volunteering


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Written by Denise Deby.

It’s a great time to thank local food producers and to celebrate the many sustainable food initiatives in our region.

Food markets are wonderful places any time, but particularly enjoyable when they’re so filled with colourful and diverse produce. OttawaStart has a list of local markets here. This is also an excellent time to visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch.

Check out Ottawa’s new Seed Library, which launched at the Ottawa Public Library’s Nepean Centrepointe branch this year. You can find out more here, or in this article. The Seed Library is part of the À la carte Food Literacy Project, a partnership of the Ottawa Public Library, Ottawa Public Health, MarketMobile, Ottawa International Writers Festival and Just Food bringing food information and activities to various spots around town.

As part of À la carte, the Ottawa Public Library and the Ottawa International Writers Festival are also teaming up to host three events on food literacy on Oct. 14-15, 2016. Authors and community leaders will look at antidotes to mass-produced, chemical-laden food, and ways to foster healthy, sustainable and accessible local food. The events also support the Parkdale Food Centre.

It’s discouraging to see the growing need for food banks in Ottawa, but heartening to see the increasingly diverse and creative ways that food centres are connecting people with fresh, healthy food–like the Community Harvest program, in which local growers produce food for centre clients, and other initiatives to enhance knowledge and raise awareness of nutritious food and food justice.

Chew On This! is a campaign to raise awareness about the hundreds of thousands of people in Canada who don’t have access to healthy food, and the need for a federal anti-poverty plan. Watch for volunteers around the city handing out snacks and information on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016.

Just Food is a hub for local food knowledge and action. The organization hosts everything from a working organic farm and farmer training program, to Ottawa’s community gardening network, to a local food guide, and more. They’re also behind Local Freshness, a new site that connects consumers to local food, brought to you by Savour Ottawa Online, Le Marché de l’Outaouais and Ottawa Valley Food Coop. Just Food’s newsletter has comprehensive coverage of what’s happening in Ottawa re local and sustainable food—you can sign up for it here.

Another great way to keep up with all things local food is Edible Ottawa magazine. The photos alone are swoon-worthy, but there’s also great coverage of the places and people who produce and prepare our food. For example, check out recent articles on social enterprise Thirteen Muesli,  local forager Scott Perrie and permaculture farm Rainbow Heritage Garden. The magazine is available free at food-related shops around town, or you can find it online.

Let us know of other good food initiatives you’re aware of. Et bon appetit.

Posted by Denise Deby. Thanks to Gabrielle White, Ecology Ottawa volunteer, for the information.

Ecology Ottawa's Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale 2012 FB photo httpsecologyottawa.caannual-eventsgarage-sale

Ecology Ottawa’s Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale 2012 https://ecologyottawa.ca/annual-events/garage-sale/

Every year (for 9 years now!), Ecology Ottawa organizes the Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale during the Glebe Community Association’s Great Glebe Garage Sale. This year it all happens on Saturday, May 28, 2016.

The Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale is a garage sale, fundraiser, vegetarian BBQ, family activity spot and party all rolled into one. There’s baked goods and coffee, a water bottle refilling station, massage therapists and live DJs. Even better, proceeds support the great work of Ecology Ottawa (90%) and the Ottawa Food Bank (10%), and the event helps raise awareness of environmental issues in Ottawa–not to mention keeping reusable items from the landfill.

Ecology Ottawa is looking for volunteers to make the GGGG sale happen:

Everything is coordinated by more than 100 passionate volunteers, without whom this event would not be possible. This year we are looking for volunteers of all ages for various jobs, including:

– People with access to a vehicle (or a bike with trailer) to pick-up donations ahead of the sale, and to distribute leftover items to worthy organizations after the event (May 23-31).

– Folks to sort donations in the days leading up to the event (May 23-27).

– Lots of help at the actual event, including some brave souls to help set everything up at the crack of dawn, salespeople, folks to run the BBQ, people to paint kids’ faces, and plenty of other help to make the event run smoothly (Saturday, May 28).

– Help in the days following the event, to sort the leftover items, distribute them to worthy local organizations, return items borrowed from our supporters, and tidy the venue (May 29-31).

… and many more volunteer roles.”

Find out more, or sign up to volunteer, donate or bake goods for the sale, at http://ecologyottawa.ca/garage-sale/, or contact garagesale@ecologyottawa.ca.

 

Posted by Denise Deby.

Greenpeace Ottawa volunteers are organizing a paddle on Dow’s Lake this Sunday, May 15, 2016.

They’re inviting people to come out and join the call for a 100% renewable energy future–one that doesn’t include the Energy East pipeline. Everyone is welcome to bring canoes, kayaks and/or decorations (think “break free” or tulip festival).

For details, see the event page.

 

 

Posted by Denise Deby. Thanks to Carol Burnup, EnviroCentre for the information.

EnviroCentre is holding its first photo contest on the Spirit of Sustainability in Ottawa.

You’re invited to submit photos that celebrate how people in Ottawa are making the city more sustainable.

