Mission to Earth banner with sketch of city skyline

Youth Summit Celebration

Thursday, May 6 from 3 p.m to 5 p.m.

Congratulations Mission to Earth teams! You’ve successfully completed the City’s Climate Change Youth Challenge and it’s time to celebrate your achievements. In honour of this milestone, the City of Mississauga is hosting an online Youth Summit on Thursday, May 6, 2021.

Agenda

  • Welcome Remarks
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Careers Panel
  • Award Announcements
  • Closing Remarks

How to register

This event is open to the public. We welcome all Youth Challenge participants, high schools, post-secondary students, and all youth in the community to join.

About

The Mission to Earth Climate Change Youth Challenge engaged youth across Mississauga to get involved and help solve some of the biggest climate concerns facing our city. Youth teams were tasked with creating innovative solutions that could transform Mississauga into a climate resilient city by both mitigating and adapting to climate change.

Themes

Youth teams tackled one of four Challenge themes. Each theme is connected to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Theme 1: Electric city

Electric city

The issue

To address climate change, there is a significant spotlight on energy and the need to transition to clean energy sources.

Background

  • Mississauga currently uses 31% renewable energy (mostly hydroelectricity).
  • The following building types use the most amount of energy: residential (51.83%), commercial (15.25%) and education buildings (12.16%).
  • The Climate Change Action Plan’s Buildings & Clean Energy pathway outlines a number of actions to meet building energy demands in a sustainable way to minimize the impacts of climate change.

Challenge question 1

Determine how Mississauga building types can maximize their use of renewable energy, minimize use of natural gas, and/or switch to more efficient energy systems.

Challenge question 2

Find a building project happening in Mississauga and recommend energy conservation initiatives that should be included.

Theme 2: Connected communities

Connected communities

The issue

There’s a need to better connect communities through safe, low carbon mobility and provide residents with opportunities to build strong neighbourhoods, especially in times of emergency.

Background

  • Approximately 80% of all trips to, from and within Mississauga are taken by cars.

Mississauga has approved the Transportation Master Plan and Cycling Master Plan, with a mode share target stating that 50% of all trips to, from, and within Mississauga will be taken by sustainable modes by 2041.

The Climate Change Action Plan strives to empower low carbon and alternative modes of transportation through the Low Emissions Mobility pathway and supports the development of an education program on climate and emergency preparedness through the Engagement & Partnerships pathway.

Challenge question 3

Find a more sustainable way for Mississauga to move by transforming into a low-carbon moving city.

Challenge question 4

Develop a plan to establish Community Climate Resiliency hubs across Mississauga to connect communities to become more resilient, specifically in cases of emergency.

Theme 3: Nature and wellness

Nature & wellness

The issue

Finding space in cities is a challenge, especially when it comes to green spaces, naturalization and local food growing.

Background

  • Mississauga’s natural heritage system covers approximately 9.5% of the city and is home to approximately 2.1 million trees.
  • Climate change impacts, like extreme weather events and invasive species, threaten the resiliency of Mississauga causing challenges regarding biodiversity, stormwater management, and food growing.
  • The Climate Change Action Plan’s Resilient & Green Infrastructure pathway primarily focuses on adaptation measures and nature-based solutions.

Challenge question 5

Determine how we might increase resilience in Mississauga through innovative green spaces.

Challenge question 6

Determine how we might make Mississauga more food secure through the local food movement.

Theme 4: Circular waste

Circular waste

The issue

Society currently operates on a linear, take-make-waste consumer pattern where cost, convenience and single-use items are winning on all fronts.

Background

  • The Region of Peel generates approximately 500,000 tonnes of residential waste each year and diverts 50% from landfill.
  • As Mississauga continues to grow, so will its waste. There needs to be a more effective way to reduce waste, increase diversion rates and keep litter out of the environment.
  • The Climate Change Action Plan discusses municipal waste and litter in the Accelerating Discovery & Innovation pathway, outlining actions to develop and maintain community partnerships and to find opportunities for a circular economy.

Challenge question 7

Determine how we might reduce the use of single-use plastics and keep them out of the environment.

Challenge question 8

Determine how we might encourage individuals to buy less and be more mindful about their purchasing behaviour.

Projects

Check out all of the different project descriptions.

