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Efficiency rewarded with pollution

Air mile program arguably increases pollution.

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Efficiency Nova Scotia, the agency responsible helping Nova Scotians reduce energy consumption and improve efficiency, is running a spring pledge program rewarding commitments to energy-saving behaviours with air miles.

“It’s mostly an outreach and education program,” explains Efficiency spokesperson Kevin Harrison. While air travel is the second most climate altering form of long-distance travel (after cruise ships), Harrison feels that air miles are the best possible reminder to do our part to reduce energy waste. That’s because 96 percent of Nova Scotians have an Air Miles card, and are going to use them regardless of incentive programs.

Typical pledges include unplugging electronic devices that aren’t in use, purchasing CFL light bulbs and not idling your car. Harrison says the focus is on things we do everyday, whereas most people fly no more than a couple of times a year.

Efficiency is tracking how many pledges it receives. Each participants gets 25 free air miles, and can get another 15 by sharing information with friends via Facebook. “Air Miles approached us with the idea,” Harrison says. “There is an impact in all we do, but the more we reduce that the more we do for the environment.”

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