All posts by Skylar Franke

Developing a target based sustainability program in London

LEN has been working towards building a target based sustainability program (TBSP) for local London businesses. The overall goal of the TBSP is to convene a network of businesses to help them set sustainability goals, assist them in achieving those goals and celebrating them when they do. The TBSP will support businesses in establishing, monitoring, and achieving personalized sustainability goals. There will be a focus on carbon, waste, and water reduction, however, other environmental initiatives will also be recognized.

Read more about our progress here.

ReForest London: Employment Opportunities

School Program Assistant

ReForest London ( is a non-profit organization dedicated to partnering with our community to enhance environmental and human health in the Forest City through the benefits of trees.


We are seeking a program assistant to support our Program Coordinator with our new school program. In this program, we will be delivering a set of four educational modules and activities to 30 schools per year to teach students in Grades 4-6 about the many benefits of our trees and forests, to develop a deeper understanding of the role they play within our natural heritage system, and to empower students to make positive environmental change. The assistant will plan and implement workshops with local students in elementary schools, assist with planning and implementing tree-planting projects in schoolyards, lead educational tree hikes, assist with research, and support our outreach and communications activities.

This is a full-time (30 hours/week) position beginning February 2018, renewable on an annual basis (contingent upon funding).


The School Program Assistant will support our Program Coordinator with:

  •  Educational programming and development:

o   assist with planning and implementing student workshops in local elementary schools related to seedling planting, for classroom seedling-growing initiatives

o   assist with planning and implementing site-planning workshops for tree-planting projects in schoolyards, including mapping, soil samples, participatory design, logistics, and coordination of plant orders and delivery

o   assist with planning and implementing tree-planting projects in schoolyards

o   plan and implement educational tree hikes with elementary students in local environmentally-significant areas

o   develop and curate educational materials

o   link all educational programming to the Ontario Curriculum

  •  Research:

o   Collect and analyze data related to participation, tree planting, tree health, distribution of seedlings, and other related topics

o   report on progress of the program, including evaluation of workshops

o   Assist staff with a review of existing research related to assisted migration and climate change

  • Outreach and Communications:

o   assist with development and utilization of communications systems for participating schools in the program

o   write, curate, and publish content related to the program for use on our website and social media

o   assist with development of public education & engagement activities

What we’re looking for:

The ideal candidate is passionate about trees and environmental education, especially hands-on experiential learning, and enjoys working on a number of different projects at a time. The ideal candidate is also an excellent communicator, has experience with teaching or leading youth and children, and truly loves working with them. A background in research is an asset. As this is a new program for us, the ideal candidate is also someone who enjoys developing up with a vision for an initiative and who gains satisfaction from seeing that vision turned into a reality.

ReForest London is happy to teach the more specific skills that pertain to the position, such as the use of GIS and Client Relationship Management (CRM) database software.


  • University or College graduate of one of the following fields: Education (with teachable subjects in the Sciences or Social Sciences), Geography, Environmental Sciences, Natural Sciences, Forestry, Ecology, Biology, Botany, Landscape Architecture, Horticultural Technology, Environmental Technology
  • This position will be funded through the Science and Technology Internship Program (STIP).
    To be eligible for this program, the applicant MUST be:
  • A graduate of a post-secondary institution between the ages of 15 and 30 years of age (inclusive) at the start of the internship;
  • A Canadian Citizen, permanent resident of Canada, or have granted refugee status in Canada (no work permits or student visas);
  • A first-time participant in the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) program;
  • Unemployed or underemployed; and
  • Not in receipt of Employment Insurance (EI) benefits.


  • Experience with teaching or leading children or youth (through educational programming, camps, mentorship programs, or other similar activities)
  • Knowledge of Ontario’s native species a strong asset
  • Some experience in the administration and/or development of environmental programs and working with community volunteers is considered an asset
  • Experience working in a non-profit setting is valuable


  • Public speaking and educational outreach
  • Understanding of the Ontario Education System
  • Research and reporting writing
  • Working knowledge of ArcGIS and related mapping skills a strong asset
  • Flexible and self-directed, used to dealing with multiple projects at a time
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Excellent time management

Other Requirements:

  • Reliable vehicle, required for visiting schools to deliver programming throughout the City of London. During certain months of the year, we expect the Program Assistant to be in schools delivering programming most days of the week.
  • A genuine passion for environmental education and kids is a must!

Please note that this position may include some evening and/or weekend work (both Saturdays and Sundays) throughout the year.

