ACT community solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Schoolchildren aim for a Guinness World Record; a filmmaker takes his “back to the future” DeLorean; and owners might have a gas learning how do not cooking with gas.

Here are some of the innovative programs Canberrans has developed to tackle climate change, which the ACT Government will fund through its Community Zero Emission Subsidy Program.

“It’s citizen action in absolutely perfect form,” says Shane RattenburyACT Minister for Water, Energy and Emissions Reduction.

The government will fund six projects totaling more than $155,000. The ACT government will provide $4,512 to Lyneham High School; $43,625 at ACT Region Conservation Council; and $28,000 to the National Film Academy.

the Canberra Environmental Center will receive $49,612 for a climate resilience and adaptation toolkit; SEE Change $24,878 for a soil health initiative; and ACT pedal power $5,556 for a digital project.

Climate change can be “so big and so existential that sometimes people feel disempowered; they don’t know how to tell the difference,” Mr Rattenbury said. But these grants mean the community “can be part of the solution.”

“There are a lot of people in the community with great ideas, and they’re very passionate about fighting climate change, reducing ACT emissions, and preparing the city for a warmer, warmer future. But sometimes they just don’t have the resources to bring that idea to fruition.

School children cycle for the climate

Lyneham High School will enter the Guinness and Australian Book of Records for the most bicycles ever ridden at a school. Eight hundred students (out of a population of around 1,100) will cycle in September, on World Car Free Day.

“I was trying to figure out what I could do at school to help the environment and make our campus greener, and increase school spirit at the same time,” said the school captain, James Etherington.

He hopes the journey to school will continue and that other schools may try to beat Lyneham’s record.

“That’s what this is for: to get more schools involved and to get more people to start riding to school,” James said. “The challenge is on. We have to set the bar for everyone else.

James also led the school’s sustainability initiative: putting compost bins in the school and using them in the farm plot to manage compost. Currently, the school doesn’t have compost bins or even a good recycling system, so the agriculture unit buys its compost, he said.

“Climate change is a huge issue today,” James said. Her English class recently agreed that global warming was their number one priority.

“Our initiative is very small, but hopefully what we can do can then spread to others, and they can take it on board. Obviously, what one person can do, or one school can do , is minimal. But what many schools can do is great.

Release the accelerator pedal

The Conservation Council will start a conversation with the Canberra community about phasing out gas in their homes and switching to electricity.

The ACT has Australia’s second highest per capita gas consumption, and 20% of ACT’s emissions come from gas, said Council Executive Director Helen Oakey.

“We have to transition from that.”

However, many people think they need gas to cook well, while some ethnic groups are used to cooking with gas, she said.

“Electric cooktops these days can cook as efficiently as gas and are starting to be used by chefs around the world,” Ms Oakey said. “We’re going to bring cooktops to the community, give them the opportunity to see how efficient they are and how accurate they are as technology, and try to break down that barrier for people who might want to electrify their homes and get off the gas grid.

Switching from gas to electric makes homes more sustainable and also saves money, Ms Oakey said. “You don’t pay for this connection to the gas network every year. It’s an added cost, and as gas prices go up, people will be insulated from that if they switch to electric.

The simplest and most economical transition, Ms Oakey recommends, is to switch heating from ducted gas heating to reverse-cycle air conditioning, which can be used for cooling in the summer – and is the only heating technology where people become more efficient through technology. . (For one unit, you can get three or four heating units.) Then install an electric heat pump for hot water and switch the cooktop to an induction unit.

Some of these devices and discounts are available through the ACT government Sustainable cleaning program.

” To take it Back to the future

Doc Brown has turned his DeLorean into a time machine; local filmmaker Ché Baker converts his into an electric vehicle – and makes a movie out of it.

“We take it Back to the future,” he said. “We don’t have Mr. Fusion [home energy reactor]but we want to do the next best thing!

“Seven years ago a friend moved to Los Angeles to become a famous movie director and left me his beloved DeLorean. So I used and abused that in every movie we could. locally.However, it kept breaking down in very annoying and embarrassing places!

“With the rise of electric vehicles, I realized there was a fantastic opportunity to look at the process of converting internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles, rather than just buying new electric vehicles.”

The documentary, electric dreams, will cover the electrification of transport, from scooters and Onewheels to Bluetooth wakeboards and skateboards (hoverboards too?), and the transition into the ACT. The DeLorean conversion is a hook; the documentary will show how people can convert their own older cars to electric vehicles and what new vehicles are on the market.

Palace Cinemas, Dendy and ANU Film Group have all committed to showing the documentary and streaming it online. Mr. Baker also presents the documentary to National Geographic and SBS.