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Average Saanich lifestyle uses twice the available resources on Earth

One Planet Saanich a leading model for living sustainably
Cora Hallsworth in the garden of her North Quadra home. Hallsworth is helping to launch the One Planet initiative in Saanich. Travis Paterson/News Staff

A new inititative is hoping to bring a sustainable change to the resource-burning lifestyles of people living in Saanich.

According to Saanich’s 2018 ecoCity Footprint Tool Pilot report, Saanichites, on average, are undoubtedly living a lifestyle that consumes twice the resources the world is capable of producing, measured at 3.3 global hectares (GHA) per capita (in line with the world average). GHA takes into account the fossil fuels burned to live an everyday lifestyle, including resources used in consumable products such as the intense production of dairy and oil. The per capita number among Westerners has grown from 2.7 GHA about 13 years ago, while scientists estimate a 1.7 GHA usage as a sustainble number going forward.

One Planet recognizes that changing individual and household habits is hard, and therefore provides assistance in this area.

North Quadra resident Cora Hallsworth helped prepare the ecoCity Footprint Tool Pilot. Hallsworth is also on the One Planet Saanich team, a movement to help schools, businesses and other organizations create a plan that minimizes our overall carbon and fossil-fuel impact on the Earth.

“Saanich hits on all of the elements,” Hallsworth said. “The District wants to reduce green house gas, reduce energy consumption, and so do people here. We are recruiting Saanich-based businesses, schools or community groups to join the project and build their own One Planet Action Plans using the One Planet Living framework.”

The District of Saanich is on board, and together with the One Planet Saanich team, they’re seeking “integrators” who undergo training to go into the community to help groups and organizations build their One Planet action plans.

There are 16 integrators committed, now One Planet Saanich is looking to enlist stakeholders, Hallsworth said.

One Planet Saanich and the Saanich sustainability team are hosting a pair of events, one today (June 20) called Conversations for a One Planet Region, from 7 to 9 p.m. on June 20, free in lecture hall A240 of the University of Victoria’s Human and Social Development building. The event is in partnership with UVic in the Anthropocene, the District of Saanich, One Earth and Bioregional

Saanich’s sustainability team is also holding a breakfast meeting Thursday morning (June 21) from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Fireside Grill for organizations to attend and ask questions to determine if they are interested in becoming a stakeholder for the project.

Saanich joins the first three other cities to follow the One Planet model with Oxfordshire, England, Durban, South Africa and Elsinore, Denmark.

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The One Planet initiative is coming to Saanich. One Planet logo/