10 Feb Confronting the hidden costs of sustainable living

Guest blog post with YCI Innovate MY Future volunteer, Elanakayon Annalingam


Elanakayon Annalingam is a member of the Sustainable Scarberians, an Innovate MY Future Climate Catalyst team. In this guest blog, he shares his thoughts on the complexities that surround sustainable living.

As Scarborough residents, we know that community members already struggle to make ends meet and find the idea of sustainable living financially out of reach. Our goal was to research methods and tools to provide affordability. However, we thought it would be helpful to offer a bit of climate education to the community as well.

We hosted an event at a Scarborough Civic Centre Committee Room, offering space for our partners—municipal and local organizations, as well as local academics—to provide an educational experience. We also created a competitive activity for the attendees to apply their learnings. We hosted another event at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus and held a “round-table” discussion on the affordability issue and the ways we could address it. We also had local and student groups join to provide information on their organizations.

Sustainable Scarberians event at Scarborough Civic Centre Committee Room

We hope that the attendees who have the capacity to take climate action join various community organizations in order to do so. People who are just trying to get by may not have the time to take climate action. My major takeaway is that we need to provide more accessible forms of climate action so that people with a lack of resources have the tools necessary to make change, in their own way.

Upon completion of this project, I felt like I had a better understanding of where my community is at in terms of their understanding of climate change and their acknowledgement of the issues that exist within their local community and the world at large. I hope that we have motivated more people to partake in climate action and that we can collaborate in the future.




About The Sustainable Scarberians

The Sustainable Scarberians are creating awareness of climate issues among Scarborough residents and ensuring all families are included in important, community level conversations about sustainable, liveable cities. Their goal is to ensure that no family must choose between sustainability and survivability. Through community events, the team offers informative and educational resources to help community members choose behaviours that help them live a more sustainable lifestyle. Follow them on Instagram.


About YCI’s Innovate MY Future

YCI’s Innovate My Future project enables youth across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) to take action and address local climate issues in their communities.

Learn more about how YCI’s Climate Action Catalysts are tackling climate change in their communities and make your climate action commitment today at www.youthclimateaction.ca.

All of YCI’s programs are designed with sustainability in mind. Read more about our global solutions.


YCI’s Innovate MY Future is funded by the Government of Canada under the Canada Service Corps Program.