“Vermicomposting-Benefits of native plants in the garden”
Kelly Vanwalleghem, A Greener Venture
Growing up in a rural setting Kelly had an early appreciation for nature and acknowledged the need to help with the planet’s stewardship. She graduated from University of Guelph with a diploma in Horticulture going on to spend many years working in the dirt. Some of her main passions are urban agriculture, green roofs, sustainable cities and waste reduction. Now she gets a chance to inspire young people to take good care of our planet.
"We Are the Earth - Simple Solutions for Positive Change"
Kale Black, Burlington Green Environmental Association
In this entertaining & uplifting workshop, Kale Black, Senior Program Coordinator with Burlington Green Environmental Association, will focus on how each and every one of us plays an important role in the transformation of our planet as well as highlighting opportunities for local action.
We are not taking action for the planet just for the benefit of others, but at a deeper level, any action we take for a more sustainable environment is an action that benefits us on a personal level. Once we have that understanding, knowing where to start can be overwhelming to some.
By the end of this talk, Kale will have what appeared to be a daunting task broken into 3 simple areas of focus, allowing you to consciously adjust your lifestyle in a way that is more in alignment with the planet that we all want to live on.
Kale Black has accumulated over 12 years of experience working both professionally and as a volunteer in the environmental movement. An inspiring, honest, funny, and enthusiastic speaker, Kale has a knack for connecting with audiences of all ages and is passionate about sharing his wisdom and motivational lessons he has learned along his journey.
“What A Year of Buy Nothing New Looks Like”
Nina Alexander, & Samantha Kowalczyk,
Simply Green Mums
Simply Green Mums was established over 5 years ago with the intent to bring like-minded eco-conscience families together, with a space they could connect over making the ‘greenest’ choices possible for their family. They will share how their two families faced some hard challenges over a year of “buying nothing new“ for a year, and also the many rewards and how much easier it is to do than you think!
These two met in the elementary school days through a common interest in soccer and good old girl bonding. They passed through many life stages after that, University, marriage, pets and kids. Kids are where they knew they had to start making change in whatever world would listen. Simply Green Mums began, and they continued to set high standards for themselves and their community. They took on a feat they weren’t sure they would be able to accomplish, and especially sharing it publicly….but they did. They were successful in more ways they could have imagined. The year of “buying nothing new”, brought them more than just extreme financial savings. It brought them a sense of family life direction and purpose. A reminder to what is truly foundational in raising their children and how they want to model that for them. It was the springboard to living a purposeful, connected life! In the end, it was far easier than they thought, so be sure to stick around to hear some tips on how you can bring more purpose to your life.
“Tiny House Living, LIfe Outdoors + Sustainable Living”
Bianca Metz, The Giving Tree Family
My name is Bianca Metz, wife to my man in the woods, dog mom to one and human mom to one. Our family lives in a Tiny House on a beautiful piece of property in the Dundas Valley. We hail from Guelph (and miss it very much) but could not bring ourselves to play the scale game in the housing market anymore, so we bowed out at condo stage, sold everything we owned (well, most things) and bought a tiny house to live more simply and closer to nature.
Our journey to living tiny began when I gave birth to our son 6 weeks early. We persevered with a healthy baby boy, but it left a sour taste in my mouth. I couldn’t shake this feeling that working too hard (I was a wedding and event coordinator) well into my pregnancy had been a contributor to giving birth early. Whether this was true or not, it was scary, and I was not about to let myself feel that way again. Here awoke a ferocious mama who was sick and tired of feeling the pressure to work to see her family's money be sunk into bills, and nothing to show for it. Here awoke a mama who questioned every new baby item because, “do I really need that?” Here awoke a mama who just wanted to feel that financial neuse loosen up, feel less pressure, and feel more freedom. We just needed fresh air. A simpler life. We wanted less, where most want more. And we got it! the journey hasn't been easy, but it has been the absolute best thing for our family.
1) Why we chose to downsize
2) Why we chose a Tiny House
3) The journey and mindset along the way
4) What we do now - Homesteading, bee keeping, creating permaculture gardens, building a greenhouse, and maintaining 6 acres of land in the Dundas Valley.
5) How this lifestyle relates to my business in guiding others
6) Sustainable living, best practices to reduce our carbon footprint
7) The beauty of getting closer to nature
"Zero Waste Goals: Waste Reduction for Busy Families"
Heather Govender, Waste Not Want Not
Heather is an outdoorsy Oakville resident, environmentalist, and occasional circus performer. She's also a mom of two beautiful children, aged almost 4 years and 14 months, guardian to a goofy rescue dog, and partner to her practical, loves-a-good-repair-project husband.
In 2015 she started a year-long zero waste challenge modeled after the film "The Clean Bin Project". Her challenge was covered by the local papers and her story was included in the Canadian film "The Greenvaders". Since then, she has presented on waste reduction and other environmental topics to audiences all around Halton Region and done regular segments as an environmental expert on the local news. She still has room for improvement and still works to make those improvements, but she's in a place now where her family of 4 plus a dog puts out a small amount of waste (less than what would fit in a grocery store bag) about once every 6 weeks.
Now she is applying her environmental skills and knowledge to her business, offering Green Living Consulting Services, upcycled products, and packaging-free personal care products. Her Consulting services are for individuals, families, groups, businesses, and events. It is always personalized, and always free of judgment. She starts from wherever you're at, whether you still can't get away from plastic cutlery and styrofoam or you're ready to cut out toilet paper. If you've been wanting to improve your eco-footprint but don't know where to start or what to do next, join Heather at her talk for some great tips and discussion around waste reduction for families.
“Growing Through Permaculture”
Anne Mette Pedersen, Permaculture Lab in Hamilton;
As an introduction to permaculture, Anne will be referencing her personal journey through the ethics and principles and how we have applied them so far in our urban setting alongside the Permaculture Lab in Hamilton.
A little more details on Anne...she is 40 years old and has lived ten of those in Canada-arriving from Denmark. She moved to Ontario with the objective of building her career as a project manager in the wind turbine industry. However, after children, she told herself, she wasn’t going to sacrifice her perspective. She has spent the last three years searching for what it means, to “truly live your best life”... So far, what vision she has created consists of quitting her corporate job, homeschooling her children, building community, forfeiting her front lawn, growing her own food, speaking the truth -all with the principles and ethics of permaculture as her “True North”.