2015 has been a busy year for EcoLiving Events, and the key word is partnerships! EcoLiving does not think of itself as a single entity but as part of an incredible community of sustainability and environmental NGO’s. EcoLiving’s volunteer board believes that no one organization can tackle the large goals of sustainability by itself. Communities and organizations working together toward similar goals can produce an incredible amount of great work.
EcoLiving partnered with OpenStreets Calgary for the City of Calgary’s Earth Hour event in Olympic plaza in March. Over a 1000 guests participated in the event and the two organizations shared volunteer and material resources to double the footprint of the event. The organization’s social media outreach collaboration ensured an incredible turn out.
EcoLiving also partnered with the Toybots organization to create a sustainability curriculum for local schools and to develop an educational and fun event program for K-5th grade students. The students don lab coats and investigate the sustainability of their toys. Children of all ages love analyzing the toys and their own consumer choices. We don’t give kids enough credit for being able to conduct reflexive analysis!
Sustainability in Action
The watchword for EcoLiving Events is Sustainability. EcoLiving has taken the Calgary City council’s definition of sustainable development and added a bit of their own personality. The city’s officially uses the Bruntland definition: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” EcoLiving’s simplified definition is: “Making choices today so we have the ability to make choices in the future.”
EcoLiving is dedicated to sustainability practices in the home, but their own definition of Sustainability and their commitment to partner with other organizations allows for an incredible flexibility in programming and mission objectives. EcoLiving is creating a program to provide people in need total sustainable home upgrades. These upgrades include high-efficiency lights, insulation, smart power bars, floor coverings, and plants. EcoLiving partners with a local artisan to create reclaimed wood furniture. They provide sustainability education to elementary-aged students focused on home energy use analysis and program change, and they seek exciting partnerships with organizations and community associations.
EcoLiving is currently working on creating a leadership program that identifies, supports and tracks young leaders as they navigate the secondary education system and move on to university. The program will provide back-office support, mentorship, grant research, and an enthusiasm to young leaders that want to form their own sustainability or environmental groups or projects. The approach is unique in that it does not have a set completion date. The students are supported for as long as they need support. EcoLiving will educate the program participants about the several great programs and grants already available to them and will assist the young leaders in mapping out and accomplishing their own sustainability goals. EcoLiving is currently in talks with several great organizations to collaborate on this exciting program.
EcoLiving is also in the initial stages of a high-impact, large-scale policy initiative that could significantly reduce the City of Calgary’s household water consumption by simply changing the appearance of our current water bill.
EcoLiving is excited to be a part of Calgary’s Sustainability culture in 2015 and they are looking forward to 2016.