Hours & Salary:

  • $30,000/year for a full-time (30 hours/week) position. The position will be renewable on an annual basis, contingent upon funding.

About Our Office:

We work in a busy, fast-paced environment (especially during planting seasons!), and get our energy from knowing that the work we are doing is making a difference in our community and the daily lives of thousands of students each year. Members of our team all bring their own expertise and strengths to the table, and collaboration and reflection are both important parts of our organizational culture. (We’re also big fans of pot-luck lunches!). For nature enthusiasts, our office is located right next to the beautiful Westminster Ponds Environmentally Significant Area, London’s largest ESA and a wonderful place to enjoy a lunch-time hike or picnic. We are passionate and dedicated individuals who truly work every day to make London a better place.

To Apply:

Apply by 5pm, January 30, 2018 to with the subject line “School Program Assistant”. Send cover letter detailing how your skills, experience, and education fit with this position, along with your resume, in the same Word or PDF document.

Please confirm in your cover letter that you are eligible for the internship per STIP requirements. All applications received will be acknowledged with a reply email. However, only those to be invited for an interview will be contacted. Anticipated start date is early February 2018. No phone calls please. 

ReForest London Location:

944 Western Counties Road
London, Ontario

N6C 6A9

Link to map:

January Green Drinks

Green Drinks is back in London this January to ring in the New Year! We will be hosting our next event at the London Brewing Co-operative on Thursday, January 18th from 6:30pm – 9:00pm. The London Environmental Network is once again excited to offer Green Drinks every 2 months in 2018, with the intention of highlighting some of our amazing LEN members at each event.

The feature speaker will be Marianne Griffith, director of the London based organisation Building Better. Building Better is a not-for-profit organisation committed to advocating and implementing sustainable building solutions in residential, commercial and public settings. They hope to empower and enable individuals and communities to implement emission reduction solutions in existing structures, develop new, community run, zero emission facilities, and influence policy making to prioritize sustainable outcomes.

Marianne will share the unique approach Building Better takes to sustainable building, as well as talk about the Chippewa Sustainable Living Project, an exciting partnership with Chief Myeengun of the Chippewas on the Thames First Nations. For more information about Building Better or the Chippewa Sustainable Living Project, visit the Building Better website at

New year, new intentions! This month, with our New Years resolutions fresh on our minds, we will be providing an opportunity to share our environmentally focused goals with one another. Come with an intention (or a few!) ready to share on our Green Intentions board. Small changes in our daily lives can make a huge difference on our environment and community. Lets share our intentions, get inspired, and support one another on our 2018 goals! Note cards and pens will be provided, but we encourage you to get creative with recycled items found at home to share your intentions!

Please use public transit, carpool or active transportation to attend the event if possible – there are bike racks available outside the LBC.

Green Drinks is an organic, self-organising network of people interested in talking about environmentally related topics. Stay in the loop by checking out the London Environmental Network’s website, or follow londonenvironet on Instagram.

Thames Talbot Land Trust is hiring

Fundraising and Communications Coordinator
Are you a creative thinker with a knack for fundraising and event planning? Would you like to be part of a team dedicated to environmental conservation? A challenging and exciting position is available with the Thames Talbot Land Trust for a Fundraising and Communications Coordinator.

About the role
We are seeking a dynamic individual who is inspired by our cause and wants to use their unique set of skills in a role that is challenging and offers potential for growth. The ability to balance diverse workloads and to meet deadlines despite pressure and periodic interruptions is critical as is the desire to make a contribution in a team environment.

Responsibilities and Accountabilities
Fundraising and Event Planning

  • Plan, organize and execute annual fundraising events
    Manage donor information in the database and use that data to perform data analysis
  • Contribute to campaign strategy
  • Create case statements for future land acquisition campaigns, draft proposals for support, make person-to-person donor contact
  • Perform prospect research and take on development duties to secure major gift donations to support TTLT


  • Manage website content and oversee social media accounts (including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
  • Create content for digital communications (e-newsletter, e-blasts) and print materials (campaign brochure, newsletter, direct mail campaign)
  • Act as the staff liaison for the Membership and Marketing committee


  • Work with the Treasurer and Executive Director to manage the financial stewardship of the
  • Act as staff liaison for Finance Committee

The successful candidate will have a degree in Marketing, Communications, Business Administration or Diploma in Not for Profit Management or the equivalent combination of related skills and experience. Strong verbal and non-verbal communication skills with the ability to deal with people sensitively, tactfully, diplomatically and professionally at all times.

