Each year the Regional Carbon Initiative gathers feedback from its members. This comes from events, round tables, one-on-ones and year-end questionnaires. This feedback is key to how the RCI operates and the direction their members feels the program should develop.

One piece of feedback that the RCI has noted for a number of years now is ”I wish there was some way that our GreenTeam could engage our staff in a fun and meaningful way.” The RCI took this feedback to heart, and with help and direction from some passionate members; we have developed the 30-day Carbon Cleanse!

The Carbon Cleanse is a series of sustainability challenges following four weekly themes: Heating, Electricity, Waste, and Commuting. The Carbon Cleanse starts on March 30th (the month after Earth Hour), overlaps with Earth Day (April 22) and leads to SWR’s Evening of Recognition (April 30th). Each participating RCI Member collects outs by participating in pre-designed champion and staff challenges.

This inaugural year for the Carbon Cleanse has come out of the gate strong.Over a dozen RCI members have signed up for the Carbon Cleanse and we are already seeing some exciting ideas for how to participate! Some of the activities that are taking place over the challenge are:

  • A Sweater Day where staff turns down the heat
  • A Desk Energy Audit where electricity is monitored
  • A Litterless Lunch where waste is cut down and,
  • A Smart Commute Day where staff limit their transportation carbon footprint

Look for the Carbon Cleanse winner, which will be announced at the Evening of Recognition in April.

We hope that you’ll join us and share fruits of your efforts on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #CarbonCleanseWR. Let’s spread the word on reducing carbon in Waterloo Region!


– Reuben DeBoer | Regional Carbon Initiative Program Coordinator