Life in the Green Lane

Environmental journalist Candice Batista shares video clips and eco-savvy advice from her TV show, A Greener Toronto.

Remember August 14th? Not ringing a bell? Remember the blackout? Now I have your attention! To commemorate this event, Ontario municipalities are being challenged to an energy conservation duel…how cool! I love this idea! It’s a province wide call to action to challenge Ontarians to conserve energy on August 14th. A day all of us remember well, a day that for me was a BIG WAKE UP! call. Here in North America we use electricity like a drug and boy are we addicted! Woodstock, Ontario Mayor Michael Harding issued the challenge this morning. He’s asking municipal leaders across Ontario to compete in the Count Me In! Community Challenge Day on August 14th, 2009. The challenge has already been accepted enthusiastically by the representatives of 19 other municipalities who have each committed to reduce their overall energy consumption between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the Community Challenge Day. The Count Me In! Community Challenge Day takes its name from the ongoing theme for Energy Conservation Week 2009 (May 17-23). Ontarians are being asked to pledge a commitment and to create a personalized conservation plan at, from now until Challenge Day. Participating municipalities can compete in two different categories: The highest percentage drop in electricity consumption on August 14, and the highest per capita participation in the Count Me In! pledge drive. Results of the province wide challenge will be announced at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s Annual Conference on August 19th in Ottawa. The City of Woodstock has played a leadership role among Ontario municipalities over the past few years encouraging energy conservation with its August 14 Blackout Day initiative. This year, Woodstock has been joined by the Ontario Power Authority, the Independent Electricity System Operator, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, and the Electricity Distributors Association to create the Count Me In! Community Challenge Day. Municipalities which have made an early confirmation of their participation in the challenge are: Aurora, Callander, Elliot Lake, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kenora, Kitchener, London, Norfolk, Orangeville, Penetangui shene, Peterborough, Sarnia, Tecumseh, Tillsonburg, Township of East Ferris, Paris and Waterloo. Come on Toronto, let’s show them what we can do! Eco Candy.