Efforts to build environmental resilience recognized at annual awards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                          Nov. 12, 2015

9 awards handed out to celebrate community action towards sustainability

Kitchener – The REEP Green Solutions annual awards event tonight celebrated people who are building our community’s resilience by taking action to reduce our impact on the environment and adapt to our changing climate. The event recognized a diverse range of 21 nominees in nine categories for efforts to improve residential energy efficiency and improve stormwater management at homes and businesses.

“Congratulations to all the homeowners and businesses who have taken action!” said Mary Jane Patterson, REEP Green Solutions executive director. “You are a model for continued action in Waterloo Region.”

The nine award winners recognized were:

  • Homeowner Impact AwardJeff and Daria Casello of Waterloo who upgraded their 1895 era home, which resulted in energy savings of 20% on their utility bills and reduced 5 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Contractor Impact Award Aire One KW referred 12 Homeowners to REEP to complete their energy evaluations. Those homeowners averaged 2 tonnes of Green House Gas reductions per home and shaved 30% off their energy consumption.
  • Student Engagement AwardThe School of Trades and Apprenticeship at Conestoga whose faculty bring their construction students to REEP House to learn about how a century home was upgraded.
  • Residential Stormwater Award: Cambridge – Mary-Louise Byrne and Alain Pinard installed French drains, permeable paving, a rain garden and infiltration galleries to keep their basement dry and improve their back yard.
  • Residential Stormwater Award: Kitchener- Tim and Heidi Mussar installed a French drain system that leads water away from their back fence into two new rain gardens. They now have a dry backyard and earned a 45% stormwater credit from the City of Kitchener.
  • Residential Stormwater Award: Waterloo – Ken and Elizabeth McLaughlin along with their neighbour Catherine Fife worked together to replace their paved adjoining driveways with permeable paving strips.
  • RAIN Community Engagement Award – The main campus of the University of Waterloo provides 19 courses per year related to stormwater management and actively involves students in campus stormwater management projects that feature permeable paving and drought-tolerant, native landscapes.
  • Stormwater Management Improvement AwardJohnsonite Canada Inc. increased its stormwater sustainability by using simple technologies to soak up and clean stormwater from 60% of its parking lot.
  • RAIN Innovation AwardGrand River Transit’s Strasburg Operations Centre features permeable paving around eight trees, two bioswales and a 250,000 L underground cistern that collects rooftop water. The harvested rainwater is then filtered and reused to wash their transit buses.

“As we celebrate, we are conscious of the global picture we fit into,” said Patterson. “Climate change urgently needs to be addressed and soon world leaders will gather in Paris, France to determine next steps. We were founded 16 years ago in response to the Kyoto Accord. We are now contributing towards a made-in-Waterloo Region plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions and we are ready to work with the federal and provincial climate change Ministers to implement their game plans.”

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