Newsletter #5

Read the May edition of the Pocket Change Project newsletter

Pocket neighbours are Change Makers

Spring has sprung in the Pocket and it's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

Neighbours have been busy in the community, cleaning up Phin Park, prepping the Oakvale Community Garden plots and postering about invasive plants.

At home, the Pocket Change Project has also made significant progress, with several Change Makers starting their carbon footprint-reducing home retrofits and others deep into the planning and design phase.

We hosted our first hybrid in-person/online meeting in April and shared news about government rebates available for green renovations and a bulk buying program for induction stoves and cooktops.

On the EV front, thanks to an outpouring of support, the Pocket has been selected as a pilot neighbourhood for public chargers. We're slated to receive at least 10 public electric vehicle charging stations in the coming months.

None of this could have been possible without you, the close knit community of engaged neighbours we're so lucky to be a part of.

Thank you -- and read on.

Seen a sign?

Your neighbours are Change Makers! They are taking climate action by reducing their homes' GHG emissions, and making their homes comfortable at the same time.

This lawn sign means that they have a Retrofit Roadmap - their individual plan of achievable steps to make their home more energy efficient and reduce the amount of natural gas that they use.

The Change Makers’ retrofit coach and energy advisor have helped them, considering their family’s goals for their home, the condition of the home, and the results of an energy audit. The Change Makers have the information they need to make decisions, based on the pros and cons of different choices.

The roadmap includes the priority actions for the house, whether the goal is to replace an aging furnace, find cost-effective “no regrets" improvements, “green” a renovation project, or retrofit deeply to dramatically reduce their energy use and move off gas completely.

Now they can move forward step by step with confidence. The Change Maker team is helping them find qualified contractors and get the work done.

You can read about Pocket residents who have already reduced their carbon emissions here.

Election time in Ontario:

Vote to change course on the climate

The Pocket's very own artist, activist and climate champion, Liisa Repo-Martell, has a message for voters: Let's not forget the climate and all the regressive things this government has done over the last four years to set us back.

Check out her blog and great animated film.

Ravina Project Guest Blog - Fugitive Methane

If it sounds sinister, that's because it is.

Gord Fraser, the Pocket's home energy scientist, has been running a 15-year experiment on his house, tracking the difference that big and small changes have made to his energy consumption and carbon footprint.

He's sharing his knowledge with the Pocket Change Project via short, accessible blog posts. Read on for a hard look at the reputation of natural gas as a "cleaner" fossil fuel.

Turns out, it's not so clean if you count the leaks...

Rally for Climate, Communities and Nature

The Pocket Change Project is sharing this callout from Environmental Defence for a Climate Rally at Queen's Park.

Ontario’s environment needs you now.

Greenhouse gas emissions are rising, protections for nature are being dismantled, and mega projects are encroaching on communities.

On Saturday May 14, a huge coalition of climate and environmental groups is hosting a giant rally for climate, communities and nature at Queens Park, Toronto.

The Emergency in Ontario Rally will feature inspiring speakers, exciting performers and will be opened by elder Danny Beaton, Turtle Clan Mohawk of the Grand River Six Nations Territory – not to be missed.

More details can be found on our website.

Upcoming events

We've got two exciting events on the calendar:

On May 26, we're got the third instalment in our webinar series on home retrofits. Join us for a discussion on air sealing and insulation - the fastest, cheapest and quickest methods of saving energy, reducing your carbon emissions and making your home more comfortable.

After a two year hiatus, we're happy to announce that the Eco Fun Fair is back on June 18. Past editions have included house tours to check out environmental retrofits and offered electric car test drives. We're open to ideas and enthusiasm from all quarters. Please email [email protected] to get involved.

The tree giveaway has shrunk

We've now got shrubs

Apologies to the folks who reached out when we were perhaps a bit hasty in announcing a tree giveaway, organized through the TRCA.

The program has changed, but we're now able to offer native shrubs to anyone who lives in the Pocket, free of charge, for fall delivery.

The shrubs will be delivered to Phin Park on a weekend and you'll be responsible for picking them up and planting them. However, the Pocket Change Project has a small team of volunteers who will plant shrubs for anyone who cannot do it themselves.

More information is available on our Tree Project page.

We also have seeds

Interested in growing native pollinator plants from seeds harvested right here in the Pocket?

For a $2 donation to the Pocket Change Project, we have envelopes of:

- Echinacea (Cone flower)

- Bergamont (Bee balm)

- Anise hyssop

- Black eyed Susan

- Nasturtium

- Common and Butterfly milkweed

Please email [email protected] for free delivery to your doorstep.

Volunteering and other opportunities to get involved

The Pocket Change Project is always looking to connect neighbours to share resources and make it easier to live a low carbon lifestyle. Here are some of our initiatives. Please get in touch if you're interested in learning more.

  • Garden sharing: connecting those who want to garden but don't have a yard with those who have gardens but have no interest in tending them.
  • EV car share / charger share: connecting neighbours with EV charging stations on their property with those who cannot install their own, but need to charge their vehicle.

We're also looking for folks who can help out with organizing the Eco Fun Fair on June 18 and keeping the website up to date.

Email [email protected] if you're interested.

Until next month,


Liisa and Marco

Pocket Change Project

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