Those tempted to think of Canada as “America’s Hat” may have to think again. In fact, our neighbor to the north has some solid environmental credentials.
While Americans produce 1584 pounds of solid waste per capita per year, Canadians produce only 921 pounds. Americans also use 100 gallons of water per day. Canadians use slightly less at 87 gallons/day.
Incentives and Rebates
The Canadian government has an extensive system of rebates and incentives to encourage sustainability. For instance, British Columbia subsidizes energy efficient vehicles, refrigerators, composters, furnaces, boilers, pumps, windows, toilets, and more. Click here and here for more details and a list of programs.
Canadians also rely on more sustainable energy sources. Hydropower is in use across the country, comprising 58% of energy production nationwide and a full 92% of the energy in Quebec. Hydro-Quebec, the province’s power company, also has pilot programs in wind power and methane recapture. They even provide grants for home geothermal heat pumps. And the price? Quebec has some of the lowest electricity rates in North America.
Room For Improvement
The Oil Sands of Alberta – The oil reserves in Alberta may be crucial to Canada’s economy, but the product produces even more CO2 emissions than regular oil.
The Kyoto Protocol – Canada just isn’t going to make it here. Their emissions have risen since 1990, not fallen.
Solar Power and Electric Vehicles – Cold and wet weather seriously interfere with these crucial technologies.