BEC and Climate Change

BEC can help people decide where to put their efforts, adapt to new conditions, and create action agendas.

The need for climate action is urgent! Yet the other sustainability issues cannot be ignored – especially the biodiversity crisis, and unrelenting pressure on natural resources on land and in water. The natural world is holistic and all these issues are related to climate in some way. Here’s now BEC can help with climate action:

BEC Can Help People Choose Where to Put their Efforts

The number and urgency of climate issues can overwhelm people. BEC focuses people on an area of interest, where they can best contribute. All BEC Themes can relate to climate action. For example:

  • Waste – Reuse and recycling help reduce mining and manufacturing , and this mitigates climate change.
  • Food – Organic farming or gardening reduces artificial fertilizer production, which is a contributor to greenhouse gasses.

BEC is Agile – Permitting Quick Changes in Focus as Conditions Change

Stakeholder involvement and public engagement permit BEC to respond quickly to new issues and opportunities. BEC Tools help too:

  • A Database of Sustainability Projects can show examples of climate actions under any Theme, providing ideas;
  • A Sustainability Stakeholders Council can develop climate projects to address new opportunities in the community;
  • Demonstration Projects show methods to address climate issues;
  • Public Theme workshops can focus on climate aspects of a Theme;
  • Sustainability Plans can proposes climate actions (see next).

BEC’s Sustainability Planning Tool Can Create Climate Action

Sustainability plans in Ottawa schools and communities have proposed many climate actions. This tool could be used just to focus on climate as well. Below is a sampling of individual and school/community action items proposed in nine Sustainability Plans.


Bus to work and store, Use car share and carpool, Live near work, Limit air travel. Affordable housing near transit, Fundraise for kids bike safety equipment, More pathways.

Power down electronics after use, Have a home energy assessment, Hang clothes to dry, Insulate Join a Community Energy Network, Organize access to libraries and public buildings during heat waves.
Design Use passive solar design, Green the roof, Incorporate student rental into house, Plant shade trees. Attend conversations on planning, Xeriscape a public park, Form a development discussion group.

Conservation easement on your land, Plant a nature garden. Create a forest management plan. Plant trees in urban areas, Support programs to connect children to nature, Restore urban greenspace.
Food Eat local food, Donate fruit and nuts, Farm or garden organically, Cook from scratch, Teach cooking. Start a community garden or school garden, Buy local food for cafeterias. Develop a farmers market.
Natural Capital Plant trees. Think life cycle when purchasing, Collect rainwater, Drink tap water, Use low flush toilets. Create rain gardens. Join a stream-watch program. Maintain natural watersheds, Conserve forests.
Waste Loan and recycle items, Buy items with recycled materials, Repair furniture, Dispose of hazardous waste. Restore old bicycles, Organize school and community give-away days, Organize used book sales.

Do forest wellness walks, Don’t use pesticides or herbicides or spray cans, Use natural house cleaners. Increase access to natural spaces, Start school walking clubs, Use green walls to filter air in buildings.

Practice non-motorized recreation, Join hiking tours, Paddle or sail local lakes & rivers, Take kids to parks. Develop walking trails, Make school & community hiking tours, Organize farm tours, Green sports events.
Sense of Place

Take friends to your favourite natural area, Take co-workers on noon-hour walks, Attend local fairs. Create a community gathering spot, Put benches on residential streets to encourage walking and meeting.


All Saints Catholic School Sustainability Plan

Woodroffe High School Sustainability Plan

Colonel by Secondary School Sustainability Plan

Earl of March Secondary School Sustainability Plan

Sir Robert Borden High School Sustainability Plan

Hintonburg Community Sustainability Plan

West Carleton Community Sustainability Plan

Lowertown Community Sustainability Plan

Kanata North Community Sustainability Plan

For more on Sustainability Planning Tool, see Biosphere Eco-City Model.