Big Bend Market presents the 2015 EcoLiving Fair & Seedy Saturday in Red Deer!

Big Bend Market presents the 2015 EcoLiving Fair & Seedy Saturday in Red Deer!

Location: Red Deer College – Forum & Margaret Parsons Theatre

Saturday March 21st, 2015
10:00am – 5:30pm

The demand for sustainable living solutions continues to grow in Central Alberta so ReThink Red Deer is proud to host the EcoLiving Fair + Workshops & Seedy Saturday!

This unique spring event is a showcase of dozens of exhibitors providing local food, products and services for sustainable and eco-friendly living where you have the opportunity to take in a workshop (or two!) to build practical skills for thriving in the 21st Century! It also features an open-pollinated and heirloom variety seed swap called “Seedy Saturday” and showcases the new Central Alberta Seed Bank initiative sponsored by the Bauta Family Seed Initiative and Seeds of Diversity Canada.

2015 EcoLiving sponsors include:
– Big Bend Market (presenting),
– Peavey Mart (workshops),
– Red Deer College Green Campus (venue),
– USC Canada (Bauta Seed Initiative),

The list of confirmed exhibitors and workshops is growing! Please purchase your workshop tickets at the event registration desk on March 21.

Confirmed Workshops:
– Rainwater Harvesting: 4-Season Use and Navigating the Permitting Process in Alberta
– Repair Cafes: If it’s broke, you can fix it!
– World Water Day – water and sustainable development
– Seed Saving for quality seeds

Access to the event is free but there is a fee for participating in the workshops – $5 each or $20 for an unlimited pass (cash only please). The workshops open at 10:00am and run until 5:30pm. For those wanting to continue the conversations and idea sharing we are looking at hosting a Repair Cafe workshop during the day, and a Green Drinks social hour at the College’s Farside Lounge immediately after the event.

Full Exhibitor and Workshop details can be viewed here:

1) Invitation Letter –

2) Exhibitor & Workshop Registration –

*Registration deadline is Feb 28*

Promotions for World Water Day (March 22), the International Year of Soils, and the Lexicon of Sustainability Exhibit will be posted along with the workshops very soon!

About EcoLiving (

EcoLiving Events has been in operation since 2002 and has a proven track record of success. The organization is run by a volunteer board whose members meet once a month to plan events. All of the events over the last nine years have been volunteer driven.

EcoLiving brings environmental innovators together to talk about their projects and to learn from each other. This interaction between innovators is very important, as it could lead to new or improved technologies. EcoLiving provides events to teach Calgarians (and others from around western Canada) about ways to reduce our collective ecological footprint, create more sustainable and energy efficient buildings, and share information about local environmental initiatives and services. These events show citizens how to save money while using fewer resources.

Sustainable School Blog Feb 6

February 6th Teaching Plot

Continuing on our narrative curriculum, we’ve taken our charcters (Horse with Mustache, WolfFang and others) and began to create a story, complete with problem for characters to solve. We suggested that the problem revolve around a sustainability issue. (We had a school covered in garbage by an evil uncaring monster)


People weren’t recycling, so Havy the Hound had to fix it and after Havy the Hound fixed it, everybody saw how great recycling is.

What we Learned:

The fascinating part of this lesson was that the youngest grades had the easiest time creating an original story and problem for their character. It seemed as the classes became older, their stories drew more from known (read Disney) films and characters than from the students own imaginations.

 What We Got Wrong:

This week didn’t show any glaring incorrect assumptions. The students had a great time working in groups and they seemed to enjoy the lesson.

Best Quotes:

“Well, most times the bad guy learns his lesson by the end of the story and becomes a good guy, but most times they don’t do that and they stay a bad guy, and some times they just stay in the middle.”

Sustainable Schools January 16th

January 16th

 Teaching Story Elements (Character and Plot) and Sustainability

Our approach this lesson was to create a character and story for each classroom. We wanted to tie the idea of Sustainability to an ongoing narrative that each class created. We first created classroom names and mascots like “The Razor Raptors” and “The Horses with Moustaches.”