  • Experience with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Experience with accounting software (Quickbooks) an asset.
  • Experience with Nationbuilder an asset
  • Experience with Graphic Design software an asset
  • Expertise using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram

Annual Salary

Hours of Work: Monday to Friday 9am – 3:30pm.
Some evenings and weekends required.

Other Information:
This positing is for a permanent position working 30 hours per week.

Application Instructions:
Please send CV and Cover letter (in one document) to Suzanne McDonald, Executive Director by 4pm on December 15, 2017. Please reference the job title in the Subject Line. Suzanne McDonald
519 858-3442

Effective Start Date:
January 2nd, 2018

Secondhand & Savvy in London, Ontario

Its #WasteReductionWeek and textiles (aka clothing and other fabrics) are a MAJOR part of the problem. Did you know the average person throws away 37 kilograms of textiles each year, and 95 per cent of those clothes could be reused or recycled? Globally, textiles waste has increased dramatically due to the rise in clothing consumption and production.

You might be under the impression that shopping brand new all the time is your only way to be trendy, fashion forward, and always looking great. Well, sorry to say but LEN is here to prove you wrong! We have amassed a list of all the places in London to shop savvy second hand goods!

1. Filthy Rebina Vintage

At Filthy you will find Men’s and Women’s clothing, accessories and footwear, along with many sweet housewares and trinkets. They specialize in carefully curated vintage finds that are always changing and evolving. This rad vintage spot is always spinning great music, having fun events, and has anything for anyone looking for any kind of vintage piece. (PSSTTTTT – they are having a MAJOR sale this Friday October 20th, with 50% off all their vintage product in store)


2. The Sentimentalist Vintage Clothing

This store touts themselves as “a little time travelling oasis” – touting all your retro vintage staples, there is always something new here. Their location in Old East London makes for a great trip to experience all that the neighbourhood has to offer.

3. Blue Pepper Vintage

Blue Pepper offers a well stocked curated collection of quality vintage from the 1920’s to around 1985 with a Diverse Collection of His & Her Vintage Fashions, Timeless Classics and some really Fun and Funky Finds. Located around the corner from Dundas and Richmond, this is a great stop to make if in the Downtown core.


4. Style 360 Selective Consignment

Style 360 is the working woman’s choice for price conscious high end consignment that keeps you looking great all year long. This shop prizes itself in only stocking garments of the highest quality so women can look fantastic while making “the economically and ecologically responsible choice”. If you’re looking to shop current fashion – this place is for you.


5. Plato’s Closet

Plato’s Closet boasts itself as being the destination for every day basics and trendy designer styles – and we cannot argue with that. Their model has them buying only in season merchandise from people like YOU and selling them at up to 70% of the retail price. They pride themselves in carrying girls sizes 00 – 22 and guys size 26 – 42 waist. Although this store’s key demographic is the younger crowd – the LEN team has all found professional workwear, shoes, and workout attire at a great price and great quality. All it takes is one look at their instagram feed to show you how much of a broad offering Plato’s has for everyone – so take a look for yourself.

6. Boutique Top Floor

When I first began my journey into shopping secondhand, Boutique Top Floor was where it all started. You will find a variety of designer clothing and accessories both new and gently used for all occasions.Whether you are looking for your favourite designer jeans to a dress for that special event, Boutique Top Floor is sure to meet all your needs on budget. New items arrive daily!

7. NU4U Closet

This newer consignment boutique on Richmond Row has something for all savvy shoppers, boasting stock in children’s, women’s, and mens clothing – there is something for everyone. Their prices are fair and selection is great.


8. Mine 101

Mine 101 is a fusion of sustainable price conscious fashion and doing good for the local community by directly supporting Women’s Community House. Their mantra of “look good, do good” is everything we like about sustainable fashion in the forest city.


9. Talize

No thrifting list would be complete without Talize, and BEFORE you say its too overwhelming for you – hear me out. On my last visit their entire store was colour coded and perfectly organized, and I was extremely impressed. Beyond the ease of finding the colours and styles you want (yes I did go straight to black thank you very much) – their selection of name brands was truly outstanding and at amazing prices. The best thing about Talize are their Managers Specials in which each day a different section of the store is 50% off. PLUS students get a 10% discount too with valid student I.D. If you need MORE of a reason to shop here, Talize is a proud Platinum Partner of the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. Through this partnership, Talize has contributed over $1.5 Million to this date since its inception in 2005.

