RMOW launches “Small Steps for Big Moves” campaign for climate action

Publication Date: September 1, 2021


Year-long campaign encourages residents to make impactful lifestyle changes with monthly themes

The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is launching a year-long campaign to encourage every resident in Whistler to make small changes in their lives that will have a meaningful impact to reduce their contribution to climate change.

Entitled “Small Steps for Big Moves”, the campaign runs from September 2021 to August 2022, with 12 monthly themes based on Whistler’s new Climate Action Big Moves Strategy.

“We collectively have a mammoth challenge before us to modify our lifestyles and lessen our contribution to the global crisis of climate change,” said Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton. “The ‘Small Steps to Big Moves’ campaign will propel Whistler residents towards making these key lifestyle changes – whether it is taking the bus more, commuting by biking, or reducing the energy footprint of our homes. Every action matters, and each one of us can make a difference. At the core of this campaign is the concept that when we all act together, our small steps become big moves. The actions we each choose may differ, but the important thing is that we all act.” 

The campaign was developed in partnership with AWARE. Content will appear across the RMOW’s various digital communication channels.

Each month the campaign will: 

  • highlight options for action specific to that month’s theme.
  • create space to ‘ask me how’ with community members already taking action.
  • share quick facts about why action related to that month’s theme is important.
  • ask the community to share what they learned for a chance to win prizes.

Whistler’s latest Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory Report, released in August 2021, found that the majority of emissions in Whistler in 2020 continued to be from passenger vehicles and natural gas use, both at home and in commercial spaces. This remained true despite the significant impacts of COVID-19.

In particular 40 per cent of emissions were from passenger vehicles, 26 per cent from commercial natural gas and 14 per cent from residential natural gas use. The report also highlighted that about three-quarters of the passenger vehicle emissions were from gasoline trucks alone – demonstrating how each person’s individual choice of vehicle ownership has an outsized impact on collective emissions.

“Whistler’s latest Energy and Greenhouse Gas Report clearly shows how the actions each of us choose to take every day make a difference on our community’s contribution to climate change,” added Whistler Councillor Arthur De Jong. “The time for each of us to act is now. The sooner we act, the sooner we can curb the upward trajectory of Whistler’s emissions. I challenge every resident in Whistler to participate in ‘Small Steps for Big Moves’ and make at least one small change in their lives every month so together we can reduce our impact on climate change.”

To make impactful lifestyle changes, all residents in Whistler are encouraged to look out for the monthly themes of the ‘Big Moves for Small Steps’ campaign to find which actions they can begin integrating into their daily lives and then moving those actions forward into future months.

The monthly themes include:

  • September – Consider electric
  • October – Love this place, reduce our waste
  • November – Ride the bus
  • December – Green our gifting
  • January – Decarbonize our diet
  • February – Turn down the heat
  • March – Switch it off
  • April – Choose to reuse
  • May – Go by bike
  • June – Embrace the Valley Trail
  • July – Be water wise

View the “Small Steps for Big Moves” campaign and get a preview of the different monthly themes and recommended actions at whistler.ca/SmallStepsforBigMoves.

Building off Whistler’s Climate Action Big Moves Strategy

The ‘Small Steps for Big Moves’ campaign builds off the ambitious Whistler’s Climate Action Big Moves Strategy, which Whistler council adopted in December 2020. The strategy accelerates action on climate change by focusing the community’s efforts on six Big Moves that need the most attention.

The six Big Moves are:

  1. Move beyond the car – By 2030, 50 per cent of all trips in Whistler are by transit and active transportation.
  2. Decarbonize passenger and commercial transportation – By 2030, 50 per cent of all vehicle kilometres travelled are from zero-emission vehicles.
  3. Reduce visitor travel emissions – By 2030, Whistler demonstrates leadership in redefining tourism in a low carbon world.
  4. Build zero emission buildings – By 2030, all new buildings achieve the top step in B.C.’s Energy Step Code, use only low carbon heating systems, and embodied carbon emissions drop by 40 per cent.
  5. Make existing buildings better – By 2030, reduce emissions from residential buildings by 20 per cent and from large commercial buildings by 40 per cent.
  6. Close the loop and shift toward lower carbon consumption – By 2030, reduce waste sector emissions by 95 per cent and reduce embodied emissions from products and services.

The strategy also sets a substantial GHG reduction target of 50 per cent below 2007 levels by 2030.

Over the upcoming year, the new strategy will be consolidated with Whistler’s 2016 Community Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) into a single “Big Moves + Climate Action Plan” that includes actions for both climate mitigation and adaptation for more efficient action planning and reporting. 

Learn more about Whistler’s Climate Action Big Moves Strategy at whistler.ca/BigMoves.

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