We also started giving our mascots a backstory and a reason for their interest in Sustainability. One mascot’s home had been covered in trash, so he wanted to make sure that the world new how to recycle. We drew some great pictures of our mascots:

Introducing the Diggers!

Introducing the Diggers!


Introducing the Flying Monkeys!



What we Learned:

Any parent knows this but we saw firsthand how much Minecraft and Frozen dominate kids popular culture. If you need a quick example to highlight sustainability, you can’t go wrong talking about chopping down trees in Minecraft. We’ll be making a Minecraft Youtube video shortly to show how Sustainability concepts are used in the game. Many thanks to the kids at Atlas for opening our eyes to the possibilities!

What We Got Wrong:

The Kindergartners and the Grade Ones had some difficulty talking about the concepts of sustainability and conservation, but they understood why we recycle: “So stuff doesn’t get wasted.” Forward going, we’ll break the larger concepts down into smaller fields.

Best Quotes:

“Our mascot can’t be just a horse, it should be a horse with moustache.”

“Sustainability is about the choice to make a choice by choosing to be able to make choices.”

Note: This is a frighteningly accurate definition.

Sustainable School Blog

We’ll be blogging about our experiences providing sustainability education and resources to Atlas Learning Academy every Friday until the end of the school year. We’re doing this to document what we learned as well as what we need to improve upon in the future.

January 9th

We just completed our first set of classes to K-5 students at Atlas Learning Academy. Many thanks to the teachers and admin at Atlas, you made us feel so welcome!

What We Learned:

1.  Mike suffers a brief moment of deep existential panic before he enters a classroom full of students. See photo below:


Mike's Frightened Face

Mike’s Frightened Face

2. Conveying the concept of Sustainability seems to be a little more difficult than the concepts of Conservation, Protecting the Environment, or Recycling. Our working definition is that Sustainability means making choices now so that we have the ability to make choices in the future. The concept of planning for The Future is difficult for some adults, and some of the students also had difficulty grasping the idea that the choices we make today can affect us days, weeks and years to come.

 Best Quotes:

We chose to lead off our discussion with the cookie question: You can have one cookie now or two cookies tomorrow. Which would you choose?

The best answer for choosing one cookie now came from a grade fiver: “I’d take one today because who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

The best answer for choosing two cookies tomorrow: “It’s two cookies, duh.”

 What We Got Wrong:

While we have several great in-class group activities planned. We chose to make the first class a discussion only class. Thirty minutes was just a bit too long to keep the students’ attention. We were clearly boring them a bit by the end of the session. We’ll be sure to have great activities for future classes to break up discussion time.

What’s Next:

We’ll be creating classroom mascots, Green Monsters, the students will name, draw, and create the backstory for their individual class mascots. We’ll use these mascots in the future to discuss aspects of sustainability.



EcoLiving’s New School Outreach Program Press Release

EcoLiving Events and Atlas Learning Academy


Airdrie, Alberta – EcoLiving Events, a nonprofit organization, and Atlas Learning Academy in Airdrie are pleased to announce a partnership to provide sustainability and leadership education and resources to Atlas students and teachers every Friday beginning in January to June 2015. This is a new model in nonprofit and education partnerships. The EcoLiving curriculum is designed to compliment and support educators and students on an on-going and long-term basis.

EcoLiving will provide instruction, curriculum, student leadership support and teacher resources relating to green and sustainable living.

EcoLiving’s Executive Director, Dr. Michael Jones, will provide sustainability education tied to creative writing and science components already in use at the school. Students will have an opportunity to create their own sustainability projects like compost bins, short stories, and form their own student organizations.