High school teams

1st Port Credit Sea Scouts
  • Challenge question 2
  • Mentor: Francois Byrne, Hybrid Power Solutions

Our project is aimed towards implementing energy conservation efforts at the Small Arms Inspection Building. We propose to install in phrases air source heat pumps, cellulose insulation, an intensive green roof and anchor-mounted solar panels at the SAIB. These efforts combat the key issue about energy consumption in buildings, the heating and cooling aspect which can take up to 80% of a building’s total energy usage. However, these upgrades won’t just decrease energy consumption at the SAIB, but will also create a cleaner environment, reduce GHGs and provide the community with a rooftop garden they can tend and care for.

Green Beans (St. Francis Xavier Secondary School’s Ecoclub)
  • Challenge question 5
  • Mentor: Felicia Radasso, City of Mississauga

Our project aims to fix the issue of urbanization, our carbon footprint and ignorance towards the need to preserve the environment. Many animals such as the milk snake and Jefferson Salamander are at risk of extinction due to these issues. To raise awareness and help combat the consequences of urbanization, our group wanted to focus on helping home-owners renovate their homes to become greener. The final project includes constructing “upwards instead of outwards” by building gardens on the roofs of buildings.

John Cabot Catholic Secondary School
  • Challenge question 2
  • Mentor: Mili Alikalfic, City of Mississauga

With the many upcoming urban developments in Mississauga, one that is bound to shine is Lakeview Village. This waterfront development which is set to be completed in 2023 will be an active hub to thousands of residents. With this building project already having a focus on sustainability, our team built on more ideas to make the property environmentally friendly. We delved on ideas ranging from VOC paints to the concept of grey water which can be of use for residential and commercial properties in Lakeview Village. With our conservation methods, we hope to offer a new insight towards a sustainable future for this booming property.


  • Challenge question 7
  • Mentor: Frances Edmonds, HP Canada

No to Plastic Take outs is basically enforcing consumers to do a survey or a short questionnaire whenever they will order, and indicate if they need cutleries, straws, condiments, and any other things they might need. However, in order to really encourage everyone to participate, we charge customers for each item they choose on the corresponding websites of the store. This will be implemented at the food court in Square One first, and with businesses that are not as big as other fast-food chains. This shows that businesses are pivoting for a better future and really start by changing the systems we are used to.

Lincoln Secondary School
  • Challenge question 5
  • Mentor: Felicia Radasso, City of Mississauga

Our main objective is to increase the pollinator count in Mississauga. We hope to raise awareness about the endangerment of pollinators and mitigate this endangerment by using green spaces more effectively in our community. For example, this will be done by creating pollinator habitats through the implementation of bio-diverse plants within our school courtyard and community creek. The reason for our initiative is to spread our school’s Eco Club Mission into our community and contribute to the potential that our Malton community has in terms of green infrastructure. Despite this being a small change, we believe it has immense capability of improving the current condition of pollinators in Mississauga.

Louise Arbour Secondary School
  • Challenge question 7
  • Mentor: Arielle Navarra, Ecosource

Our team at Louise Arbour has put together a plan to reduce the use of single-use plastic water bottles. We have created two different challenges to encourage all students to use reusable water bottles. Challenge one is to encourage students to bring reusable water bottles to school and the second is a social media challenge to promote using reusable water bottles at home. The next phase is to share the challenges with other schools. Our final goal is to encourage communities to use reusable water bottles and reduce the use of disposable plastic water bottles.


  • Challenge question 8
  • Mentor: Gurdeep Kang, Resource Productivity & Resource Authority
    Our final project is a Swap Shop which is an indoor school-based thrift shop. Students, teachers and local community members donate gently used items (e.g. clothing, books), which are then tracked and displayed inside a classroom. When teachers and students are free during lunch they can come to swap their old items for something in the shop. All they have to do is check out with the cashier who tracks inventory. The swap shop is a fun and effective method to reuse items that would have otherwise ended up in landfills and polluted our environment.
St. Francis Xavier Secondary School’s Ecoclub

Power Rangers

  • Challenge question 1
  • Mentor: Rylan Urban, Energyhub.org and Guidehouse

Instead of aiding excessive use of non-renewable energy, using a sustainable form of energy to significantly decrease contribution to climate change is an initiative that should be taken seriously. Our team’s plan is to use solar panels which significantly reduce carbon footprints, are an easy installation, increase property value, and are a low-risk investment with major returns- and example being the savings schools make from electricity bills. Our idea to help cut down wasted non-renewable energy in schools around Downtown Mississauga is to propose the installation of 5-kilowatt solar panel systems to the Peel board. The cost of a 5 kw solar panel system in a school is approximately $8,000-10,000 dollars (approximately 400,000 dollars annually) something the school will profit as the average lifespan of a solar panel system is 25-35 years. Installing a 5 kilowatt solar panel system allows schools across Mississauga to reap environmental, financial and educational benefits in efforts to increase consumption of renewable energy, and saving up to potentially 1.5 billion dollars in energy costs nationally.


