Sustainable Living Network
The Sustainable Living Network is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit
organization, dedicated to supporting people, groups, and communities to
move towards healthier, more sustainable ways of living through education.
The areas that we focus on are: permaculture; organic farming, gardening,
and urban agriculture; natural building techniques; renewable energy;
alternative grey water and black water treatment systems and composting
toilets; ecovillages, cohousing, and intentional communities;
communication, facilitation, consensus, and conflict resolution skill
development; as well as personal growth and health. We offer workshops and
courses in these areas, as well as occasional internships, through our
organization and in partnership with other people and organizations.

Sustainable Living Books
Sustainable Living Books is a volunteer-run community service project
of the Sustainable Living Network that makes available 3,000 different books
and other resources on sustainable and healthy living at eco events. We have a
draft web site up at www.sustainablelivingbooks.com, and hope to have the site
populated with books this year.



These positions are funded by the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) initiative offered through Service Canada. Eligible student participants must:
* be between 15 AND 30 YEARS OF AGE at the start of the employment
* have been registered as full-time students in the previous academic year and intend to return to school on a full-time basis in the next academic year
* be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act; and,
* be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial/territorial legislation and regulations

Type of Person We are Looking For

We are looking for highly motivated people, who are full time students, returning to full time studies in the fall of 2007, who are clearly committed to a life path of movement towards health and sustainability, and who have a strong interest in the areas the Sustainable Living Network is involved with. Good computer and communication skills are a must. Organization, self-motivation, and the ability to work well with others are very important.

Wage and Time Period

Funding is available at minimum wage ($8.00) for 10-40 hours per week, for a minimum of 6 weeks, to a maximum of 12 or 13 weeks. The positions usually start n early June, iand finish in the middle to end of August. Students can engage in the work on a part-time and/or full-time basis. The hours are generally 9-5 Monday to Friday, with some flexibility, including being able to accommodate part-time employees. We would be pleased to have applicants who can work with us over more than one summer.


 Though historically, many of the tasks and responsibilities are shared to some degree, depending positions funded, people hired, and most pressing tasks, specific position areas that we need to fill are:


Co-ordination of summer student activities:  planning, directing, scheduling, managing, supporting specific tasks, as well as general skill development.


Data Base Developers: 

Access Database Specialist: 
Continue the development of relational Access database for Sustainable Living Books (over 2,500 titles): one focus will be the commercial administrative aspect; another will be developing automated processes for completing and verifying existing records, and the development of a more automated data entry process.

E-Commerce Specialist:
Continued development of the MySQL and java/jsp scripted database that supplies www.sustainablelivingbooks.com with its dynamic interface.

Contact Database Developer: 
Continue to develop the relational database in Access for the contacts for the Sustainable Living Network and Sustainable Living Books.  Examine moving the database to a different platform.  Create a ubiquitous subset of the database so that it can migrate across platforms (office desktop, on-the-road lap top, hand-held, web-based) and develop an attendant methodology for keeping the data up-to-date.  Develop up-to-date email lists for different communication purposes.  Complete, verify, and update data.

Computer Tech Support/Data Entry:
In-house trouble-shooting for our computers, printers, and Linux server-based intranet.  Support to database developers, and data entry.  Excellent entry-level position with tremendous opportunity to learn on the job.
For more detailed information about the computer-based technical positions, pleaseCLICK HERE!

Web Designer:  Work with the graphic designer to polish off existing graphic design work for www.sustainablelivingnetwork.org and www.sustainablelivingbooks.com; work with content developers to create methodology to standardize design for and input process for content for www.sustainablelivingnetwork.org; work with the e-commerce specialist to render www.sustainablelivingbooks.com functionally dynamic.

Graphic Designer:  Develop design for print, and web sites: polish off existing graphic design work for www.sustainablelivingnetwork.org and www.sustainablelivingbooks.com, and work with the web designer to render them functionally dynamic; use images from Extensis Portfolio catalogue and content developers to create design for content for www.sustainablelivingnetwork.org.

Web Educational Materials Developer :

Development of content for education articles on www.sustainablelivingnetwork.org - research and writing, choosing images, co-ordinating articles, working with graphic and web designers to develop a protocol for functional dynamic web content.

Educational and Promotional Materials Developer/Educational Assistant:
Development of promotional materials – design and production of brochures and event display materials.  Development of educational materials for courses and workshops. Assisting in preparing for, attending, and processing afterwards

Develop a formal accounting system for the newly incorporated Sustainable Living Network and dovetail ift with the sales and customer tracking system for Sustainable Living Books

Business Planner:
Work with the Executive Director to develop a business plan for the Sustainable Living Network and Sustainable Living Books.

Fund Raiser: 
Continue research of funding options, and continue development of funding application materials. Work with web and graphic designer to develop promotional materials for the network.

Sustainable Living Books Project Workers:
Working with the database specialists to: complete and polish the data for our 3,000 titles, with a view to having them up on line by the end of the summer; development of a more automated data entry process; continued design of the inter-relational database for management of the project.  Research and data entry of new titles.  Research, and possible initial development of print catalogue.  Help with display and sale of books at special events, fulfilling book orders, processing book returns

Resource Centre Co-ordinator:  Continue organizing the resource centre, including developing a cataloguing system for the library.  Continue the cataloguing in Extensis Portfolio of thousands of slide images from sustainable living projects from around the world, to be used in slide shows, web sites, and promotional materials.

