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3ThoughtThursday – Clean energy and camping, ShopNetZero, Bruce County EVs

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

Moving from July and into the best month of the year (and not just because I celebrate my birthday in August), my family of five decided we had outgrown our “sleeps three” travel trailer.

As we jumped into the hot market of selling and buying a travel trailer, we were excited to learn of solar panels being an option. Admittedly I do not know a lot about travel trailers, but I do know about camping and clean energy. Let’s start our #3ThoughtThursday with solar panels and camping.

1. Clean energy conversations and camping with the family. A solar panel on our new trailer can keep us comfortable for days. A seemingly simple panel on the roof keeps the battery at full charge; keeping the drinks cold and the food frozen. And, as the campfire starts to dim, the lights are ready for us to turn on. If you’re a parent, you know lighting helps while brushing a six-year old’s teeth.

There is an extra appreciation for resources when we’re surrounded by nature. Kids and adults alike think twice before running the water or turning on the lights.

Having said this, knowing that our battery has a full charge brings peace of mind and eliminates the need for a generator when we’re backcountry camping. What an opportunity to teach our kids about clean energy.

2. Net-zero products coming to a store shelf near you. While we’re thinking of sitting around a campfire with delicious goods, have you noticed consumer products being advertising as ‘created in a net-zero environment’?

It’s not just big industry who are reaching to be cleaner, it’s local entrepreneurs, too. Local businesses are charting their path to net-zero production. And, when I see these products, I buy these products. Consumers like me are reaching for—and soon will be demanding—these goods.

Much like the #ShopLocal movement, I find myself reaching for the #ShopNetZero products.

Shopping local has been a loud and clear message before and during Covid-19. We know that in order to keep our local treats, we need to continue to support local entrepreneurs.

We also know that to successfully move ahead into a net-zero future, consumers will be demanding to shop net zero too.

3. The EV report makes a stop at Bruce County Council. Coming out of vacation, I joined my colleague Chad Richards to make a delegation to Bruce County Council.

We spoke to elected officials about the recently launched electric vehicle report and shared survey data from 528 EV drivers who are based in southern Ontario. If you haven’t had a chance to peek at the Plugging In report, check it out.

The purpose of the delegation was to share data and recommendations coming out of the research. In the Frontier region of Bruce, Grey and Huron, we are doing good work with chargers. We have a variety of chargers and more are coming online.

The Plugging In report offers data to support informed decisions regarding where and what could be installed to respond to EV driver needs. In fact, later on the Council agenda, County staff brought a report citing the work of NII. The Plugging In findings are already proving helpful for the region.

This is a pivotal time. There is funding available, and we have an incredible opportunity to be strategic and work together.

That wraps up this week’s #3ThoughtThursday. Lots more to come.


Jessica Linthorne is the Director of the Clean Energy Frontier program.


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