The Greening Tree Project encourages members, friends and allies to share actions they are taking to reduce their carbon footprint.

Ross has signed the contract to make his house solar.

Ruth and Zale got a new roof and new solar panels. They are now generating some of their own electricity.

Lily is using the Flashfood app to buy food at the Superstore that is close to its best buy date, for 50% off, thus saving money and keeping food out of the landfill.

KJ went through her closet and got rid of clothes she hasn’t worn in a while.

Dorothy’s 2 grandsons, Lucas and Zachary, joined the team to cleanup the neighborhood with the shelter guests, and worked very hard, as did Dorothy and their mom Krista.

Frances organized busses to take Unitarians and others to the Old Growth Rally in Victoria on February 25. It was led by Indigenous people and she found it deeply moving and the most impactful rally she has ever attended.

Lise is changing to a plant based diet and has been able to cook plant based meals which her 20 something sons like about half of the time.

Larry got new glasses, made by a company called Rewear. The glasses are made from 6 recycled plastic bottles and he bought them from Specsavers in Woodgrove Mall.

Ilse is taking extra bags and picking up other dogs dog poop on walks with her dog.

Frances is organizing a bus from Nanaimo to Victoria on February 25 for the demonstration supporting Old Growth Forests.

Don updated his Canada Greenhouse  Emissions and Energy Dashboard on his website recently. He focuses on tracking investments in renewables and in oil and gas. “If the policies are working we should see these numbers change, and if they don’t change we should change the policies.”

Fenella drives a Hyundai Sonoma hybrid.

Helen and Bob took their first trip in their new electric car, to Victoria.

Brenda paid a carbon offset fee for the first time, for her plane trip to see her children. Thanks to Brian Short for showing her how to do this.

Ruth and Zale had seven of their windows replaced with triple paned glass in December.

Howard retired. This means he is no longer driving 54 km a day, back and forth from Nanoose Bay to Nanaimo.

Suzanne explained to the members of her strata the environmental benefits to exchanging their gas fireplaces for electric fireplaces, which was well received. There may be financial help given to the members to buy electric fireplaces.

Daniel got his teacher’s training class at VIU to read the article “What is education for?” by David Orr. It explores how education should be changed to better meet the needs of society and the environment in the climate crisis.

Debbie and Bob’s solar panels have just been installed and they have already begun generating electricity, even though it is winter.

Ruth and Zale have received approval for their Greener Homes loan, so they can go solar and have solar panels installed on their roof.

Brenda is using bamboo toilet paper, which comes in a cardboard box, with no plastic packaging. There are no trees cut down to make it, so the trees can stay in the ground to absorb carbon dioxide.

Bob and Helen bought a used electric car to replace their old car.

Laara is organizing a Bus Buddy trip to Parksville. Whoever wants to come will travel together by bus, instead of driving cars, to have lunch and shop at the thrift store. 

Dorothy is repurposing all kinds of cards she has received in the past to make greeting cards, instead of buying new ones.

The Environmental Justice Committee signed a letter asking the provincial government to stop having hookups for natural gas for new housing. The EJC has had an impact in Nanaimo in this area and putting pressure on the province to follow suit is a step in the right direction.

Debbie and Bob signed the contract and paid the deposit to have 25 solar panels on their roof. They had an energy audit of their home first. The panels will be installed by a company in Duncan and they were able to get some financial support from the Canada Green Homes Fund. 

Larry discovered a product at London Drugs called “sugar sheets” made from the fibre left over when sugar is produced from sugar cane- so using it saves trees and produces less Co2 and 29% less greenhouse gas than paper made from sugar. The company that makes them is located in New Westminster, BC.

Ruth and Zale replaced their patio door with triple paned glass and have put a deposit on a heat pump.

Gloria is only opening one electric door, rather than two, at her apartment building, to save electricity.

Patrick has been biking, rather than driving, to the Errington Farmers Market every Saturday with his son, to buy local fruits and vegetables.

Frances contacted Laura Lynch on the CBC podcast What On Earth and was featured as a listener who was doing something about climate change. Frances talked about her trip across Canada researching the transition from fossil fuel to electric cars, specifically the situation for charging electric vehicles in different cities.

Kathryn-Jane got a heat pump over the summer and had a lower hydro bill. She used 21% lower kilowatt hours compared to the same period last summer! This proves that heat pumps are good for the environment and the pocket book!

Lois, who describes herself as a clothes horse, bought her new to her pants at the thrift store, instead of buying them new.

Bev had a win in her ongoing battle with buying stuff. It was her birthday and she didn’t buy herself a birthday present!

Tony bought a book by award winning author Chris Turner- How to be a Climate Optimist- Blueprints for a Better World- and is looking forward to reading it and getting ideas on how to do something positive in a sea of despair, rather than feeling paralyzed by all the bad news. He will be donating it to the Fellowship library so others can read it too.

Ruth and Zale have switched to using an electric kettle because an electric kettle uses less energy than turning on a stove element.

Kathryn-Jane has been carpooling to the Sunday services with Ron and Frances, rather than driving in two different vehicles to the same place, therefore saving fuel and causing less pollution.

Jane has been renovating her bathroom and instead of taking her old fixtures to the dump she recycled them by posting them as being available for free on Facebook. All of the fixtures were picked up by people who needed them and in some cases wouldn’t have been able to afford them. 