From EnviroCentre, here are the categories for entries:

Healthy, efficient homes

Show us how you improve everyday energy use in your home!

It can be something like changing to LED lighting, using Energy Star appliances, or making grand scale green renovations.

Connected, environmentally-aware businesses

Does your business have a green team? Are you turning computers off at night to save energy? Or providing incentives to staff to take transit or bike to work? Show us what you’ve done or are doing!

Engaged, sustainable communities

What are you, your family, friends or community members doing to make your neighbourhood a better place to live? Are you using your bike to get around or building a community garden? Show us your sustainable community or what you’re doing to create one!

Entries are due May 15, 2016.

Find out more at http://www.envirocentre.ca/photocontest.

 

Guest post submitted by Ecology Ottawa.

From 2012 Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale photo courtesy Ecology Ottawa https://www.facebook.com/ecologyottawa/photos_stream?tab=photos_albums

From 2012 Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale photo courtesy Ecology Ottawa https://www.facebook.com/ecologyottawa/photos_stream?tab=photos_albums

The Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale is back!

Ecology Ottawa’s 8th Annual Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale | Saturday, May 23, 8am-4pm | 680 & 690 Bank Street (at Glebe Avenue, in the Rogers Plus and Kunstadt Sports parking lots)

It’s your favourite time of year again… Soon the entire Glebe will be abuzz with lawn-hawking like you’ve never seen. It’s this annual mecca of bargain-hunters from near and far that gave birth to Ecology Ottawa’s Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale!

Ecology Ottawa is working to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada, and the Great Glebe GREEN Garage Sale has become one of the organization’s flagship annual events. What started as a humble fundraiser in 2008 has become a carnival unto itself that community members look forward to each year.

This isn’t your average garage sale – this massive event also features a vegetarian BBQ (join us for lunch), a bake sale (including hot coffee at the crack of dawn), and live musical performances. We will also have representatives from Ecology Ottawa on site to tell you more about the organization, as well as massage therapists (to help you relax after a long day of shopping), fun activities for kids of all ages, a water bottle refilling station on site, portable public washrooms for the community’s use (when nature calls), and much, much more!

In the past 7 years, this event has helped divert countless tonnes of potential waste from Ottawa landfills and raised nearly $50,000. All items sold at the event are collected from over 200 supporters from across the city, and all proceeds raised go to charity (90% to Ecology Ottawa, 10% to The Ottawa Food Bank). Best of all, everything is coordinated by an amazing team of over 100 volunteers each year, and we have had a blast doing it!

There are many ways to get involved in this fun community event – you can donate your unwanted items, volunteer and/or bake for the event, and of course, come and do some bargain shopping on May 23rd. For more information on how to get involved, please click on the links below:

For more information on how to get involved, click on the following links:

Please help us to spread the word about this event to family, friends, colleagues, teammates, and the people you sit next to on the bus. We look forward to seeing you there!

For more info, please visit our web site at http://ecologyottawa.ca/garage-sale/.

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Posted by Denise Deby. Thanks to Ottawa Bird Count for the information. (Post edited March 4: changes in italics.)

Poster Chirps Tweets Trills 2015 lowres

Spring means the return of birds and also the return of the Ottawa Bird Count‘s seven week course called “Chirps, tweets and trills 2015: Learn your local bird songs.”

Participants will learn to recognize the songs of the most common bird species in the Ottawa area. They’ll also find out “tips, tricks and technology” for learning bird sounds, and methods for monitoring bird activity in order to be able to participate in Ottawa Bird Count surveys.

People are welcome whether they’re new to bird identification or are experienced birders.

The course runs Saturday mornings from Apr. 11-May 30. It’s free, but you have to commit to doing all 14 hours of the course. There’ll be both indoor lessons and outdoor field work.

Click here for more information and to register.

The course was extremely popular last year, so check it out soon.

Ottawa Bird Count is an environmental and educational charity that runs a volunteer-based bird survey in Ottawa, with the intention of making our city more bird-aware and more biodiverse.

Written by Denise Deby.

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Here’s exciting news—Ottawa is getting a Tool Library!

Tool libraries lend out tools, just as conventional libraries lend out books. Tool libraries have been set up in Toronto, Hamilton, Halifax and Calgary. Most charge an annual membership fee for the opportunity to borrow tools from the inventory.

Tool libraries are a great example of the sharing economy, minimizing the amount of “stuff” people have to buy, and pooling community resources for items that most people need only once in a while.

In Ottawa, the tool library is a non-profit initiative intended to provide people with affordable access to tools. It will open at Arts Court in the new year. Update: The Ottawa Tool Library opened in August at MakerSpace North, 250 City Centre. Check them out here!

In the meantime, the Ottawa Tool Library is holding a tool drive to help them get up and running. You can donate used or new hand tools, power tools and kitchen equipment. Check your cupboards, basement or garage for underused items you might have, clear the clutter and share with others! There are several drop off locations; check the website for details. They’ll be accepting donations again in January, and can use volunteers, too.

Stay tuned for more news about the Ottawa Tool Library!

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