Sustainable Orillia Month Webinars

Learning how each of us, individually and collectively, can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and move toward a healthier environment and quality of life is a necessary step for our community and for our future. During Sustainable Orillia Month we are pleased to present seven online learning opportunities, webinars designed to help us take that step.    

Things are changing rapidly. Experts used to speak about the need to take action to preserve the environment for our grandchildren and their children. More recently they began to use our children and their children. Now experts advise we can no longer describe the consequences of climate change in the future tense. Consequences have arrived in force and it is no longer about paying forward on behalf of future generations. It is also on behalf of our present lifestyles. climate change and its effects have arrived and the window for us to mitigate the damage to our planet, now and in future, is quickly closing.

The first step to battle climate change is learning what we can do to reduce our individual carbon footprints. Whether it’s through green investing, shopping at local markets, electrifying our transportation, upgrading the insulation in our homes, or introducing more renewable energy into our daily lives, we all have a role to play. These Sustainable Orillia webinars will provide practical and stimulating information and provide opportunities to have your questions answered by experts.

After more than a year and a half of COVID-19 precautions, we’ve learned many lessons about ourselves. One of those lessons is our ability leverage technology, to stay in touch, and to continue our learning virtually, hence the rise in popularity and effectiveness of Zoom meetings and webinars. Over the next two and a half weeks Sustainable Orillia will be leveraging technology by hosting seven online webinars, two of which will be broadcast from live presentations that you may choose to participate in personally. Read on to see if there are some that you would like to attend. You can register for all of these free of charge events.

1. The Current Electric Boat Market in Canada Tuesday, September 21, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Join Jeff Butler, president of Plugboats, for an informative session and expert insights into this developing market. Jeff founded Plugboats in 2019 and has gained worldwide attention as an international site promoting news, networking contacts and feature stories from the emerging electric boat market. Plugboats boasts the most complete directories of electric boats, motors and accessories in the world. This webinar is your chance to pick Jeff’s brain on this emerging sector. 

Orillia is a marine hub for boaters and, as with automobiles, raising consciousness with respect to reducing emissions is an opportunity for all boaters to contribute to greater long-term sustainability while still enjoying the ride.

2. Understanding How Hydrogen Can Help with our Climate Change Crisis Wednesday, September 22, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Many countries are investigating hydrogen as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many organizations, including the federal and Ontario governments, are developing plans to make the transition to this new low-carbon hydrogen economy. Enbridge has begun a pilot program in Markham to generate hydrogen from natural gas for injection into their natural gas pipeline.  This webinar will provide an overview of this project and explain the importance of hydrogen to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As Orillia develops its climate change action plan, hydrogen generation and use is one pathway by which our community can reduce emissions and transform our local economy for the future.

3. The Circular Economy Workshop: New Thinking for a Healthier Planet Wednesday, September 22, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Join Audrey Bayens, a well-known speaker and advocate of the Circular Economy, at St. Paul’s Community Centre for this in-person workshop or, if preferred, register for the simultaneous webinar. Learn about what it means to be part of the circular economy. Learn how reducing, repurposing, repairing, and recycling, which can ultimately rejuvenate our soils and ensure high quality products with long life spans. Using a circular lens to look at your everyday life will change the way you engage in the economy and, by doing so, contribute to reaching our Sustainable Development Goals.

4. Sustainable Living : Off the Grid with Ian Graham Tuesday, September 28, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Join Ian Graham for his story of living off the grid at home, at work and at play. Ian runs Small Dog Studio, an off-the-grid recording studio in the Waterloo region. He teaches audio production classes at Wilfred Laurier University and has a passion for renewable energy, electric vehicles and future technology. He owns an off-the-grid cabin, solar systems, an electric vehicle, and most recently has converted a pontoon boat to an electric motor with solar-canopy charging. This will be a fascinating session as Ian shares his experiences living off-the-grid by applying renewable energy to every corner of his life.

5. Funding your Housing Retrofits Wednesday, September 29, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Join Chris Hamilton from Enbridge, Glenn Dilts from Amerispec, and Nicole Hynum from the Independent Electricity System Operator to learn more about the various programs available to help you reduce emissions and boost the energy efficiency of our homes. As we have seen from this past summer’s devastating hurricanes, flooding and forest fires, climate change is here now and is affecting us all. Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is critical to stave off more devastating and potentially irreversible effects. One action we can take immediately is to learn more about how we can improve the energy efficiency of our homes as well as the resources and services available to help us plan and finance these retrofits.

6. Kiss the Ground: A Viewing and Panel Discussion on Sustainable Agriculture Practices Wednesday, September 29, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Allison Andrews will be hosting this stimulating, in-person event at St. Paul’s Centre, which will also be broadcast as a webinar. The event features a viewing of the recently released—and highly acclaimed documentary, Kiss the Ground, followed by a panel discussion and a question and answer session. Kiss the Ground begins with the world-wide effects of the climate change crises by way of soil mismanagement, but quickly shifts to highlight the pivotal and positive impact of regenerative agriculture. This shift in agricultural practices could potentially heal our soils, sequester carbon on a massive scale, replenish our water supplies, and ultimately balance our climate. It is a powerful message for gardeners, farmers, ranchers, and anyone looking for hope and renewal in this time of climate change.

Allison will be joined by a lively group of panel members, including Jacob Kearey-Moreland (Bass Lake Farms), Emily Wilson (Orillia Community Gardens), Greg Kamphuis (Camphouse Farms), Chad and Dorothy Coghlin  (Integrated Farms) and Andy and MacKenzie Hillard (Ants Marching Farm), all of whom are passionate experts and advocates for sustainable agricultural practices.  It’s going to be a fun and informative evening.

7. Sustainable Investing Thursday, September 30, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Jackie Ramler is noted for saying, “Investors are becoming more aware that their investment dollars can impact on how corporations make important decisions with regard to environmental, social and corporate governance issues.” Jackie is a well-known Barrie area financial advisor who has been working to assess the financial needs of her clients, corporate owners, business professionals, and their families since 1995. She is a dedicated, passionate and highly respected leader in the financial advisor industry specializing in designing and evaluating investment portfolios by examining environmental, social and corporate governance issues, and focusing on greener, more sustainable companies. Jackie will bring her expertise to this engaging and interactive session as our host. Anyone who wants to ensure their investments are supporting companies that are socially and environmentally progressive and profitable should sign.

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