“This is a new era in school/nonprofit partnerships. EcoLiving has designed a program that avoids the outdated “one-and-done” approach to community outreach. We are pleased to provide ongoing, free-of-charge support to Atlas Learning Academy to educate students about green and sustainable living techniques they can use in their own homes; to provide leadership support to students interested in creating their own sustainability programs and projects; and to providing teachers the wealth of resources already available to them via the many great nonprofits in Calgary.” Mike Jones, EcoLiving Events Executive Director.

EcoLiving Contact:

Dr. Michael Jones

Executive Director



Atlas Contact:

Helen Koupantsis


(403) 912-1133


About EcoLiving:

EcoLiving is a Calgary-based nonprofit organization established in 2002 dedicated to supporting sustainable living in Alberta. We are currently recipients of the Shell FuelingChange Award and our work has been recognized by the City of Calgary. Our mission is to provide education, resources, programs and initiatives to individuals, organizations, and schools related to sustainability (green living, recycling, energy efficiency) in the home and community.

EcoLiving brings sustainable living innovators, educators, policy makers and stakeholders together through initiatives like our Home Sustainable Home school outreach program, our Home Winterization program, providing energy savings and sustainable technology upgrades to elderly homeowners and people in need, and our EcoLiving Fairs, showcasing sustainable and green living vendors in communities.


Contact Us:

EcoLiving Events

235 Berwick Dr., Unit 31

Calgary, AB T3k 1P6


Facebook: EcoLiving Events Calgary

Twitter: @ecolivingevents


About Atlas Learning Academy:


We believe that children can grow socially, intellectually, physically, creatively and emotionally through the use of a variety of teaching/learning methods, while in a safe and caring environment.

Our vision at Atlas Learning Academy is to create a learning environment that encourages students to be confident individuals by offering developmentally appropriate instruction, diverse teaching styles, more one-on-one teacher/student time and positive relationships with student and staff. Our school promotes a safe, nurturing, positive and supportive environment which allows students to feel free to express their individual ideas and personalities.

Our mission is to provide a learning environment that builds on each student’s strengths so they will become independent confident learners and to also provide quality learning opportunities to best achieve each student’s potential.

Atlas Learning Academy

Location: 204-1st Avenue N.E.

Mailing: PO Box 80055
Airdrie, AB T4B 0R4/T4B 2V8

ph: (403) 912-1133

fax: (403) 912-1135

alt: (403) 477-3311

Looking For Board Members


EcoLiving Events is looking for people to join our enthusiastic and proactive board of directors!

EcoLiving Events is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide education, resources, programs and initiatives to individuals, organizations, and schools related to green and sustainable living and technology. We bring people together through initiatives such as our Home Sustainable Home school outreach program, our Home Winterization program – providing energy savings and sustainable technology upgrades to elderly homeowners and people in need – and our EcoLiving Fairs, showcasing sustainable and green living vendors in communities.

If you are interested in green and sustainable living and technology and keen on making a difference in creating and implementing practical, hands-on solutions to green living, come join us!   We are looking for board members who can volunteer 5-10 hours a month. Board members will be expected to:

  • Attend regular board meetings;
  • Help out with events and fundraising activities as well as participate in committees;
  • Monitor the organization’s financial affairs;
  • Liaise with, advise, and support EcoLiving Events’ Executive Director; and
  • Assist EcoLiving Events in building on our strategic goals of: communications, building relationships, fund development, research, and building capacity.

Prior experience in not-for-profit organizations and/or serving on a board of directors will be an asset but not required.

To apply, please send a brief paragraph to Iris at with a short introduction to yourself and why you are interested in joining EcoLiving Events’ board of directors. We look forward to hearing from you!

Welcome To The New Website!

Welcome to the new EcoLiving website. We hope you like it. There a ton of great things happening, check out our calendar to see upcoming events and Sustainability Book Club dates.

We’ve begun our annual fundraising drive! The goal is $13,000 by February 13th. Please do consider making a donation, we use donations like yours to continue our great programs like: Home Winterization, Sustainable School Program, Sustainability Book Club, and the EcoLiving Fair.

Please Consider Donating Now!


Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @Ecolivingevents!