Jenny has been buying everything she wears and needs from the thrift store for years. When she has things she doesn’t need anymore she puts them under a tree in front of her house with a sign that she has painted that says FREE and encourages her neighbours to also add any items they need to get rid of to the pile. Everything is always gone to a new home in a few weeks, saving all the environmental costs of producing new clothes, and also keeping clothes out of the landfill.

Lily told us that climate change has been causing her a lot of anxiety. She joined the Environment Committee last year, which is new for her, and has been learning a lot. She attended the Nanaimo Council meeting where Brian and Frances made a presentation about heat pumps and was glad she went to support them. She said that it feels good to  find out about the things she can do to fight climate change by being an active member of the Environment Committee.

Debbie rode her bike to the service today, which is good for her and good for the environment.

Bob and Helen have eliminated the use of plastic laundry detergent containers by using a laundry detergent in tablet form which arrives in the mail in a paper, compostable package. The maker of this product is    Blueland.

Lara started walking to the grocery store with a backpack to do her shopping, rather than driving her car, using fuel and causing pollution.

Insulating Exterior Junction Boxes – Dorothy & Larry

As part of the energy audit of Dorothy and Larry’s house, Zachary counted all the light switches and outlets on the outside of their house- 17 in all!! They now have enough insulation to insulate all of them. This will stop heat leaking from their house which lessen the amount of energy needed to heat it.

Used Push Mower Provides Extra Benefit – Brenda

Brenda recently mowed her very large lawn with a push lawnmower, which she bought for $2 at a thrift store – so she has saved energy and waste twice – by recycling a lawnmower and by using her own power to mow the lawn, rather than electricity or fossil fuels. 

Home Energy Audit – Dorothy & Larry

Dorothy and Larry recently had a home energy audit. They are dealing with the places that have showed up as leaking heat from their home,  and therefore wasting energy. This week they are installing a new storm door to stop the heat that is leaking from their door.

Lobbying Against Gas Hookups for New Buildings – Brian, Frances & Shelley

Brian, Frances and Shelley are advocating for Nanaimo to implement a by-law that would stop the installation of natural gas hookups for new buildings in Nanaimo.  Many studies have shown fracked natural gas produces as much greenhouse gas as coal. Over 90% of natural gas in BC is fracked. A heat pump is roughly the same cost to install as a gas furnace, lasts 20-40 years and does not emit any greenhouse gases.

Planting fruit trees – Debbie & Bob

Debbie and Bob have planted 19 fruit trees on their new property, an acre of land. They plan to plant more in the future.  They are looking forward to harvesting the fruit and sharing it with others.

Installing a Heat Pump – Frances & Ron / Roger & Katherine

Frances and Ron are in the process of having a heat pump installed in their home in the near future, and Roger and Katherine have already had a heat pump installed.
Heat pumps are an energy efficient, environmentally friendly alternative to oil and gas furnaces, electric furnaces and baseboard heaters, and they provide air conditioning as well, ending the need for a separate air conditioner during the summer.

Making Mini Greenhouses – Carol

Carol is using plastic clamshell containers, in which lettuce and other vegetables are sold in grocery stores, to create mini greenhouses to start seedlings. This allows the clamshells to have one more useful role before they are recycled, and saves the cost of buying new mini greenhouses. 

Shutting the Blinds to Lower Heating Costs – Gale & Lawrence

Gale and Lawrence are lowering the blinds and closing their curtains at night. Windows are the cause of up to 40% of heat loss from buildings, so covering them as the outside environment cools can help retain heat indoors and lessen the need for using energy to heat your home.

Switched to Fabric Shopping Containers – Anne & Hugh

We live in Chemainus, and are now using new fabric shopping containers instead of plastic bags when we go the the store. The Chemainus Chamber of Commerce made them and distributed them for free, to cut down on plastic use.

Having My House Insulation Replaced – Brenda

I’m having my house insulation replaced so I will be able to use far less energy to heat my house, which will help the planet.

Switched to New Plastic-Free Cleaning Products – Lily

I am using new cleaning products from a company called Blueland. It is shipped to you in  compostable packaging, They offer dish soap, laundry detergent and hand soap. It comes in a concentrate- you put it in a container and add water. You don’t use plastic containers, and you don’t transport water so it saves on CO2 emissions.

Gave Up My Car – Gloria

I pondered this decision for a couple of years and decided to do it as an 80th birthday present to myself and the earth. Cars emit around 20 pounds of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere for every gallon of gas burned. I qualify for the $45 dollar a year bus pass and I now walk or take buses everywhere I need to go. I am decreasing my carbon footprint, saving money, and improving my health. No car insurance expenses, gas or repairs. I usually walk around 5 kilometres a day and have not regretted my decision for one second!

Switched to an Electric Induction Stove – Jane

I am getting the gas disconnected from my stove and getting a new electric induction stove delivered and hooked up! I am pretty excited about it- this is my first real step in getting rid of fossil fuels in my house.

Switched to a Vegetarian Diet – Kathryn-Jane

I switched to a vegetarian diet in September. This is a win-win switch, as it has both personal and environmental benefits. Growing vegetables requires less land, produces fewer emissions, conserves water, and minimizes pollution. My grocery bill has dropped by at least a quarter. Vegetarian diets promote heart and bone health, diminishes risk of being overweight, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.