Cowichan company GreenCoast Electric’s installation of 64 solar panels on the roof of the main building at a North Island resort will help the operators greatly reduce their dependence on hydro electricity.

COCULLO: Let’s Redesign Rupert, sustainably

With our plan to reimagine the city, let’s reimagine one with no carbon footprint

Monday was Earth Overshoot Day. If you don’t know what that is, it is the calculated date on which the Earth’s resource consumption for the year exceeds its capacity to replenish.

Yep. It was only July and we already blew threw our resource budget for the year. Depressing right? What is more depressing is study after study coming out saying we have 20 years to get our act together, then 15, now what are we down to? Twelve?

But don’t worry about the Earth. She’ll be just fine. It’s humans that are going to lose out in this equation. We are, after all, the only thing that spreads like a virus and Mother Nature is just trying to rid herself of the disease taking over her body.

READ MORE: How to be more sustainable in 2019

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The time to bring some balance back to the world — no, I am not talking Thanos-style balance — was yesterday. The problem is everyone is too slow to change.

Developing nations say they have a right to emit more to make progress while developed nations like to point to large corporations and say there is nothing they can do, for the sake of the economy. And the companies excuses are “jobs jobs jobs for everyone!.” Meanwhile, the little guy and gal are sitting at home saying “why should I do my part, this is beyond one person’s control.”

With Prince Rupert re-imagining the city with their new Redesign Rupert initiative, now is the time to re-imagine a sustainable city.

Before you Google stats on how many GHG’s the city emits or come up with the usual excuses against being environmental leaders — STOP.

It. Doesn’t. Matter.

The time to be bold is now or never. We all need to do our part, regardless of where we stand on the scale of polluters. An eco-friendly city is a city we must prioritize.

Don’t get me wrong, Redesign Rupert has done an outstanding job at bringing all the major players in the city together and I support it. But sadly, during their last workshop, some of the main ideas that came out was a vibrant downtown core, more art, and business opportunities. The only “eco” mentioned was in economy.

READ MORE: Redesign Rupert holds four-day workshop to reimagine the city

Let’s re-imagine a city with connecting bike lanes taking travelers from one end of town to another and more buses to discourage cars. Let’s re-imagine a city with solar panels and upgraded buildings with energy-efficient sources.

Let’s change the antiquated livestock bylaw — also popularly known as the goat bylaw, R.I.P. Tanny and Hanny — so locals can grow their own foods and purchase them from local farmers’ markets, ultimately putting money back into the local economy. Let’s get a real recycling system going on here and some composting too, that can be taken to a local community garden or greenhouse.

Yes, many of these ideas were discussed before, I’m told. But they always get put on the backburner for economic or logistical reasons. But let me remind us that if we put climate change on the backburner any longer on our list of priorities, sooner or later humanity will be on the front burner.

With Redesign Rupert, now is the time to change all that.

READ MORE: COCULLO: Let the girls play: Women in sports are sitting on the sideline


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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