environmental citizens organization

ecoCaledon “Walk the Talk” Inspires…..interactive workshop

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Reducing your Energy Footprint Interactive Workshop at Caledon East United Church March 7th

A group of Caledon East United Church members enthusiastically participated in the “Walk the Talk” Reducing your Footprint Workshop March 7th.  Thanks to Karen Hilliard and Cathy Pley and the Caledon East United Outreach committee for hosting the workshop.

Walk the Talk is all about stepping up and doing your part to reduce the amount of energy and your impact on the environment.  Approximately 25 % of all CO₂ emissions are from households making it a big area for each of us to have a positive impact.

Kathryn MacDuffee from ecoCaledon welcomed the group with inspiring words about the environment and our future!  She also summed it up with, “Let us not be content to wait and see what happens. Give us the determination to make the right things happen.”

Other EcoCaledon members (Lou Chiappetta, Amanda Stibrany, and John MacRae) co-presented along with St. Michaels grade 11 student Hannah Rybka.  There were a variety of activities and discussions of how to make an impact on reducing your energy footprint.  Hannah Rybka shared her own experience in reducing her energy footprint demonstrating how all ages can make a difference.  Hannah and others showed how to get started on the Walk the Talk in a variety of ways to make the environment sustainable.

Together participants considered steps to reduce their energy footprint, big and small and to save money on energy use.  Some of the steps that Caledon East United Church participants identified included:

  • using a programmable thermostat
  • not pre-heating an oven
  • unplugging phantom power
  • preparing more for meals that can be reheated as leftovers the next day in the microwave
  • using a clothes line
  • plug in Power Watt Meter to see where power is being used
  • turning off computers and cable/satellite TV box
  • increasing insulation
  • use awnings and window blinds
  • unplug all appliances, TV’s, DVD/VCR’s, radio and lights
  • caulk windows and weather strip doors
  • use LED light bulbs, not compact fluorescent
  • run dishwasher when full, and at off-peak hours
  • plant shade trees and “wind-break” trees
  • composting at AbbeyField
  • open windows at night, no AC
  • better use of off-peak times for laundry
  • install solar panels
  • plastic covering of the Stained glass windows in winter
  • provide better system to recycle on all floors of house

During the workshop, participants discussed ways to reduce energy use in their homes and community to preserve the green community in Caledon and beyond.  As part of the presentation they discussed how you can take the ideas home to get your family involved.  Also, additional information on programs available to make the cost of energy reducing improvements lower were discussed.

ecoCaledon now has a “Thermal Imaging Camera” that can identify hot and cold spots in your house – areas you should consider better sealing or insulating.  Interested workshop participants can have an ecoCaledon volunteer come out to their house to use the camera.

Sharing what you do is a big part of “Walk the Talk”.  Anyone who participates is encouraged to send photos of their actions to ecoCaledon and to their community group to share what they have done to reduce their energy footprint. On our web site we have a very useful check list that you can use to take steps big and small to reduce your energy footprint.  Copies are also available at Caledon United Church and at future “Walk the Talk” workshops.

“Walk The Talk- Reducing Your Energy Footprint” is an initiative that began with the ecoCaledon members thinking about how they could individually and collectively reduce their impact on the environment.  Members each identified areas in their own homes where they could have less impact beginning small and working towards bigger actions.   “With a better understanding of where energy was being used in our homes we could choose some immediate actions which were manageable for us and our families, like turning down the thermostat and using the dryers less. And we each made plans to make larger changes over time.    We started to Walk the Talk…” noted Amanda Stibrany, one of the Walk the Talk presenters.

Now ecoCaledon is encouraging others in Caledon to be a part of “Walk the Talk”.  It has been promoted at the Bolton Farmers Market and Caledon Day to get the word out.  The Interactive presentation/workshop on “Walk the Talk” is being shared with the community through community organizations such as service clubs and churches including Caledon East United.

In the next few months “Walk the Talk” will be delivered to more community groups and service clubs including April 25th at Palgrave United Church.  The experiences of each of these community groups will be shared through ecoCaledon’s Web site and through local media.

The “Walk the Talk” program is sponsored by the Town of Caledon Green fund and delivered by ecoCaledon volunteers.  ecoCaledon is Caledon’s recognized Environmental committee that offers a variety of programs including School programs ( Waste and Water Workshops in Grade Schools ) , Paint a Picture for Water Conservation (Pan-am sports theme this year) and Rain Barrel sales to raise funds for High school graduation bursaries.

For more information on the programs check out the ecoCaledon web site: We are a not for profit group that receives program funding from the Region of Peel and Town of Caledon and partners with the TRCA ( Toronto Regional Conservation Authority) on the Paint a Picture for Water Conservation program.

If you have any questions about the program or presentation please email John MacRae at


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