The Living Centre's Green Policy Our Commitment
Becoming more ecologically sustainable in our practices is important to us, and we greatly appreciate every action you can take to assist us. We welcome your comments and suggestions on our feedback form. If you are interested in supporting one of our "Green Dream" projects, contact us here>
The Living Centre is committed to ecological practices that maintain and restore the health of natural ecosystems, local economies and the well being of our apprentices, students and guests. We strive to ensure that we step lightly on the earth and that our operations are ecologically sustainable. We are committed to reducing the burdens we place on living systems and are making continual progress towards ecological sustainability (a "closed loop system" of cyclical material flow) and are committed to achieve this goal within a generation.
Using our power as consumers to buy ecologically responsible products, we hope to support other progressive businesses and help create markets for alternative, green products. We hope that by embodying the principles of sustainability we can encourage creative dialogue on how to reduce human impact on the natural environment as well as develop and demonstrate model systems. We also endeavor to expand the community of people who understand the functioning of natural systems and our impact on them by being a living example and through educational programming.
The Living Centre is committed to ensuring the well being of our apprentices, students and guests as well as teaching and promoting wholistic living and personal well being as key elements of sustainability.
As Part of our plan to ensure ecological sustainability The Living Centre is committed to:
Reducing and making continual progress toward eliminating the consumption of and/or release of any substance that may cause environmental damage to the air, water, and the earth or its inhabitants. As such we use natural materials wherever possible with priority given to products that are made from reused or recycled materials.
Reducing and working toward the elimination of waste through source reduction and recycling. As part of this commitment we compost all of our organic food wastes on site. We support the local Recycling Centre in its efforts and guidelines for commercial users, while working to prepare all materials coming off our property for proper recycling, or when absolutely necessary, for other disposal means. We re-use numerous items and work to have items we are no longer using become available for inexpensive purchase or give-away to apprentices and students or local community.
Providing our apprentices, students and guests with healthy food, locally and organically-grown whenever possible. Our menus are from local produce using organic vegan live-food incorporating Ayurvedic principles. We also do a great amount wild edible foraging of delicious plants that flourish here on this fertile land. The Living Centre strives to ensure that none of our purchases support industrial food production: factory farming, genetic engineering, and the use of synthetic chemicals. We are making continual progress to growing and purchasing organic food. We do not use synthetic or chemical fertilizers in our gardens. We use organic edible forest gardening practices, companion planting, mulches and hand weeding, green manure cropping, drip irrigation, compost and natural soil amendments, and avoid growing crops which simply can't thrive in our gardens naturally.
The Forest Gardens are an integral part of our education programs. Our Forest Garden Apprenticeship program provides an residential internship opportunity that trains aspiring gardeners As well, the forest garden serves as an educational focal point for school and workshop and training groups.
Water Conservation and ensuring that we do not pollute any water source or water body.
Protecting biodiversity and ensuring that we maintain or restore old growth characteristics, structure and function of our wild forest on site.
Phasing Out the purchase of wood or paper products that come from old growth forests and will endeavor to purchase products that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council and /or come from ecologically responsible logging that supports local and indigenous communities. Whenever possible, The Living Centre uses local wood, harvested from sustainability managed woodlots. We also seek out recycled products with high post-consumer content and paper products made from ecologically responsible alternative fibres such as agricultural waste paper or organic hemp.
Conserving Energy and making every effort to increase energy efficiency. We endeavor to introduce renewable energy sources wherever possible.
Reducing use of fossil fuels as much as possible through promotion of our on-line rideshare board and through encouraging our guests to participate in carbon emissions off-setting programs.
Auditing and Evaluating our progress toward sustainability. We are dedicated to creating an atmosphere that encourages staff, apprentices, students and friends to question the status quo, be creative, take risks and find value and joy in exploring new paths toward sustainability.
What We Do:
• Hiring locally is our priority.
• Support community organizations and schools.
• Provide a rideshare board on our website to help reduce vehicle traffic.
• Our involved in the local NewEra Kids and NewEra Girls
• Offer a number of scholarships, as well as discounts, for students.
• Host evening events open to the community.
What We Do:
• Use compact florescent light bulbs.
• Grow many of our greens in our 1,000 sq. foot Passive Solar Earthship Greenhouse
• Drive a Hybrid Synergy Vehicle
• Heat our centre and home with a hybrid furnace.
• The learning lodge and our home is heated with our own firewood from windfall or dead trees.
• Install composting outhouses and low consumption toilet tanks.
• Use mulching and drip irrigation in our gardens.
• Change linens at the end of each student's stay.
What You Can Do:
• Turn off lights when not in use.
• Take short showers; turn off the water while washing.
• Use our Composting Toilets.
• Flush only when necessary.
• Turn off the water when you brush your teeth.
• Enjoy our spring fed pond for swimming. Food and Garden
What We Do:
• Use organic foods: 100% of our grains and seeds.
• Grow all of our own organic sprouts and baby and micro greens in our sprout kitchen.
• Grow our own organic vegetables, berries, fruits, herbs, edible flowers and gather many of the wild edibles.
• Purchase most of our produce from local organic growers when in season.
• Minimize, as much as possible, the distance food travels to reach our kitchen.
• Compost food scraps and napkins.
What You Can Do:
• Compost food waste, napkins, tea herbs and bags.
• Help reduce, recycle and reuse items while you are here with us.
Waste Management What We Do:
• Reuse paper whenever possible.
• Recycle all glass, plastic, tin and paper.
What You Can Do:
• Refill your water bottle.
• Flush ONLY toilet paper and human waste.
• Use eco-friendly toiletry products.
• Deposit recyclables in the bins on the garden deck.
What We Use Everyday
• Use local and/or organic herbal teas.
• Organic grains and seeds, much of our food is organically home-grown or purchased from local organic growers.
• Non-old growth, 80% post-consumer recycled paper.
• 100% recycled toilet tissue, paper towel and tissue.
• Biodegradable soaps and eco-friendly cleaning products.
Our Green Dream Projects
Earth Wood Circular Classroom
- Installation of Solar Panels and Wind Generated Power
- Alternative Construction using Natural Building Method: Strawbale Cabins, Cob Cabins and the purchase of tipi's and domes
- Construction of Cold Frame Hoop Greenhouses
- Higher quality composting toilets
- Solar showers
Here is a Wish List from The Living Centre
Grounds SupportPerson(s) with skills in building & repair
Person with skills in plumbing
Person with skills as an electrician
Person with skills in web design
Folding banquet tables and benches
30 wooden folding chairs
Screens for windows and doors (we can use our discarded screen and retrofit them)
Nice-looking lounging chairs (not too big or overstuffed, easy to move)
2 energy efficient fridges
- Tool boxes
- Skill saw
- Cordless drill
- Reciprocating saw
- Pruning saw
- Utility knives
- Wood chisels
- Measuring tapes
- Quick square
- Hammer stapler
- Open-end wrench set
- Cutting pliers
- Adjustable wrench
- Vise grips
- Metal snips
- Eye protection
- Chalk ruler
- Wheel barrows
Thank you for doing your part in caring for our precious Planet - our Home!