'Amazing' new house inspires visitors

The Camp Kawartha Environment Centre opened its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday to showcase to the community its many cutting-edge sustainable features.

"Today we're really looking at carbon reduction and footprint reduction," said marketing and promotions specialist Allison Hands. "There's some really easy ways people can reduce their footprint and help the Earth."

Located on Pioneer Rd. in the Trent Nature Sanctuary at Trent University, the building is one of the greenest in the nation. It was built by students at Fleming College and fuelled by community donations, including $100,000 from the Gainey Foundation.

The open house attracted a steady flow of curious people, a total of 103, throughout the day. Many took part in tours of the building inside and out.

"I think this is amazing," said Trent environmental studies student Saubyah Merchant, 30. "I wish I had a house like this."

One the founding member of Peterborough Green-Up, Margeree Edwards, was snapping pictures of the centre's rainwater collection system.

"I had to come and see how they packed so many things into this house," she said. "I think it's an innovative place."

The educational event also featured local environmental organizations, such as the Otonabee Regional Conservation Authority, Transition Town Peterborough, Sustainable Trent and the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre.

Hands said people are surprised to learn how easy it is to have a green home.

"Little things like walking more and using reusable grocery bags really help," she said. "You don't have to install a $20,000 geothermal system, although that's very helpful too."

Just last week, the centre installed 44 new solar panels at the back of the house. The panels will be hooked up this week, Hands said.  

"Today people have been commenting that the building is bright, open and inspiring," Hands said.

Other sustainable features include super-insulated straw-bale, hemp-crete and slip-straw walls, a rainwater collection system and wetland water treatment system, low energy LED (light emitting diode) lighting, a green roof planted with native species, a geothermal heating system and non-toxic finishes.

NOTE:Local musician, environmentalist and puppeteer Glen Caradusperformed for the children with his dancing stick puppet, David Suzuki.

Posted By ANDREA HOUSTON , EXAMINER STAFF WRITER

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Small changes

What you can change, and what you'll save in a year:

Pack a litterless lunch -one kilogram of waste

Reuse paper -four kilograms of paper

Dry clothes on the line once each week -50 kilograms per year

Walk, ride a bike or take public transit to reduce travel by car by 10 kilometers each week -250 kilograms per year

Plant a tree -1,000 kilograms per tree

Replace incandescent bulbs with compact florescent bulbs -1,000 kilograms per bulb

Reduce household waste by one half through recycling, composting, refusing single use containers and purchasing products with less packaging -1,000 kilograms per year

Lower the thermostat by two degrees -up to 1,000 kilograms each year

Install a low flow showerhead -up to 2,000 kilograms each year

Source: The Camp Kawartha Environment Centre


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Crystal Edwards

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CENTURY 21 United Realty Inc., Brokerage*
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