OVERVIEW OF THE ORGANIZATION
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 inspiration and education.
The network was founded in 1999, by Jillian Hovey, with a view to developing a one-stop shopping for all things related to sustainable living that were in the realm of subject areas that Ms. Hovey had expertise in and was being consulted about. 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. The focus is on inspiration and education, which is accomplished through participation in projects at the network, summer student positions, internships, courses and workshops, and consulting.
Sustainable Living Books
Sustainable Living Books is a volunteer-run community service project of the Sustainable Living Network, which helps us fulfill our mandate of inspiration and education about sustainable living. The community service bookstore has made available over 4,000 different books and other resources on sustainable and healthy living at eco events and shows over the past six years. We have a draft web site up at www.sustainablelivingbooks.com, and hope to have the site functional by the end of this summer.
LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD VOLUNTEERS!
We are looking for motivated people, with positive personalities and
a desire to learn while giving of their time, energy, and expertise. We are especially open to people 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. Organization, self-motivation, critical thinking, and the ability to communicate effectively with others are very important skills and attributes that we are looking for.
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. We work together as a team, building community while we learn about sustainable living, and grow as human beings.
There is always more to do than we have people to do it. The work is primarily to help in the development of The Sustainable Living Network, and the Sustainable Living Books community service project.
Right now, as we are doing so much development of our electronic office infrastructure, we especially need people to help who have computer skills.
For more Details about Becoming a Technical Volunteer CLICK HERE!
Ongoing Projects that we Need Help with:
There is always more to do than we have people to do
it. The work is
primarily to help in the development of The Sustainable
Living Network, and
the Sustainable Living Books community service project.
Some of the
tasks/projects are as follows:
• Contact database: continuing database design,
data entry, developing of applications (such as emailing
• Development of the resource centre's library:
design of a reference system
so all the categories from “alternative energy”
to “zebra mussels” are readily
accessible to people wanting to use the library; filing
• Cataloguing of thousands of slide images from
sustainable living projects
from around the world, to be used in slide shows,
web sites, and promotional
• Development of promotional materials: continued
development of our web
sites www.sustainablelivingnetwork.org and www.sustainablelivingbooks.com
, design and production of brochures and event display
• Research of funding options and development
of funding application
• Continued development of www.sustainablelivingbooks.com
and polishing data entry for our 3,000 titles, with
a view to having a subset of 1,500 core titles up
on line by the end of the summer; possible print catalogue
development; research of new titles
• Books sales: help displaying books at special
events, fulfilling book
orders, processing returns
• General organization and maintenance of the
office, including gardening
• Development of and cultivation of the office
rooftop, container, and back
• Courses and Workshops - assisting in preparing
for, assisting at, and
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.
How Much Time Do I Have to Commit?
There is a lot of flexibility in the volunteer work, which
depends on the
skills and interests of the volunteers currently involved,
the availability of the volunteer and the person who will
work with the volunteer, and the
priorities of the Sustainable Living Network. Volunteers
will often be directly supported
in their involvement by Jillian Hovey, a leading expert
and educator in the
holistic field of sustainable living.
Core Skills Development
• Personal organization, goal-setting, time
management, and self-management
• Team planning: time lines, goals & objectives,
• Project organization, and potentially project
• Working on own and in groups
• Communication: in person, phone, email, fax,
• 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
• Promotional literature development (lay out,
• 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
• Organic growing: back yard, roof top, and
• Organization of a Community Shared Agriculture
• Natural building techniques
• Volunteer programme coordination
Opportunties to Travel to Eco Events and Projects
In addition to the learning opportunities through
the continuing development of
The Sustainable Living Network in the home office, volunteers
become eligible to 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,
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.
Reduced Cost on Books for Volunteers
Volunteers become eligible to purchase books from the
Books community service project for reduced prices,
down to our cost.
Similarly, volunteers become eligible to attend workshops
offered by the
Sustainable Living Network for reduced costs, down to
Opportunities to Be Referred to Placements with Other
An added advantage of becoming invested in helping the
Network, is that volunteers who have cultivated a good
us become eligible to be recommended for internship placements
in North and Central America, with associates of the Sustainable
Network. These locations can be exemplary of sustainable
volunteers can focus their learning on areas such as natural
cob, thatch, earth plasters, earth floors), renewable
energy (passive and
active solar, hydronic heating, solar hot water systems,
grey and black water treatment systems), and organic growing
INTERNSHIPS / APPRETICESHIPS / MENTORING
As a very common reason people are interested in volunteering
at the Sustainable Living Network and/or with Sustainable
Living Books is that they want to learn more about various
aspects of sustainable living. Some people want to
pursue their education in a more formalized and/or structured
manner. As Jillian Hovey is capable of directing and supporting
people to the graduate level academically, and a wide
range of people in a non-academic environments. We develop
more formal internship/apprenticeship, which are designed
on a indivual basis.
PART-TIME AND FULL-TIME EMPLOYMENT
We are very open to people developing and part- and full-time
working positions for themselves with the Sustainable
Living Network. This can be achieved through public and/or
private grants (we can issue charitable tax receipts),
and through developing a profitable buisiness idea.
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 several different routes of the TTC Bicycles can be
securely parked at the office, and are encouraged. There
is also street parking during the day for cars.
Contact us with a written expression of interest, and
attach your resume (if you have one). Indicate:
• how you found out about us
• what you are interested in doing with us and
• what are the skills that you bring to the
• what skills you would like to develop
• the time you have available to volunteer:
when you can start, how much time you can commit to,
how often can you come in to the office, length of
time of involvement
Phone 416-410-7581, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
There is plenty to do in the office and the garden during the months of April and May as we prepare for the summer student season that runs from the latter part of May to the end of August. The sooner you apply, the better, as people who develop a relationship with us early in the busy season are in the best position to be considered for the coveted work trade spots at this seasonís workshops and outings.
Opportunities for involvement are available throughout the year.
Each volunteer position is relatively unique - designed to suit YOU.
Volunteering with the Sustainable Living Network
can change your life!