Trying to be Canada’s first carbon-neutral community

Categories: News
Published on: July 29, 2019

Maclean's / Alireza Naraghi / 23 July 2019

An hour’s drive from Toronto on the northwestern edge of Milton, Ont., is a little-known town with a little-known story of climate-change activism. With about 350 residents, Eden Mills has long sought to preserve its 19th-century charm, making it a haven for big-city escapees who enjoy cycling or placid walks along the Eramosa River. More recently, though, its inhabitants have worked toward a distinctly 21st-century goal: becoming Canada’s first carbon-neutral community.

The project has defined the past 12 years of Charles Simon’s life. He got the idea after watching a TV program about Ashton Hayes, which is aiming to become England’s first carbon-neutral village. It also happens to be located near where Simon, a retired engineer, grew up. After a summer visit to the U.K. in 2007, he returned to his own community with a vision. And to his surprise, his neighbours bought in.

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