About Environment Week Edmonton

Environment Week celebrates Edmonton’s environment. It is a great time for Edmontonians to host and attend events that include some learning, some fun and some action. Action is doing something on purpose to lessen your impact on the environment. Celebrating and action projects are great ways to bring a community together towards a greener future. Participating in local Environment Week events is a great way to discover easy things you can do for the environment. The choices you make – big and small – really do make a difference because your action counts!

Celebrating Environment Week at the University of Alberta

The University of Alberta’s Office of Sustainability and Sustain SU are celebrating Environment Week with 11 sustainability-related events, tours and workshops. These family-friendly activities are great ways to explore campus sustainability, get into active transportation and healthy eating, and celebrate the environment.

Tune-up your bike, stroll through beautiful gardens, discover green architecture, learn about community gardening and much more. For full event details, follow the links below or visit sustainability.ualberta.ca/enviroweek.

Registration: All events are free, but some require registration by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 31, 2015.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sustainability Campus Tour *
Noon to 1 p.m.
Admin Building – Meet at front desk

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Mosaic Centre: Net-Zero Building Tour *
1 to 3:30 p.m.
Meet at the Office of Sustainability (2-06 North Power Plant)

Bike Library and Workshop Open House
2 to 5 p.m.
SAB 1-13

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Free Bike Checks
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Bus Loop near South Academic Building

Devonian Botanic Garden Tour *
Noon to 3:30 p.m.
Meet at the Office of Sustainability (2-06 North Power Plant)

Basic Bicycle Maintenance Workshop *
5 to 7 p.m.
SAB 1-13

Film Screening: Growing Cities
5 to 7 p.m.
SUBstage (Students’ Union Building near the food court)

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sustainability Campus Tour *
1 to 2 p.m.
Admin Building – Meet at front desk

Garden & Salad Party
6 to 9 p.m.
Campus Community Garden (89 Avenue between 110 and 111 Streets)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Celebrate World Environment Day
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Main Quad

Sustainable Cooking Class *
5 to 8 p.m.
Location TBA

For full descriptions of all these events, including registration and location information, visit:
sustainability.ualberta.ca/enviroweek

Green your (big) garbage

How not to dump your big trash

How not to dump your big trash

Moving, renovations, failed garage sales. The one thing these all have in common is that you seem to have way too much stuff, and a lot of it is too big to fit into your garbage can. But what do you do to get rid of it?

It won’t fit curbside, and the last time you tried burning an old dresser in the backyard fire pit you learned a hard lesson in burning wood you shouldn’t. But there are solutions. Read on for the greenest ways to dispose of your biggest trash in Edmonton.

First let’s assume that what you’re throwing away really is trash. If it isn’t trash, skip a little further down.

Big Trash in the City

During the summer, Edmonton runs a great program called Big Bin Events, accepting appliances big and small, used furniture, or home electronics, free of charge. Don’t take these events for granted, not many cities run such an event, and they are the envy of many of our prairie neighbours, including Calgary. Bring as much as you can safely secure to your vehicle to these events.

These events are a win-win for Edmontonians and for the city’s Waste Management team. You get to get rid of a truckload of junk at a local spot, and the waste management teams get to pre sort everything before hauling it away, increasing their efficiency, and saving operation costs. They don’t accept commercial waste or household hazardous waste, but you can take that to your local eco-station, and we’ll cover just what counts as hazardous in a later post.

If it isn’t Big Bin season and it must go now – take a trip out to the dump. It is an incredibly smooth process, and generally there isn’t a line. Which for a small fee, can be worth the weight of your load in saving time and getting service when you need it.

What if it isn’t trash?

Sometimes, what is trash to you will be a much-needed item to someone else. If it is in really good shape, consider selling it on Kijiji, or post it to Freecycle. There are also several great charities in Edmonton that are happy to help find new homes for gently used furniture, appliances, and electronics. The Thrift Store is one, and your local church or youth group will often help you find donation locations. If you want to find a great charity to donate your gently used items to, check out this great Reuse and Recycle web app.

2014 Big Bin Events Schedule

All events will run from 9am-5pm.

Date

Location

Address

May 3 & 4 Commonwealth Stadium 112 Avenue & 90 Street
May 10 & 11 Callingwood 17740 – 69 Avenue
May 24 & 25 Castle Downs 11520 – 153 Avenue
May 31 & June 1 Ellerslie Facility 2415 – 101 Street SW
June 7 & 8 Blue Quill 11304 – 25 Avenue
June 14 & 15 Woodcroft 13915 – 115 Avenue
June 21 & 22 Northlands 11203 – 73 Street
August 16 & 17 Jasper Place 9200 – 163 Street
August 23 & 24 Blue Quill 11304 – 25 Avenue
September 6 & 7 Kennedale 12810 – 58 Street
September 13 & 14 SW District Yard 6609 – Gateway Blvd
September 20 & 21 Castle Downs 11520 – 153 Avenue

The Trouble With Getting Green

Getting Green. Being more eco-friendly. Wasting less & reusing more. Leaving the world a better place, or at least not a worse one.

These are thoughts that cross many of our minds. Who hasn’t noticed that they could be a little more environmentally friendly, or waste a little less? But don’t worry, these feelings pass quickly, swallowed by more important things as we continue on with our lives. I mean, where would you even start? Buying smarter? With all the ‘eco-marketing’ happening these days, who can actually tell what the greener choice of laundry soap or all-purpose cleaner is? Besides, they probably don’t work as well and we’ve heard they cost more. To top it off, you can only buy them at that store on the other end of town, which only opens twice a week.

