Environment Commission Newsletters

Check out our monthly newsletters! Click on the month to read the newsletter.

Our Big Idea for October is Grow Up Not Out. Grow Up Not Out by putting people, jobs, and transportation closer together. We need to lower our development footprint and live in denser, more compact communities. This means doing things like enforcing urban containment boundaries (no more 'sprawl'), developing creative ways to get added natural values within this boundary (like ecosystem pockets, trees for shade and birds, rain gardens, etc.), and adopting a green building code.

Our Big Idea for November is Clear the Air to Reduce Carbon Emissions. We need to immediately reduce our local carbon emissions by doing things like planting carbon fixing vegetation, upgrading wood burning stoves, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, passing air quality bylaws, and monitoring and enforcing our air quality.  .

Our Big Idea for December is Get Serious about Zero Waste. We need to rethink how we handle our sewage, garbage, and other waste to make use of unused resources and minimize their impact on the environment. We can also do this by saying no to plastic, avoiding excessive packaging and exploring 'cradle to cradle' opportunities.

Our Big Idea for January is Lead the Way. Lead the Way by making real change at the personal and local government levels. We all have role to play in creating a sustainable Cowichan, including encouraging government to embed a sustainable future in every rule and regulation and supporting them to make real changes. You can help by joining a committee, volunteering or donating toward environmental stewardship, and voicing your concerns and priorities

Our Big Idea for February is Be Energy Smart and conserve wherever possible.  We have to get smarter about how we generate and use energy in our region, in order to ensure that our demand does not outweigh our supply. We can do this by lowering thermostats, shutting off and unplugging electronics, switching to low energy street lights, using industrial and household waste to produce power, supporting geothermal, wind and solar projects and developing a regional energy plan and conserve wherever possible. 

Our Big Idea for March is Audit and Protect our Assets. We need to figure out what we have so we know what to protect and how quickly we have to act. This means documenting and assessing things like sensitive areas, species at risk, wetlands, watercourses and air and water quality. It also means undertaking a connectivity analysis to ensure we protect and allow for species migrations.

Our Big Idea for April is Eat Local because food security matters.  We have some of the best agricultural land anywhere! Let’s maximize this potential and establish food security for our region. We can do this by supporting small-scale agriculture, and our regional agriculture plan as well as developing creative support tools and mechanisms to assist local agriculture production.

Our Big Idea for May is Eat Local because food security matters.  We have some of the best agricultural land anywhere! Let’s maximize this potential and establish food security for our region. We can do this by supporting small-scale agriculture, and our regional agriculture plan as well as developing creative support tools and mechanisms to assist local agriculture production.

Our Big Idea for June is Get Up to Speed on the new green economy.  We need to quickly change how we do business in our region by promoting green business development (agro-forestry, alternative energy, eco-tourism), consuming less and applying full cost accounting to determine the true costs of products and services.

Our Big Idea for July is Don`t Hog the water so there is enough for all, and replenish our groundwater. We need to make sure there is enough water for everyone and everything, including other species and ecosystems. We can do this by measuring and pricing water accordingly to ensure conservation, locating industry and development away from the aquifer’s sensitive areas, using drought resistant landscaping, using low flush toilets, and encouraging ‘green infrastructure’ development that takes the natural water cycle and rain water into consideration.

Our Big Idea for August is Get real about Climate Change and the Impact it will have on our Region. Some of the ways we can do this are: by planning for the uncertainty ahead; protecting infrastructure and communities from increased winter rains, summer drought and violent winds; and developing a comprehensive drought plan for the region.