  • Lose It or Reuse It
    Challenge question 7
  • Mentor: Heliya Babazadeh-Oleghi, City of Mississauga

We will be hosting a scavenger hunt challenge in Erin Mills Town centre from October 18th-24th during Waste Reduction Week. The goal is to appeal to our target demographic, to spread awareness about the issue of single-use plastics, and promote proper disposal methods. Participants will complete tasks of finding examples of specific waste reduction or proper disposal methods in and around the mall and their homes. The first 3 participants to successfully complete the scavenger hunt will Erin mills gift cards of various values. In addition to our main scavenger hunt, we can enrich our event by having an art display or sculpture created from recycled waste.

Rick Hansen Secondary School
  • Challenge question 1
  • Mentor: Rylan Urban, Energyhub.org and Guidehouse

Our app targets the average consumer and enables people to lower their energy consumption. In order to encourage people to reduce their energy consumption, the app will provide you with data and the direct effects of your energy choices and what they contribute to. The app is designed in order to promote electrical efficiency which is economically beneficial for consumers and electrical companies, while being environmentally sustainable. Also, educating our community will be the force that drives people to stand behind and support major shifts towards a sustainable future and we hope that we will accomplish that with our app.


  • Challenge question 6
  • Mentor: Jane Hayes, Erin Mills Farmers Market

We have decided to create our own Seed Library for all Mississauga residents. Partnered with the Erin Mills Farmers Market and Mississauga Urban Agriculture Network, we will be collecting seed donations from the public and these organizations for the project. Once the seeds are collected in their corresponding envelope, we can distribute it to residents who want to grow their own food (such as tomatoes, cucumbers and pumpkins). This would allow residents to grow and eat locally grown food while fostering a sense of community between other gardeners. Once a resident has grown their crops, we kindly request they donate some of the seeds from the plant they grew back into the organization so we can continue to maintain the system.

Post-secondary teams

Climate Crisis Connect
  • Challenge question 4
  • Mentor: Andrea Rowe, Greening Sacred Spaces Halton-Peel

Let’s face it, no one is prepared for an emergency right now and we don’t know how to be. Climate Crisis Connect is here to not only train you with precautionary knowledge, but protect your loved ones and bring us together to become a more climate resilient community. Our hub is designed to support the residents of Mississauga by implementing a plan for before, during and after a climate-related emergency. The CCC’s goals are to inform people and prepare citizens when an emergency occurs through virtual and in-person delivery that is accessible to everyone. By implementing our plan, communities can find comfort in knowing there are resources and tools to educate, prepare, and see them through unfamiliar circumstances caused by the effects of climate change.

UTM ALSET
  • Challenge question 3
  • Mentor: Alex Legrain, City of Mississauga

One of the biggest problems in Mississauga and with climate change right now is our transportation system. So many people opt to drive single occupancy vehicles rather than the public transit because the transit sector in Mississauga lacks connectivity and has high ridership inequality. Alset transportation aims to bridge the gap between transportation methods, costs, and destinations by targeting emissions and ridership inequality, and making Mississauga more connected to surrounding municipalities. By making improvements to the transit system, we can better user experience and make Mississauga’s transit sector cleaner, greener and more sustainable.

UTM Electric Vehicle Action Plan
  • Challenge question 3
  • Mentor: Leya Barry, City of Mississauga

Our plan which is called the “Electric Vehicle Action Plan”, is a plan to combat the greenhouse gas emissions contributed by the transportation sector. Currently that number is around 32%, and our plan aims to bring that to 27% by the year 2030. Our plan focuses on three major goals, which are “Awareness”, “Building”, and “Incentivizing”. To achieve these goals, building infrastructure required by electric vehicles is very important for their adoption to increase, creating awareness amongst the community about electric vehicles, whilst removing any misconceptions surrounding them is also very important. Furthermore, by providing incentives by the municipal government can really pursue local residents to make the switch. Some of our incentives include rebates, EV lanes on major city roads controlled by the municipal government and their enforcement using automated license plate readers and free municipal parking for electric vehicles.

UTM Food for All
  • Challenge question 6
  • Mentor: Danielle Reid, Longo’s

Food for All aims to reduce Mississauga’s food waste by 33% by then end of 2030. With massive amounts of still edible foods being discarded yearly, by both residents and the IC&I Sectors of food, change is necessary. We will advocate for revised legislative policies surrounding commercial food waste, and push for greater awareness on the consumer level. Diverting foods that are not desirable to retail stores to food banks and other food rescue operations will help reduce the ever-growing problem of food scarcity amongst under-privileged Canadians.

