How green is our city?

How do you think Edmonton is doing on an environmental scale? The recently-released 2014 Report on the Environment gives us a snapshot of just that.

Edmonton’s Report on the Environment is the City’s annual environmental report card. The report looks at programs in the categories within our environmental strategic plan, The Way We Green, and evaluates how each program is doing, the challenges they face and how they can improve.

What was big for 2014?

  1. Solar energy capacity has increased by 2,740% in five years.
  2. The City currently maintains 330,000 trees.
  3. Edmonton has 80 community gardens.
  4. The Air Quality Health Index saw improvement with 86% of days in 2014 rated with a low air quality health risk, compared to 81% in 2013.
  5. Edmontonians, on average, used 195 litres of water per day per person, a reduction from 204 litres in 2013.

There’s always room for improvement too. Some of the areas in which we as citizens can help contribute positively to include:

  • Learning more about solar energy and how to get our homes greener than ever in the Green Home Guide.
  • Reducing our water waste. Taking shorter showers, using your dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full and using your sprinkler system sparingly.
  • Making use of public transit or cycling to greatly reduce your personal footprint.
  • Checking out the recently released Green Living Guide to find more ways to green your life!

If we all work together and do our part, 2015’s report can be even more impressive. Everybody in our city has a role to play in improving the state of Edmonton’s environment. We encourage you to make some of these commitments:  

  • I will take the bus and walk more instead of driving my car unnecessarily short distances!
  • I will turn off the lights when possible to use less electricity!
  • I will try to avoid impulse purchases at the grocery store, especially for perishable items to create less waste!
  • I will keep my reusable grocery bags in my car and at work so I have one on hand whenever I stop for groceries!

What else do you currently do to reduce your footprint? Are you planning on making any changes?

The City waited to find a fun way to express the data in the report to Edmontonians and get people interested in learning more. The creative juices started flowing…

CEO Sustainable Facebook-01 (1)

Would you ever have thought you could email a tree? Well, now you can! You can find messages like this one around the city in places like LRT stations and walking trails. They encourage you to contact the environment to learn more and have a funny interaction with an uniquely Edmonton character at the same time!

Check out the City’s Facebook and Twitter pages to learn more facts from this year’s report and hashtag #thewaywegreen to be a part of the movement!

This is also your last chance to enter the Report on the Environment’s Calendar Contest! This year, along with publishing the report, the City is creating a calendar to help share information in a more creative way. To fill the pages of the calendar we are hosting an art contest to bring the calendar to life! The contest closes on October 16. For more information about the contest and how to enter please see the contest rules posted here.

Check out the The Report on the Environment in two forms: a dynamic online version and a hard copy version.

For more information about making Edmonton a greener place and the Report on the Environment visit:

http://edmonton.ca/greenannualreport

 

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About the Author
Alexa Steiner
Alexa Steiner is a Communications Technician in the Sustainable Development Department at the City of Edmonton
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