From a few Ottawa friends to a United Nations Partnership: One Change holds first Catalyst Awards at the National Gallery

    Announces new Ottawa campaign to promote "Simple Actions" message

    OTTAWA, April 15 /CNW Telbec/ - This evening, internationally acclaimed
Ottawa-based NGO One Change will celebrate the universal power of simple
actions at the launch of the first Catalyst Awards at the National Gallery of
Canada in Ottawa.
    The Catalyst Awards will recognize four outstanding community leaders and
groups across Canada and the United States who have acted as catalysts for
significant environmental action by helping Project Porchlight grow into a
continent-wide grassroots phenomenon. From its start in 2005 with a group of
friends in Ottawa, the campaign has reached millions of people across North
America and employed 300 people in 2008. One Change empowers people to believe
that simple actions matter and to make smart choices that protect the
    At the awards ceremony, Ontario Environment Minister John Gerretsen will
join Amy Fraenkel, Director and Regional Representative of the United Nations
Environment Programme (UNEP), MP for Ottawa-South David McGuinty, Florence
Murphy of EnCana Corporation and other special guests to mark the official
announcement of One Change's new partnership with UNEP. The affiliation is the
first North American partnership for UNEP in Canada and the U.S. with a
grassroots not for profit organization. The event will be emceed by actress
and television star Mag Ruffman, and will feature inspiring videos of One
Change volunteers and supporters engaged in campaigns throughout North
    From the first and highly successful Project Porchlight campaign in
2005-2006, where 250,000 compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs were delivered
to homes across Ottawa, Project Porchlight has worked with provincial and
local sponsors, MPs, MPPs, and MLAs, as well as 10,000 volunteers and 2,000
community groups in over 500 communities across Canada and the US to deliver a
total of two million CFL bulbs-and spread an important message: Everyone can
conserve energy, save money, and help the environment with simple, effective
    The energy-efficient CFL bulbs have helped residents reduce their energy
use by 1 billion kilowatt hours, save over $86 million, and stop 630,000
tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the air. Project
Porchlight campaigns have been active in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta,
British Columbia, Yukon, Vermont and New Jersey. A new campaign is about to
start in Washington State.
    "We mobilize people from all backgrounds to take action on climate change
in their own neighbourhoods," said Stuart Hickox, Executive Director of One
Change. "This is important work. But the challenge that we are really
addressing is bigger: disempowerment. By providing simple, accessible first
actions to people who have not been engaged in energy conservation or
environmental action, we are building consensus toward solutions and are
helping people to see that everyone has a role to play in solving global
    "Once people make one change in their lives - like changing light bulbs,
they start to think of themselves as participants in solutions and are more
likely to go on to make more changes," said Hickox.
    At the Catalyst Awards Ceremony, One Change will officially announce its
next 'simple action': a new fuel efficiency pilot campaign this spring, during
which 12,000 tire gauges will be delivered to residents in Ottawa, where the
first Project Porchlight campaign was launched in 2005. If everyone in Canada
kept their tires properly inflated, residents would save $1 billion on gas,
cut 2.8 million tonnes of air pollution, and stop thousands of needless
traffic accidents.
    "It just feels right to be starting a new campaign at home where we began
with Porchlight in 2005. Ottawa is a great testing ground for this kind of
grassroots program and we're looking forward to reengaging our volunteer
networks here," said Hickox.
    One Change is the recipient of the 2006 Energy Star Market Transformation
Award, and the 2007 Canadian Geographic Canadian Environment Award. This
month, Energy Star ranked Project Porchlight as the second most-successful
non-profit organization in the United States driving Energy Star pledges in
the United States, which has resulted in thousands of residents publicly
committing to make more energy-efficient choices in their daily lives.
    For current news on One Change initiatives and events, or to volunteer,

For further information:

For further information: and to access the One Change Catalyst Awards
event: Manon Crôteau, Communications and Outreach Manager, One Change, 1 866
585 6359, ext. 218, Mobile (613) 263-0403,

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