Town forms committee for those keen to go green

The Town of Lake Cowichan is looking for local people to sit on a committee

The Town of Lake Cowichan is looking for local people to sit on a committee that would study and recommend ways to meet our corporate and community goals regarding greenhouse gas reduction and adjusting to climate change. Recommendations put together by this committee would be presented to Council and those approved would help form the Climate Protection section of the Community Plan for Lake Cowichan.

“We’re looking for people with a keen interest in helping lessen our carbon footprint and become more sustainable,” said Lake Cowichan town counsellor, Bob Day.

The Town signed on to the BC Climate Action Charter, which requires a commitment to monitor and report on emissions produced by local government operations and the community at large. The Charter says that the town is to be “carbon neutral” by this year.

Carbon neutrality is achieved by lessening the total amount of emissions produced then offsetting the remaining emissions by doing positive things like planting more trees or supporting projects that will further reduce production of greenhouse gases. Lessening the town’s “carbon footprint” means implementing things like “no idling” zones, to lessen vehicle exhaust emissions in the area and encouraging more use of public transit.

“We’re looking for people who are genuinely interested in the well being of the town. People who want to help guide the town into being more sustainable and energy efficient,” said Day.

The committee will be formed by members of the public who are residents of Lake Cowichan, as well as one council member who has not yet been named. The initial term would be for one year though may be extended if required.

“People need to realize what an important issue this is. Because we have so much clean space and open areas, we tend to take it all for granted,” said Day.

Reducing energy consumption, while still maintaining the services that we tend to take for granted is a daunting task.  People want to do right by the environment, but still tend to jump in their giant SUV’s and pick-ups to hit the drive-through for a fast food meal. Limiting a community’s carbon footprint is as much a matter of re-education as it is about writing up new prohibitive bylaws.

“This is about assisting council in fashioning a plan that will work,” said Day. “We need people to have a broader scope.”

Do you want a say in how Lake Cowichan decides on the changes it must make in this environmentally sensitive era in which we live? Then by all means become part of the solution by applying to become a committee member.

Submit a brief letter outlining your interest in serving on the committee to Joseph Fernandez, Chief Administrative Officer, at the Town of Lake Cowichan (Box 860). The deadline for submissions is 3p.m., Friday, Feb. 24.