UTM Foodject: A Better Tomorrow
  • Challenge question 6
  • Mentor: Spencer Karabelas-Pittman, McCain Foods

Our Project, food system in Mississauga, primarily focuses on reducing food waste and ensuring food security for Mississauga residents. Both food waste and food security are substantial components of building a sustainable food system in Mississauga, which has received growing attention since the last decade. The key idea we want to deliver is issues that arise concerning excessive food waste and food insecurity, which would adversely impact the environment and individuals’ well-being. Moreover, increase awareness of food security issues in Mississauga. Besides, we want to address the idea that individuals are able to alter the situation by donating food to the local food banks.

UTM Forth to Transport
  • Challenge question 3
  • Mentor: Matthew Sweet, City of Mississauga

With an ever-growing population, Mississauga needs to continuously find solutions to erase problematic issues within our network in order to create and maintain the most efficient possible infrastructure and transportation to get residents from place to place while doing so safely, cleanly and sustainably. In this proposal we as students at the University of Toronto-Mississauga are going to elaborate on how promotion of clean electrification and proper maintenance as well as construction of new infrastructure can accomplish these goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We will also provide advice and our thoughts through our literature review, and from our findings as you will observe, there is much promise to creating safer, comfortable, sustainable transportation initiatives, helping to erect a better Mississauga, for the well being of all its citizens.

UTM Garlic Mustard from the Creditview Wetland
  • Challenge question 5
  • Mentor Amber-Lynne Lammers, City of Mississauga

As impacts of climate change can disrupt ecosystems and facilitate the spread of invasive species, our team developed an ecological restoration project to eradicate the Garlic Mustard from the Creditview Wetland. The Creditview Wetland provides invaluable ecosystem services and is home to a variety of plant communities and species at risk. Our project aims to boost plant biodiversity by reintroducing native species that were displaced by Garlic Mustard. In doing so, we hope to enhance proper ecosystem functions and the provisioning of ecosystem services by restoring stability at the Creditview Wetland.

UTM Natural Corridors and Credit Meadows Park
  • Challenge question 5
  • Mentor: Amber-Lynne Lammers, City of Mississauga

Our final project seeks to improve biodiversity in Mississauga, in order to improve and increase ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, groundwater recharge, stormwater management, and more. The first part of our project involves restoring the Credit Meadows Park by removing invasive species, planting and protecting native species, and more. The second part of our project is to define effective natural corridors that could be implemented in Mississauga, according to the ecological requirements of the endangered wetlands species, the Blanding’s turtle, which can act as an umbrella species. Strengthening wetland corridors can help increase biodiversity and ecosystem services, as wetlands host high varieties of species and perform beneficial services like groundwater recharge.

UTM Project 905 Sustainability
  • Challenge question 1
  • Mentor: Ahmed Azhari, University of Toronto Mississauga

Global Warming is inevitable and steps must be taken in order to combat this. Renewables such as Geothermal and Solar Energy are options to address this. In order for this plan to succeed, Mississauga must lead by example so that others can follow suit. Through the cooperation of financial institutions and policymakers, we can succeed in our endeavour. Climate Change is Real and the Solution is Now

UTM All the Single Plastic
  • Challenge question 7
  • Mentor Arielle Navarra, Ecosource

Now during the epidemic, most households have seen their income decline. But now, we have a win-win program where you do not have to invest, you just download our app and put plastic waste, PPE waste into our vending machines and you get cash.

UTM ReuZables
  • Challenge question 7
  • Mentors: Carol Chaput and Dave Yousif, Region of Peel

Our project looks at a possible way of implementing a bottom-up approach to the issue of single-use plastics in the City of Mississauga. We believe that change is driven by the collective effort of the citizens. Therefore, we have decided to focus on their education regarding proper waste management, as well as making it easier for them to live a routine free from single-use plastic. We offered a variety of approaches, from educating citizens, to aiding businesses, and even proposing our own study to target the littering of single-use plastics in the public parks of Mississauga.

Mentors

Mentors were key component to the success this program. We would like to thank all Challenge mentors for their participation in:

  • Sharing their time, expertise, experience, and knowledge with teams
  • Providing guidance, support, advice, technical information, encouragement, constructive feedback and input on the team’s project
  • Connecting with engaged and enthusiastic youth who are eager to learn and network