ERIN – The Erin Environment and Sustainability Committee (ESAC) celebrated World Environment Day on June 5 at the town yard.
A ceremony also took place to announce this year’s ESAC Environment Award winner.
Five local residents were nominated for their contributions to environmental causes: Liz Crighton, Jen Edwards, Jay Mowat, Abel Page and Val Steinman.
All nominees were strong contenders thanks to their significant contributions to local environmental endeavours, officials say, but Page took home the $500 prize.
A jubilant Page made a passionate impromptu speech about his hopeful message for climate action and sustainability.
He explained to the crowd that while stakeholders focus climate solutions heavily on green technology, he believes that the first step is to actually engage people at the grassroots level so they can all make better informed decisions.
Page grew up in France, where his passion for the environment led him to become a geological engineer.
He worked in industry in Europe, Africa and America for over a decade, helping corporations with Environment, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) compliance and developing and implementing sustainability strategies.
Page has been described as an idealist, altruist and acute communicator.
A relative newcomer to Erin, he quickly put his skills and knowledge to good use by getting involved in local community projects, including local cleanup days and seedy Saturdays.
Page’s move to rural Erin in 2019 helped him refocus on making a change at the local level. He decided last year to start Esper’Ance In Action to find his voice and help more people.
Like the acronym suggests, the Esper’Ance mission is two-pronged: Empower Sustainable Practices and Environmental Regeneration and Advocate and Nurture Climate Education.
Page’s website offers a bounty of information and tools to get involved, including Project Neutral’s free tool to measure your carbon footprint.
After asking questions about individual lifestyle, the tool generates a personalized carbon score report detailing how your daily choices impact climate change.
More importantly, the report provides concrete tips to help reduce your individual footprint.
Esper’Ance aims to create a safe environment where individuals and institutions from across Wellington County can access resources, information and tools to make an impact daily to build a better world.
“My hope is to bring all these different islands of knowledge together to form a continent,” said Page.
Peel, Waterloo and Halton regions already have grassroots umbrella sustainability advocacy groups, but not Wellington county.
Page believes the time has come for Wellington to fill that gap and that Esper’Ance can help by offering a collaborative platform and recognized network at the county level that bring actors together and provides a hub where people can find answers to climate questions.
The idea is for Page to redirect people or resources and point them to the right members in the network.
For more information, visit www.esperanceinaction.com