New Book Gives Tips on How to Build a Carbon-Neutral Village

September 14, 2010 - News Release

Books are nothing new at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival. But this weekend’s literary event will include the launch of a homegrown publication about the village’s carbon-neutral project drawing on research smarts from the nearby University of Guelph.

So You Want to Go Carbon-Neutral?: It Takes a Village! will be launched Sept. 19 by Prof. Jonathan Newman, director of the School of Environmental Sciences (SES).

Led by Eden Mills architect Charles Simon, the project is intended to make the village the first carbon-neutral spot in North America.

U of G faculty, staff and students have helped study the municipality’s two-year-old project to reduce its carbon emissions and help slow global warming.

Students taught by SES professors Andy Gordon and Paul Sibley have surveyed residents to collect data on carbon emissions and carbon sequestration. Project organizers and SES researchers have also discussed ideas for growing trees or grasses to help lock up carbon emissions and supply biofuels.

Although the emphasis of the project has been on the village, the results have a larger impact, said Gordon.

“This is great exposure for the University, a real-hands on opportunity for the students and of practical importance for society in general.”

The new handbook written by project participant Linda Sword describes how the village established its project to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The book discusses such topics as community gatherings, installation of rooftop solar panels and geothermal heating, tree planting, green classrooms and even writing of a carbon-neutral anthem.

Organizers have looked for ways to measure progress in reducing use of fossil fuels and to use soils and plants to offset emissions, said Sword.

The group hopes the new book will inspire similar projects elsewhere, she added.

The book launch will take place at 2 p.m. in the village.

Prof. Andy Gordon
School of Environmental Sciences
519-824-4120, Ext. 52415

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or

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