By: Ron Seftel, Bullfrog Power
On Thursday, June 1, I had the opportunity to attend the launch of the Canada C3 expedition before its departure from Toronto at the start of its 150-day journey along Canada’s three coasts.
I was there to represent Bullfrog Power, the expedition’s green energy sponsor. Bullfrog is involved because travelling by ship around Canada’s expansive shorelines and holding events at stops in communities all along the way means that a lot of energy will be used on the trip — and that leads to CO2 emissions.
To ensure that this symbolic journey is as green as possible, Bullfrog Power and our sister company, Less Emissions Inc., are partnering with Canada C3.
Bullfrog Power will provide green electricity for the Canada C3 Ship t’ Shore events across the country as well as green fuel for the first leg of the Canada C3 expedition. This will be the first time that Bullfrog’s green fuel has been used to reduce the impact of ship travel in Canada. The impact of the remaining legs of the journey will be addressed by high-quality carbon offsets from Less Emissions.
For the participants, the hope is that their experiences will help them to become lifelong ambassadors for the values Canada C3 believes will guide the ongoing conversation about Canada’s history and future.
At Bullfrog, we think about those values —Diversity and Inclusion, Reconciliation, Youth Engagement and the Environment — in our own work to inspire people to take action on climate change.
On board, I had the chance to meet Paula Zubkowski, a primary school educator from Calgary. She described how she is already sharing the experience with her classroom through Google Hangouts, expanding the worldview of the kids in her class and bringing home the important messages about inclusion, reconciliation and the environment that the voyage represents.
Another impressive educational aspect of the Canada C3 expedition is that it includes one of Dalhousie University’s new sea-going, mobile laboratories. According to Dal News, the idea for the laboratory came from Doug Wallace, Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Ocean Science and Technology. The laboratory, which I had the chance to visit when aboard the ship, will be the main research centre throughout the journey where work will be done to investigate Canada’s marine microbial diversity. What’s amazing about the lab is the way that everything inside has to be fully contained and secured so that the movement of the ship doesn’t disrupt any of the work they are going to be doing.
And although I couldn’t stay longer on board, Bullfrog will have a presence as Dave Borins, who manages our community renewable projects program, will be travelling for a short part of the first leg of the trip from Toronto to Montreal. He’ll be meeting even more of the participants, sharing the work that Bullfrog Power does and learning in turn from a diverse group of students, artists, educators and explorers.
The weeks and months ahead are going to be exciting ones as we all follow the expedition along Canada’s coasts and through the Northwest Passage. For those of us at Bullfrog Power, we’re looking forward to the ship’s appearance on the West Coast, where we hope to be part of stops with First Nations communities that Bullfrog Power has supported through our community renewable projects program.
For those on board, making that connection between the effects of climate change they’ll see as they travel through the arctic and the new solar installations our customers have helped build through their support of Bullfrog will be a powerful moment as we think about our country’s future and our relationship to our natural environment.