissflog approached North Grenville elementary schools for Earth Day 2011 to get students to think about actions they could do to improve the health of our planet. Her assignment was to get them to draw a picture of their promise to the planet.

Ideas to get the kids thinking include:

  • Use a reusable drinking bottle
  • Support local farmers by buying local produce and products
  • Start a vegetable garden
  • Turn off lights, computers and games when not in use
  • Take the 3-Minute Shower challenge and use less water
  • Hang wet laundry outdoors to dry in the wind and sun
  • Save trees: use both sides of your paper.


Click here to view the winning posters from Earth Day 2011.


2011 Sustainability Festival – Thank You

Sustainable North Grenville would like to thank all of the businesses, organizations, volunteers, and community members who participated in North Grenville’s Sustainability Festival on April 17th 2011.  Over 320 people attended the event. Each year has shown a significant increase in attendance by members of the North Grenville community and also from members of neighbouring municipalities.

Visitors were able to enjoy concession-style, local food from Kemptville’s organic restaurant the branch, purchase bread and early vegetables from the Kemptville Kinsmen’s Farmer’s Market, and talk to a variety of community organizations about their initiatives such as natural history and ecological monitoring, gardening, transportation, water conservation and well protection. Local businesses had products and information about energy alternatives and reducing energy consumption, green household cleaning, re-usable moving equipment, and decorative art made of re-used glass and organic material.

For those wanting to reduce their household waste, there were vermi-composting kits and information about waste reduction and diversion from the NG Waste Committee. Local trail organizations offered maps and a range of botanical and geographical pointers for trail walking in and around the community. The Dandelion Festival had information about its upcoming arts and culture event scheduled for May 27th – May 29th ( Outside the Municipal centre, the Kemptville Youth Centre had organized an electronics drop off.

Families also had a chance to have some fun button-making, painting a mural, listening to music, and learning about the Arctic, traditional knowledge, and how local communities – whether far off or here in North Grenville – monitor their communities and take action on the effects of climate change.

Sustainable North Grenville would like to thank the sponsors of the event, Eco-Gen Energy and TD Graham & Associates. We would like to thank the Municipality of North Grenville, Community Living, North Grenville District High School, St Michael Catholic High School, R&B Heating and the NG Waste Committee for advertising the event and the EMC, the Advance, the Record News and the Community Newsletter for photographs and articles. To those who generously volunteered their time by putting up signs, helping with kid’s activities, playing music, helping to set up and take down tables, photographing the event, and welcoming visitors, a very grateful thank you, and to the vendors and organizations that attended the Festival – thank you for your community spirit and sustainable actions.

Congratulations to the 2011 “Promise the Planet” prize-winners, whose posters were on display at the fair. 1st Abigaile Gagnon (Holy Cross); 2nd Alexandra R-L (K.P.S.); 3rd Kendra Beanish (K.P.S.); 4th Natasha Gill (K.P.S.); 5th Alysha W. (K.P.S.); Honourable Mentions, Alena Abbott and Ireland (K.P.S.) and Tatiana Weissflog (Holy Cross). Many thanks to Pioneer Nursery, To be Continued and The Canadian Museum of Nature for their fantastic prize donations and to EcoGen Energy Inc. for their sponsorship of the remaining prizes. Thanks also to Geronimo and Home Hardware for their door prize donations.

Finally, many thanks to members of the North Grenville community who attended the North Grenville Sustainability Festival out of interest – we are green and growing!

The next event hosted by Sustainable North Grenville will be an Evening Exchange: Home Energy Savings – Energy Conservation, Efficiency & Renewable Energy on Monday, May 16th from 7:00-9:00 pm @ the branch (Kemptville). This is a FREE event.  Please see www.sustainablenorthgrenville for more details.


Questions for municipal representatives

Sustainability is an important issue for many people in North Grenville.

Sustainability is generally defined as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” In a municipality, this means taking into account the ‘four pillars of sustainability’ – economic, social, environmental and cultural – when making decisions.

What sustainable decisions or actions are our municipal representatives taking in North Grenville?

1. Sustainable/ Smart growth

In his book, Toward Sustainable Communities, author Mark Roseland states, “By placing greater emphasis on sustainability, including social equity and environmental responsibility, citizens and their governments choose economic development that provides opportunities for people of different incomes and skills, promotes a better quality of life, and protects the environment.”

Does North Grenville place adequate emphasis on sustainability?

2. Energy Efficiency With the exception of the USA, Canada consumes more energy per capita than the rest of the world. The price of fossil fuels is going up and, as oil and gas become increasingly hard to extract, the environmental cost of using these forms of energy also increases. The promotion of energy-efficient building design and support for the retrofitting of older buildings reduces operating costs and allows for investment in future projects.

What measures is North Grenville taking to lessen our energy consumption now and improve our energy efficiency in the future?

3. Local Food: Most experts agree that the era of cheap, easy to extract oil is coming to an end, with most claiming that peak production was reached and passed in either 2005 or 2006; with it, the giant agribusiness that supplies most of our cheap food from far away will at first get much more expensive, then, inevitably, decline and collapse.

What steps should North Grenville take to transition our community towards buying and encouraging the production of more ‘ready to eat’ local foods?

4. Transportation

As we notice more emphasis on growth in North Grenville, we need to take into account the movement of its community members. Sustainable and ‘active’ transportation offers health benefits (bicycle paths and accessible walking routes), and social and economic benefits, such as the development of commuter ‘fleets’ for travel within North Grenville in addition to those currently existing (and at capacity) to larger urban centres, such as Ottawa. Transport Canada, as well as other sites, offer guidance:

Given a time horizon between 2010 and 2013, how does North Grenville plan to stimulate a sustainable transportation mindset among community members and businesses or corporations investing in the municipality? How does it intend to promote active transportation and implement lasting transportation policies and infrastructure to support its growth?

Helping North Grenville become a more sustainable community