Community Sustainability Project Highlights

Calgary’s Community Energy Initiative – Program Highlights

Last chance to register for Calgary’s Low Carbon Future Summit - Sept. 18th

With support from SAIT and other community partners The City of Calgary will be hosting the Summit for Charting Calgary’s Low Carbon Future: Reducing our Ecological Footprint.” This Summit is intended to chart a framework for advancing innovative action regarding energy, climate change, GHG emissions, ecological footprint and sustainability. Register at

Earth Overshoot Day - September 25, 2009

Earth Overshoot Day marks the day when humanity uses up all the resources nature can provide in a year, according to data from Global Footprint Network, a research organization that measures how much nature we have, how much we use, and who uses what.


Since the 1980s, humanity has been in ecological overshoot, using resources faster than they can be regenerated and putting carbon into the air faster than it can be reabsorbed. According to Global Footprint Network, globally, we now demand the biological capacity of 1.4 planets, but of course, we only have one.

What Can you do To End Overshoot?

Visit the City of Calgary’s EcoFootprint Project website to link with a variety of resources:

  • Try the NEW EcoFootprint calculator and ActionTracker, calculate your footprint, commit and track actions to reduce overshoot in your own life.
  • Understand Calgary’s Ecological Footprint and engage actions towards a preferred future
  • Learn about reducing the Ecological Footprint: A Calgary Approach
  • Visit the EcoFootprint Exchange for a database that is connecting people to organizations that are promoting action to reduce the Footprint

 With international commitment to end overshoot, Earth Overshoot Day can become history instead of news. To learn more about Earth Overshoot Shoot Day please visit Global Footprint Network.

 Greening the Marda Gras street festival

The Community Footprint Program worked with the Marda Loop BRZ (Business Revitalization Zone) to support the greening of the Marda Gras street festival. The festival’s “Marda Gras Goes Green” theme encouraged festival goers to use bike parking, recycling containers for recyclables and refundable bottles, a water bottle refill station as well. The EcoCenter with over 30 vendors was also very successful. This trade-fair area was dedicate to organizations with programs and services that could help Calgarians reduce their EcoFootprint. The next steps will be to create a guide outlining City Services available to festival organizers and work to articulate these and other green options into the festival permitting process in Calgary. 


Upcoming Workshops and Events

The City of Calgary


Volunteer with us!

The City of Calgary Parks Adopt-a-Park program allows volunteers to help maintain and care for green spaces, parks or flower beds in local communities. Duties include litter control, weeding, watering and graffiti removal. To get involved, call 3-1-1 or visit The City of Calgary Parks website.

Healthy Yards Program

An environmental friendly approach to garden care

Our mission is to help Calgarians’ adopt long term environmentally sustainable yard and garden practices by asking that they commit to participating in the Healthy Yards Program.  The program seeks to improve the habits of participants in the four following areas; Water Conservation, Responsible Pest Management, Grasscycling and Composting. It's good for the environment, easy to do and can save money too. For an environmentally friendly approach to yard and garden care, visit us on You Tube tips and tricks are an easy way to keep your yard healthy.

Water Resources

Free Water Conservation Workshops and Interactive Displays

Are you interested in learning more about water conservation? Want to know how making a few small changes in your home can save you hundreds of dollars? Book a City of Calgary Water Educator to attend your next work or community function with either an interactive display or hands on workshop. Main topics include Indoor Water Conservation, How to detect and fix leaks, Water Wise Gardening and Stormwater Management; however customized programs and lengths are available. For more information visit our website at or email us.

Development and Building Approvals

NEW Green building technologies and incentives website

To address the growing demand for information and resources related to sustainable design technologies and practices, The City of Calgary has created a new website focused on Green buildings to help civic employees, the building industry, consultants and private citizens become more conscious of Green initiatives.  The website features links to general information about Green building technologies, as well as forms and requirements associated with the approvals process and incentive programs related to sustainable design. 

In the Community

September 26 & 27 - EcoLiving Fair & Speaker Series

October 14-16 - RCA's 2009 Waste Reduction Conference "Green for Gold conference

Check out the Alberta Council for Environmental Education  “EE in Alberta” newsletter for upcoming initiatives and events for Environmental Education Groups and professionals. The Alberta Council for Environmental Education (ACEE) works in collaboration with others to advance environmental education (EE) in Alberta.


Purchasing Carbon Offsets: The David Suzuki Foundation and the Pembina Institute have prepared this guide to help Canadian consumers, businesses and organizations assess the quality of carbon offsets and the vendors that sell them. It includes a survey of 20 carbon offset vendors from Canada and around the world to help shed light on how these vendors are performing.


June 2009, Bullfrog Power hosted a panel series called Greener Horizons: Communicating Your Sustainability Plan. As a special follow-up to the event, they have provided a summary article of the key themes discussed by the panelists.


Community Profile - London Drugs

This summer, a new green growth quietly sprouted at London Drugs. ‘What’s the Green Deal?’ is a program that puts environmental and sustainability information on display, with in-store signage, flyer features and even a new web site. For customers, ‘What’s the Green Deal?’ highlights eco-friendly features and benefits of products right at the shelf, from organic certification to recycled content to energy savings. It also lets people know about the ‘green’ services London Drugs offers, from in-store recycling drop-off for plastic bags, batteries, electronics and appliances, to the packaging take-back on all purchases. (London Drugs is one of the only places around where you can actually recycle those infuriating Styrofoam cubes that cushion everything we buy). To read the full article click here.

Monthly Eco-Tip 

Reduce Your Carbon Footprint One Step at a Time

Adapted from Alberta’s One Simple Act


Did you know?

·        On average, Canadians produce half of their annual greenhouse gas emissions from driving.

·        Every year the average Canadian takes approximately 2,000 car trips that are less than three kilometers long?

·        One - six-kilometer round trip emits 1.8 kg of carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas).


If we reduce ONE-six-kilometer trip a week, for one year it would eliminate 93.6 kilograms of emissions per year. That is equivalent to 3,744 blown-up party balloons filled with carbon dioxide, or the carbon dioxide produced by one car trip between Edmonton and Calgary. 


Here are a few tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint:

·        Make one fewer car trip every week.

·        Combine errands to reduce the number of car trips.

·        Dust off the bicycle and take it for a spin. Cycling can be fun, save you money and it’s great for your health.

·        Walk to replace those short car trips.

·        Get to work by taking the bus, carpooling, riding a bike, walking or combining any of these methods.


Other Steps to reduce your Ecological Footprint

o   Calculate your Footprint

o   Join the Dialogue

o   Community Footprint Program blog  - Click on the “F.A.N. blog” link.

o   Green Business Report


o   The City of Calgary’s Ecological Footprint  Project

o   Earth Day Canada’s Teams

o   News from the Global Footprint Network (GFN)

o   Footprint for kids

Contact us

Learn more about how we can support sustainability options for your home, your organization or for your community group.



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The Eco-Footprint Community newsletter is a low-volume mailing list and a service of the City of Calgary’s Community Sustainability Team. Every month an email is sent to subscribers highlighting information from the City of Calgary’s Community Sustainability Project Team and other information that can help Albertans reduce their EcoFootprint.

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Any personal information is collected under the authority of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Section 33(c) RSA 2000. It will be used for the purposes of administering Community Sustainability Project Team Programs.  For further information contact the Environmental and Safety Management FOIP Program Administrator at (403) 268-5700.

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