County shares initiatives for climate action on Earth Day

Blackburn News file photo.

Today is Earth Day, and Huron County is sharing some of their climate actions they have taken and are taking to help the earth.

Huron County says in a release that the theme for this year’s Earth Day is “Together We Can Restore Our Earth.” In that spirit, the county has shared a number of initiatives to help the local environment. Those include the formation of a County of Huron Conservation Committee, the Huron Climate Adaptation Plan, the Climate Lens Tool and working with companies like TerraCycle, that recycle hard-to-recycle items like single use plastics. The county is also taking a “plastic pledge” to mitigate paper and plastic use. They are also putting resources toward land use planning, forestry and stewardship.

“The County’s efforts to conserve energy within our corporation are ongoing,” says Huron County Climate Change and Energy Specialist, Lily Morrow. “Improving how we manage energy in our facilities and through our work practices helps us reduce our environmental impact, become more sustainable, and generate cost savings.”

The details of all of those initiatives are as follows, courtesy of Huron County:

County of Huron Conservation Committee

The County of Huron Conservation Committee, has representatives from all County departments. This group meets regularly to discuss climate impacts affecting their areas of concern and shares ideas and strategies to reduce climate impacts in the workplace and in the community. This group has developed many initiatives including the County’s Single-Use Item Reduction Strategy and educating on how to avoid single-use plastics.

Climate Adaptation Plan

The Corporate Climate Change Adaptation Plan identifies 14 goals that will be addressed by the County over the next five years. These goals focus efforts in 5 priority areas, including Infrastructure and Assets, Health and Safety, Engagement and Partnerships, Resiliency and Continuity, and Innovation and Growth. By taking action in these areas, the County will be better prepared to lessen the effects of future climate changes, as well as respond to and recover from climate related events.

Climate Lens Tool

To help County staff prioritize climate change in their decision-making, a Climate Lens Tool was developed for the County. This tool includes a list of questions that will help staff consider how corporate projects might be affected by climate change, including ways that staff could modify projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks.

TerraCycle

TerraCycle is an organization that offers recycling solutions for hard-to-recycle items, like single-use plastics, through the purchase of a Zero Waste Box. Currently, the Huron County Museum is recycling used gloves through TerraCycle, and other Zero Waste options are being explored by various County departments.

Paper and Plastic Reduction Efforts

In an effort to reduce the dependency on single use water bottles, the installation of water fountains is ongoing throughout the County’s facilities. County staff are also encouraged to take the Plastic Pledge. When open for in-person services, the Huron County Library and Museum have made the switch from plastic to paper bags and are encouraging patrons to bring their own bags when required.

Land Use Planning, Forestry, and Stewardship

Through the County’s Planning Department, careful consideration is taken with Huron communities on how to best manage the use of land and resources, and with a mission for a healthy, viable and sustainable future. Some of the many ways this team works to improve local environments includes Sustainability Planning, Sourcewater
Protection and the Water Protection Steering Committee, Forestry, Stewardship services, and more.

Learn more about the ways the County of Huron is working to address climate change:
https://www.huroncounty.ca/climate-change-energy/.