After all, who has time to save the world anyway?

I do. Your neighbour does. The people in your office do, and so do your kids. And so do you.

It isn’t about saving the world. Chances are, you won’t have to do much anything different from what you do today. But making those small choices is something to feel good about, because you are making your footprint on the world a little smaller. And if we’re all doing that, we just might save the world too. And who doesn’t want to have that on their list of accomplishments?

But where do you start? That’s where we’re here to help. From shopping to eating, travel to home decor, from getting involved to talking out loud, there are many great ways to live a little greener. So many in fact, that we have had to pick and choose to come up with our top 50 to tell you about. Starting later this month, we’re going to be talking about 50 Shades of Green, 50 Ways to Love your City.  

Some of our topics we already know a lot about, and some of them we’re going to have to do some research and call in some experts along the way. Check out our 50 Shades of Green word cloud for some of our top ideas, and let us know if there is something you want to learn about in an upcoming post!

50 Shades of Green Word Cloud

After a lot of thinking about what kinds of topics we could write about for 50 Shades of Green, 50 Ways to Love your City, we came up with a lot! And we’ll probably add more along the way. But coming up with the ideas was so much fun, we thought would turn it into a word cloud, click on it to open an interactive version!

We still have a lot of white space in here, is there something here that you’d like us to add? Let us know in the comments!

Support YESS at the Environment Week Edmonton Kickoff

On June 1st; Join YESS at the Environment Week Edmonton kickoff on June 1st from 9am to 2pm right outside our door at 85 Ave and 104 St! We’ll have info about what we do in the community and will be taking donations to help support our programs.

Want to donate? A cash box and YESS ambassador will be on hand to tell you more about the agency.

Help YESS continue to make a difference

Some of Youth Empowerment & Support Services most needed items include: socks, underwear and shoes. A full list of items we collect is available online at http://yess.org/donate/in-kind-donation

“Youth Empowerment & Support Services is a not-for-profit organization unconditionally devoted to helping youth facing difficult realities. Our one-of-a-kind services provide support to youth who have found other doors closed to them.

Head to the SWEFM annual Garden Festival!

Looking for a great way to green your kitchen and learn how you can grow food for Edmonton’s Food bank? Take a look at the annual Garden Market Festival coming up on Wednesday May 29th at the Southwest Edmonton Farmers Market!

Garden Festival
Another market day is just around the corner and it’s a special one! It’s our Annual Garden Festival! You will find lots of fun filled, informative and delicious things to do at this week’s market. Here are the highlights:
This is our annual kick off for Plant A Row, Grow A Row, our partnership with Edmonton’s Food Bank that is designed to collect fresh fruits and veggies and deliver them to the food bank in the fall. It is our opportunity to make a difference in a really important way, contributing “real food” to the Food Bank’s storage vaults: food that is fresh, nutrient dense and ever-so-healthy! To find out more about this important initiative, read these old blog posts:
The Edmonton Food Bank and its volunteers will be onsite collecting donations of:
  • Sealed Bags of Rice
  • Empty Egg Cartons
  • Boxed, Canned & Bagged non-perishable Food Donations
  • Any used shopping bags
Help us Grow A Stack of egg cartons at the SWEFM Info Tent for Edmonton’s Food Bank… how tall can we make it??? The food bank is always in need of empty egg cartons.
Help us Fill our Wheelbarrow to overflowing with sealed bags of rice for the food bank. Rice is something simple, nourishing & easy to store that many food bank clients would love to see in their hampers regularly. A familiar staple the world over, our food bank doesn’t see enough to meet its demand. Please consider bringing a bag of rice to our Garden Festival event… after all, a grain of rice is a “seed!”
Servus Credit Union will be holding a penny drive, collecting old pennies that we can no longer use here in Canada, converting them into “real” cash and donating the proceeds to Edmonton’s Food Bank. WIN BIG! Swap your old pennies for a draw ballot: you could win market bucks to use at your next visit to the market!

Our veggie growers will have plants ready for your gardens and hanging baskets all set to beautify your front porches, balconies and backyard decks. Most importantly, there will be little vegetable plants ready to put in your gardens and patio pots for Plant A Row, Grow A Row… our partnership with Edmonton’s Food Bank.

A number of organizations will be on site to answer any questions you might have and to help you take your gardening to the next level. Sustainable Food Edmonton focuses on ways to make our local food resources support our community, lessening our dependence on food trucked and shipped in from afar. Eating local food decreases the environmental cost of our food system, and increases the nutrient density of our food… find out more by stopping at their booth.

Master Gardeners will be on site in our Community Tent… ask them any questions you have about gardening! They will have the answers! At the same time, they have a children’s craft for your kids to do to help them participate in Plant A Row, Grow A Row. Stop by and have them make a newspaper pot and plant a seed for the food bank. Then take it home, plop it directly into a pot or your garden and.. voilà!… your kids are growing a donation!Master Composter will also be at our market this year, teaching us all how to compost our kitchen and yard waste easily, efficiently and effectively. Stop by their booth to see for yourself how easy it can be to turn your garbage into valuable, nutrient-dense goodness for your garden!