Bring your mug and your optimism


Glimpse of the Glebe –

The first of a series of Coffeehouses on Sustainability was held January 27 in the Glebe Community Centre.

Photo: Jennifer Humphries


Editorial Jan Feb 2024

The energy (pardon the pun) in the room was electric (again, pardon!)

The first Coffeehouse on Sustainability held at the Glebe Community Centre on a Saturday morning in January had energy to burn (again, sorry, a no-longer-works metaphor).

This one was on “homes and energy” and had discussion tables (oh, the noise, noise, noise, noise!) on solar panels, heat pumps, windows, air sealing – all talking about how to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Each discussion table was animated by a “knowledgeable neighbour” – someone in the community with real-life experience with such things as solar panels in Ottawa in winter or the ins and outs of heat pumps in the frozen north. There were two short presentations, spaced out over the two hours, that gave useful information about the City’s Better Homes Ottawa loan program and a case study on how the energy efficiency of a red brick Glebe home built in 1902 was improved.

Future coffeehouses will deal with reducing your carbon footprint, greenspace and water, transportation, zero-waste living and what to do about climate-caused risk of flooding.

The underlying theme of these sessions, it seems to me, is the need for, and value of, individual grassroots action. What can I do myself to contribute, in whatever small or large way, to the health and future of my world? It’s a note of optimism in a dark, dark time.

It’s also about leadership. The Glebe Community Association’s Environment Committee, along with CAFES, did not just sit in meetings bemoaning the state of the environment – they showed leadership. They did something about it. And something practical, concrete, helpful to us who want to save the planet but – where to start?

Start here. The next one is February 24 at the Glebe Community Centre. Bring your mug.

–Liz McKeen

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