Grass Routes 2013 The Good Life 3rd Annual Sustainability Festival kicks off on Monday, March 4 at 12:30 pm in front of the University of Winnipeg Students Association (UWSA) Info Booth. Liz Williams from the Campus Sustainability Office will be joined by last year’s Eco Grant award winners as they share details of their exciting project for the UWinnipeg campus.
The afternoon features a Green Building Tour of the Manitoba Hydro headquarters at 360 Portage Avenue, that reveals what makes this LEED Platinum building the most energy efficient office tower in North America.
On Tuesday, March 5, a Lunch and Learn with Cheryl Crowe, specialist in socially responsible investing, examines how investments impact our local and global community, and how shareholders influence the social and environmental landscape.
Tuesday will also offer do-it-yourself workshops in how to avoid toxic personal care and cleaning products. and how to make your own toothpaste, body lotion, shampoo as well as inexpensive green cleaners. Easier on the wallet and on the environment and your health — a recurring theme at this festival.
On Wednesday, March 6, John Brandon of the Green Action Centre, will be myth busting eco-wonders and green miracles, showing what products are the real eco-winners and how not to be fooled by false advertising, from cars, to chemicals, to household goods.
Wednesday’s DIY is focused on clothing repair — making clothes last longer and tailoring used items to fit better. There will be a Stuff Swap where people can bring items from home to trade, and another DIY on silkscreen printing.
Wednesday evening’s movie and panel discussion is the film Bottled Life, which explores the ethics of access and commodification surrounding the business of bottled water.
Thursday’s green building tour is of Mountain Equipment Co-op, a LEED Gold retail building with composting toilets, a rooftop garden, and a building made of over 90% reclaimed materials.
Thursday’s DIY has workshops that show women how to make reusable cloth pads and men how to shave with a straight razor, along with other tips on saving money by buying less, and on protecting the environment by reducing waste.
The festival’s final day, Friday, March 8, examines the community work of NGOs and also features the premiere screening of the film, The Good Life?, which examines how sustainability is about more than just technology and science – it is also about thinking critically about our beliefs and values and changing the way we understand success and progress.
The conference wraps up with a community workshop focussed on generating real, sustainable solutions — knowledge, skills and ideas for our future. Here the question is asked, what is The Good Life if not the intersection between what we as individuals are passionate about and what our communities need?
And in the spirit of drinking responsibly and sustainably, the Ice Riders Half Pints Quest will feature the UWSA Ice Riders pedaling a keg of Grassed Up Ale — their very own Grass Routes custom draught made by Half Pints Brewing Co. — all the way from the brewery in St. James at 550 Roseberry Street to the Wrap Up Party.
There will be other sustainability festival related attractions all week at the UofW, such as the UWSA BikeLab Workshops that will offer spring tune ups on Monday, bike jewelry on Tuesday, pop bottle fenders on Wednesday and bike tire belts on Thursday. Complete BikeLab workshop details can be found at http://uwsabikelab.ca/. Grass Routes 2013 Sustainability Festival details are available at http://grassroutes.ca/program