10 Sustainability Initiatives in Cape Breton

Where are my fellow Capers at? We all know for a fact that whenever something about Nova Scotia is brought up, we are conveniently left out. I've searched far and wide for some local content, so here is my list of initiatives we can see out in our neighbourhood!

Free energy efficient home products - Efficiency NS : Through this program, you can book an appointment to have a technician install energy efficient products in your home for free. You could save up to $240 a year by taking advantage of free LED Lightbulbs, water-saving showerheads, smart thermostats and hot water tank wraps.

Low Flow Toilet Rebate - ACAP Cape Breton : You can get a $50 rebate on your CBRM Water Bill by installing a 6-litre, low flow toilet.

Green Design - Verschuren Centre : Located at Cape Breton University, this Centre has been designed with the environment in mind. My personal favourite parts of the design are the Living Wall, Motion-Sensored Lighting System and Natural Ventilation.

Unama'ki Institute of Natural Resources Representing the 5 Mi'kmaw communities on the Island, they are all about education, partnership and guidance through a Mi'kmaw perspective on how to maintain and protect our earth. They have an annual summer camp for youth, publish educational materials and manage commercial fishery and moose harvest.

South End Public Garden: This pollinator garden can be found at the old site of the South End Community Centre. The organization often has fundraiser events in the community to contribute to its growth, and bring the neighbourhood together. It is a peaceful place to sit and observe nature.

Washbrook Greenway Coalition This group was created with the intention of creating a large green trail connecting to several parts of Sydney for environmental, wellbeing and tourism purposes. They are still in their early stages of planning, but it appears that it will be beneficial to everyone!

Leaf and Yard Waste Collection The Cape Breton Regional Municipality accepts small leaf and yard waste from residents' weekly green carts, and has three drop-off sites for larger loads. The website linked here has a list of regulations and tips for ensuring your waste is acceptable for collection.

Compost Giveaway Throughout the year, the CBRM also schedules free compost pickup days - all you need is a shovel and container! There is also no limit to how much you can take away. I think this is a great example of the community's efforts in recycling and proper waste disposal; it comes around full circle.

BASE at CBU This program combines the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs alongside of Mi'kmaq teachings. Students can take advantage of the whole island as a case study in how important it is to take care of our resources, then go on to enter a career in preserving the environment.

Cape Breton Environmental Association This group is highly active in the community; they frequently organise clean-up days, educate on the dangers of illegal trash dumping, and are also working on a Documentary on marine debris.

As you can see, we have a balance of industry-led groups and volunteer/community groups working to maintain the beauty of our island. They are also based out of neighbourhoods across the CBRM rather than just in Sydney, allowing more land to be covered. I would encourage all Cape Bretoners to get to know what is going on locally, and if you have the time, get involved! Your efforts will contribute to the bigger picture; that is, making sure this Island is enjoyable for generations to come.

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