I was browsing the Earth Day® Canada events listing today, when I came across a competition for individuals in their daily lives. It looks like it could be fun, especially as more people become involved. Points are tabulated weekly and your “team” is your home town. On April 22 next year, one city will be declared the winner. So far, about 50 cities across Canada have participants, and in Ontario, 19 communities, including Kingston, have representatives.
In the lead is Grande Prairie Alberta, with 13,152 points and Red Deer Alberta, with 10,827. Everywhere else has a lot of catching up to do. Ottawa is at 1523, Toronto has earned 1416, Vancouver has 1217, and Kingston is at 151 points.
So how do you earn points? Every week an email prompts you to complete a short survey of eco-positive activities over the past week. Points are earned for each of these actions and added to your city score:
- Using own coffee mug (on the road)
- Checking tire pressures and inflating, if necessary
- Turning off a light that is not in use
- Walking or cycling (when driving is an option)
- Washing clothes in cold water
- Using a cloth grocery bag
- Having a vegetarian dinner
- Using a reusable drink container
- Doing any of the above actions more than once.
In Grande Prairie a citizen went to her city council, asking them to support the challenge—they not only endorsed it, but put out a challenge to the Mayors of Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, and Lethbridge. Red Deer responded, and probably due to leadership and competitive enthusiasm, became second only to Grande Prairie. Grande Prairie has a population of over 50,000 and Red Deer has over 90,000 people–so their high scores are quite admirable.
The competition is hosted from a website called thegreengrouch.com–when you sign up, you can listen to a video of the Green Grouch, who describes himself as an Eco comedian aiming to encourage people to do simple things to help the environment without being a “nag”.
Why not pull out your travel mug, cloth shopping bag, and stainless steel water bottle and get involved? And if you decide to sign up, feel free to use my greengrouch referral code: 3457, to give Kingston extra points (smile).