Woodstove Exchange

The Woodstove Exchange Rebate Program is running and is applicable within the SLRD only (from north of Lions Bay to Lillooet).

A new certified wood stove which replaces an old wood stove attracts a $250 rebate. Proof that the old stove had been in use before and has been rendered unusable (eg by removing door hinges) is required. If a pellet stove is installed or a gas/propane stove, the rebate becomes $400. If a heat pump is installed, the rebate is $600.

Current registered dealers are Joe's Fireplace in Squamish and Revitup in Lillooet however it is possible to do the paperwork required through SSCAS, regardless of where the new heating device is purchased, provided the other requirements are met.


BC's Woodstove Exchange program was implemented to encourage residents to change out old smoky woodstoves to low emission appliances such as clean burning woodstoves that are CSA or EPA approved. The intention of the program was to improve air quality and fuel efficiency by having the province collaborating as a whole to address this problem.

Woodstove Exchange program

Clean Air Commute

Clean Air Commute is a program designed to shift commuter behaviour from single passenger vehicle usage to adopting preferred modes of transportation for the protection of air quality in the Sea-to-Sky Airshed. This community-based social marketing program employs the use of prompts, incentives, pledges and reminders, while delivering events (e.g. Bike to Work Week, Clean Air Day, Compute the Commute) and initiatives (Idling Outreach, carpooling workshops) that enable commuters to model desired clean air behaviour (i.e. taking public transit, cycling, carpooling, being idle-free) towards forming habits that will lead to long-term behaviour change. The outcome of decreasing single passenger vehicle usage by increasing carpooling and cycling behaviours within the region is a measurable reduction in vehicle emissions (comprised of harmful air pollutants and climate change causing GHG gases), which serves to protect the quality of air and attendant values in the Sea to Sky Airshed.

The goal of the Clean Air Commute program is to reduce single passenger commuter trips (including getting to and from school) and the emissions they release in the Sea to Sky Corridor. This is achieved through meeting the following objectives annually:

  • Increasing bus ridership
  • Increasing participation in carpools
  • Increasing ridership in programs like Jack Bell Rideshare
  • Promoting cycling as a preferred mode of transportation for commuting by a) increasing participation in events like Bike to Work & Commuter Challenge, and b) by creatively promoting bicycle infrastructure and creating bike travel kits for regional communities);
  • Leading an Idle-Free campaign that obtains commitments from commuters / businesses not to idle;
  • Creating and distributing prompts for commuters that warn about potential health effects of poor air quality related to single-passenger vehicle usage (i.e. hand out at events that promote the Clean Air Commute program such as Clean Air Day and Compute the Commute).
  • Aiding the acquisition of bike infrastructure by businesses and communities
  • Finding solutions to regional transit challenges through dialogue-based events and participation in transportation demand management planning processes


  • 5,000 tonnes CO2 equivalent GHG reductions
  • 4,000 tonnes CO2 equivalent CAC reductions
  • Creation of social marketing tools for clean air behaviour
  • Outreach to public and businesses in multiple communities cultivating clean air behaviours

Stay tuned for regular updates on these important initiatives through our blog and newsletter!

Habitat Improvement Project

SSCAS is the proud recipient of $25,000 for its Sea to Sky Habitat Improvement Project (S2S HIP). Generously provided by provided by CN Rail and Tree Canada through EcoConnexions: From the Ground Up 2013 fund.

The Sea to Sky Habitat Improvement Project (S2S HIP) helped restore three riparian sites through planting of native trees and vegetation, offering long-term benefits to local and regional air quality while also reducing GHGs. One of the sites is located in Squamish (Britannia Slough Sub-Basin) and the other two are located in the Whistler area (Cheakamus River & Spruce Grove). Planting took place at all sites at the end of September 2013, corresponding with the Rivers Day Celebration. Students from Waldorf Elementary helped plant the Spruce Grove site, and BCIT students helped plant the Britannia Slough site, in addition to many other volunteers from the community. Sponsors and partners were in attendance at both events to show their support. An interpretive sign featuring the ecological and community benefits of the project will be placed at Squamish site in Spring 2014.

Grade 3 students from Waldorf Elementary with representatives from CN Rail and Tree Canada- Spruce Grove, Whistler

Idling Outreach

SSCAS conducts Idle-Free Outreach periodically throughout the airshed. The program aims to raise idling awareness among local residents, with the ultimate goal of improving air quality in the Sea to Sky corridor by reducing unnecessary vehicle emissions, which are a key source of air contaminants and greenhouse gases. The program engages the public using a community-based social marketing approach designed to make motorists aware of the negative impacts of vehicle idling and the benefits of reducing their idling. It also involves monitoring idling behavior, identifying sites where vehicles frequently idle (“hotspots”) and providing signage, where needed. Outreach work is focused on hotspots.

Myths and Facts About Idling

MYTH: Idling uses less gas than restarting the engine. Studies clearly show that idling for over 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more CO2 emissions than restarting your engine. The amount of time to offset any potential maintenance costs to the starter or battery is under 60 seconds. So, as a guideline, if a car is stopped for more than 60 seconds the engine should be turned off.

MYTH: Idling warms the engine. Idling is not an effective way to warm up your vehicle, even in cold weather. The best way to warm a car is to drive it. The tires, transmission, wheel bearings and other moving parts all need to be warmed up for the vehicle to perform well, and most of these parts do not begin to warm up until you drive.

FACT: For the average vehicle with a 3-litre engine (e.g. 2000 Nisan Patrol) every 10 minutes of idling costs more than a quarter of a litre in wasted fuel or approximately 0.6 kg of carbon dioxide.

FACT: If Canadians avoided idling for just three minutes every day of the year, CO2 emissions could be reduced by 1.4 million tonnes annually, which is the equivalent of taking 320,000 cars off the road for the entire year.

Reference: BC Climate Action Toolkit. 2014. Idle Reduction Bylaw.

To learn more about about idling issues, impacts and additional resources on idling click here

SSCAS Idle Free Reports

SSCAS Idle Report 2013

SSCAS Idle Report 2014