From the desk of the BC Sustainable Energy Association:
At the end of June, every adult in British Columbia will receive a $100 cheque in the mail from the government, and every child will receive $30. "What's this?" you might think.
It's your personal Climate Action Dividend, part of BC's new Carbon Tax that kicks in on July 1st.
Here are 30 ideas that can help you to reduce your carbon footprint – and the amount of carbon tax you pay. If you don't live in BC - well, this may still be of interest!
In Your Home
1. An ecoENERGY home assessment, that will give you a list of energy upgrades that will make your home more efficient, and access to various grants from ecoENERGY and LiveSmartBC. ($150)
2. 30 compact fluorescent light bulbs. (Phillips are the best.) ($100)
3. 3 new LED light bulbs. ($108)
4. Programmable thermostats for your 2 or 3 of your most commonly used heating zones. ($100)
5. $100 of weather-stripping, caulking, and window film, to reduce heat-leaks in your home.
6. A Kill-A-Watt meter that will show you how much energy each of your appliances is using. ($30)
7. A Smart Strip Power Bar that you can use to control your stand-by power. ($30)
8. A low flow showerhead, that will save water and power. ($12)
9. A 20-foot retractable clothesline for your backyard. ($15)
10. An Eco-Fan for your woodstove, that will spread the heat around. ($150)
11. A month’s bus pass. ($42 to $99)
12. A used bicycle to enjoy the summer ($100), or a bike a tune up ($50).
13. New bike lights, gear, and a new helmet, for safer riding. ($100)
14. A cycling commuting skills course, to make you a safer cyclist. ($100)
15. Put it towards buying an electric bike. ($700 to $1600)
16. For your car, pool your money to buy a Scan Gauge, that will give you a real-time fuel consumption read-out which you can use to train yourself to do “eco-driving”, and use 10%-15% less fuel, saving up to $250 a year. ($160)
17. A pack of 4 LED tire pressure indicator lights which you can use to use up to 3.3% less fuel by keeping your tires properly inflated, saving up to $50 a year. ($34.95)
18. Membership in the Victoria Car Share Cooperative or Vancouver’s Cooperative Auto-Network. ($400 - $500)
19. A good camera/microphone for your computer, so that you can substitute web conferencing instead of travelling.
20. A new pair of running shoes, to encourage you to hit the trails. The more fit you are, the further you can cycle and walk.
In Your Kitchen & Garden
21. A good vegetarian or vegan cookbook.
22. $100 of local organic food for a celebratory organic feast for your friends.
23. $100 of seeds, tools, and compost that you can use to start an organic garden, using simple Lasagna Gardening.
24. $100 of organic food delivered by Small Potatoes Urban Delivery, grown as locally as possible.
25. $100 worth of organic food to accompany a free a Vegetarian Starter Kit.
For the Next Climate Emergency
26. A St. John Ambulance Emergency Ready Kit, to help you survive the climate change related storms and power outages ($59.95) and a Ready Meal Kit ($44.95)
27. A Freeplay Solar Wind-up Radio ($59) and LED Wind-up Flashlight ($32).
Carbon Reducing Offsets and Gifts
28. Spend it on good carbon offsets. $100 donated to the Solar Electric Light Fund will offset 10 tonnes of CO2 by helping villagers in Nigeria to use solar lighting, instead of kerosene. $100 donated to Quest Outreach will ensure that $1200 worth of wasted food is used to feed people, putting its embodied carbon to good use in someone’s stomach and stopping it from releasing methane in a landfill.
29. Give it to an environmental organization that is working to tackle global warming or save BC’s forests, such as the David Suzuki Foundation, the BC Sustainable Energy Association, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, the Sierra Club of BC, or The Land Conservancy.
30. Give it to one of the 50 “Green Your Campbell Cash” carbon-saving projects that are being proposed on The Tyee’s website.
If you found these suggestions inspiring, why not put your Dividend towards purchasing a membership in the BC Sustainable Energy Association?