Permaculture Gardener: Development of and cultivation of the office rooftop, container, and backyard gardens: start seeds, transplant, create soil mix, build planters and vertical growing structures, create pond, develop shade garden.  Daily watering.  Documentation or work with digital images; development of description of growing activities for web site.  Seed saving for future seasons and seed exchange.  (Please note:  All volunteers and summer students can be involved with the garden throughout the season.  Only those with OUTSTANDING QUALIFICATIONS will be considered as the primary gardener.)

The list above is a brief overview of the areas of our work that we can use help with. There is much more detail available about each of these projects, especially the more technical ones that require computer expertise.

Working on Projects as a Member of a Team:

Summer Students work together as a team, and will share responsibilities in the above task areas, depending on the number of students funded, the skills and interests of those hired, and the priorities of the Sustainable Living Network. Students will be supervised and mentored by Jillian Hovey, a leading expert and educator in the holistic field of sustainable living.


The office is in a residential neighbourhood in the Garrison Creek bed, on Alberta Avenue in Toronto, which is between Oakwood & St. Clair and Ossington & Davenport.. There is access by TTC: from the St. Clair West Subway station, then westward along the St. Clair street car line; from the south, there is a bus that frequently runs up the short distance from the Ossington subway station on the Bloor line, or a bus that runs up Davenport from the Spadina subway station. Bicycles can be securely parked at the office, and are encouraged. There is also street parking during the day for cars.


You get paid to be in an organization doing very cool stuff!

Except for summer students, for whom we receive funding from the HRSDC,
everyone at The Sustainable Living Network is a volunteer, including the
founder and Executive Director (aka "Head Volunteer") Jillian Hovey. The summer students are the only people who get paid!

Making Good Friends and Receiving High Quality Mentorship

We work together as a team, building community while we learn about sustainable
living, and grow as human beings. You will likely become good friends with your co-workers, as well as other volunteers, and folks you meet through the Sustainable Living Network. And, you will receive very high quality attention and mentorship from Jillian Hovey while employed. (and often beyond that time as well!).

Core Skills Development:

Though you may not be thrilled about this stuff, and/or think you already have it down, all summer students learn A LOT on these fronts that serves them well in school, in future jobs, and in their personal lives:

• Personal organization, goal-setting, time management, and self-management
• Team planning: time lines, goals & objectives, performance evaluation
• Project organization, and potentially project leadership
• Working on own and in groups
• Communication: in person, phone, email, fax, letter
• Consensus, conflict resolution
• Office organization and management
• Computer and software proficiencies: word processing, contact data base management, Access database, email, web search, web site development software, graphics programmes, image cataloguing (Extensis Portfolio), networked computer usage protocol, computer organization and hierarchy
• Promotional literature development (lay out, aesthetics, content)
• Web site design
• e-commerce skills
• Public outreach and service
• Customer service skills (phone and in-person)
• Fundraising: research and application development
• Event planning: including time and cost budgeting
• Workshop and course curriculum and schedule planning
• Organic growing: back yard, roof top, and container
• Organization of a Community Shared Agriculture project
• Natural building techniques
• Volunteer programme coordination

Opportunites with the Sustainable Living Network Outside of Work

In addition to the learning opportunities through the continuing development of
The Sustainable Living Network in the home office, Summer students become eligible to make arrangements outside of work hours to attend courses and workshops, and go on excursions to other sustainable living locations and events in Ontario, Quebec, and into the United States. These opportunities occur through the workshops offered by the Sustainable Living Network (e.g. edible landscaping, solar showers, composting toilets, earthships, strawbale, natural plasters, earth floors, permaculture, and ecovillages), and through attendance at eco events that Jillian Hovey is speaking at and/or we take the Sustainable living Books community service project to. This itinerary and costs will be determined on an individual basis.

Opportunities to Be Referred to Placements with Other Organizations

An added advantage of becoming invested in helping the Sustainable Living
Network, is that summer students who have cultivated a good relationship with
us become eligible to be recommended for internship placements in locations
in North and Central America, with associates of the Sustainable Living
Network. These locations can be exemplary of sustainable living, and
volunteers can focus their learning on areas such as natural building (strawbale,
cob, thatch, earth plasters, earth floors), renewable energy (passive and
active solar, hydronic heating, solar hot water systems, composting toilets,
grey and black water treatment systems), and organic growing and food

Application method:

Email us with your resume, and a written expression of interest that speaks to the following:

•  How you found out about us
•  Why you are interested in working with us
•  Your interest/involvement in the “environmental” movement
•  Which projects form the list above you are interested in working on
•  What are the qualifications and skills that you bring to the project(s)
•  What skills you would like to develop
•  Your availability:  availability to volunteer in April and May;  where will you live over the summer;  when you can start;  when do you have to finish by;  any time away needed;  whether you want to work full- and/or part-time, etc.

Email cover letter and resume to jillian@permaculture.net (please name your resume with YOUR NAME; and please send from a computer with up-to-date virus protection). Please DO NOT telephone or fax.
If you want to get your foot in the door, come and volunteer (see below).

Application deadline June 15th.

The sooner you apply, the better, as people who develop a relationship with us ahead of the summer, and especially those who we get to know through volunteering, are in the best position to be considered for being hired. Our interview process is usually through people volunteering for at least a couple of days.

Working with the Sustainable Living Network can change your life!
Opportunities for continued involvement exist beyond summer placements.

Pictures Copyright © 2007 Jillian Hovey.
Copyright © 2007 Sustainable Living Network.