10. Goodwill Industries

Its no secret than LEN has a love for GoodWill Industries of Ontario Great Lakes Region and all the work they do to create greener workspaces – but their system for easily donating almost anything puts them on the list for savvy secondhand in London. When you shop at Goodwill, you’re not the only one who gets a great deal.  Last year, sales from Goodwill stores funded employment and job training for people in your Community. Your purchases supported valuable employment, education and training services in your community to help people find a job and get control of their finances. The money you spend stays directly in your community and gives people an opportunity to make a fresh start.

Image result for goodwill industries london ont

11. Value Village

With a recent re-branding to focus on the sustainability of shopping second hand, this savvy staple made our list for good reason. In 2016, Value Village repurposed hundreds of millions of items. They keep 700,000,000 pounds of reusable items out of landfill each and every year. Value Village is the place to get great deals on great items. On a recent trip I found two vintage Tommy Hilfiger tee’s, a sweet Zara denim shirt, and some Levi’s jeans. If you’re into hunting for deals, this place is one you should try out – or try again.

12. Habitat for Humanity ReStore

A non-clothing but honourable mention for secondhand shopping in London, Ontario is Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The money raised from the sale of items at the ReStores pays for the overhead costs of operating Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario. By covering our their own costs, they are able to keep our promise that every dollar donated to Habitat for Humanity will go directly towards building homes for families in need. Habitat for Humanity believes that we all deserve to have a strong foundation for a prosperous and opportunity filled life. Habitat ReStore stocks new and used building supplies, furniture, appliances, and so much more.

Know any other second-hand stores we missed? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook by joining the conversation on why secondhand is the better way to shop @LondonEnviroNet

Article written & curated by LEN’s Communications Coordinator Kaitlyn Tyschenko

Member Feature: Garden Club of London

The Garden Club of London is a community organization that was established back in 1951. This organization has a variety of different projects and initiatives within the environmental community in London, mostly focusing on gardening and horticulture. Myself (Ksenia) and Kaitlyn Tyschenko (LEN Communications Coordinator) went to visit Lynne Schmidt at the Civic Garden Centre over the summer to learn more about the Club!

The Garden Club of London’s mission statement is “The promotion of interest in botanical activities through Environmental Awareness, Education, Horticulture and Floral Artistry.” As soon as we entered the Civic Garden Centre, it was clear that they stay true to this mission statement in every sense.

Inside there are many members who come together weekly to make crafts out of natural materials. These include Christmas tree decorations that are painted like different animals as well as wreaths and other natural decorations. The club later sells these crafts at their Craft Sale held in November, which is a major fundraising event for the organization.

The Garden Club also has many significant recent accomplishments, including:

  • Through the purchase and planting trees in the Woodland Restoration Project,the Club is a proud partner with Reforest London and The Million Tree Challenge.
  • Most recently, on February 27th 2016, the Garden Club of London received recognition for their years of dedicated work in the Woodlandfrom Ontario Parks.

The Garden Club of London is very proud of their Woodland Restoration Project, located in Springbank Park. The Club recreated a woodland environment with over 150 different native plants that all have name tags next to them. This is incredibly useful for people walking through and wondering which native species they can plant on their own properties. There are also many places to rest within the Woodland area and appreciate the surrounding nature. This is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year – it is located across from the Community Centre along the Maurice Chapman Walkway. You can see a full map of the woodlands here.

Maintenance of the Woodland is done by Garden Club members, who constantly plan and promote it. There are soft woodchip paths that provide a welcoming walking surface. Visit the Woodland Restoration Project soon to see the beautiful autumn colours!

Feel free to walk around the Woodland Restoration Project any time of year. As well, the Garden Club of London is always seeking new members so if you have a green thumb, consider joining this very active organization!

Website for the Garden Club of London:
Contact Information:

Article written by Ksenia Kolodka (Communications Volunteer)


Resilient Cities Conference

Resilient Cities Conference: Preparing London for a rapidly changing future

In the context of urban environments, resilience can be defined as the capacity of individuals, neighbourhoods, businesses, institutions, and cities as a whole to bounce back and even become stronger after acute events such as hurricanes or chronic stresses such as smog.

The Resilience Cities Conference will explore how London can build adaptive capacity to weather the “storms” of this new century by inviting cutting edge thinkers from our city and beyond. Participants will be challenged to consider the changes they can initiate in their personal and social spheres of influence. We hope that the conference will mark the beginning of a long journey for London as it transforms itself into one of the most resilient and sustainable cities in Canada.

Date: Saturday November 18th 2017, 9-4pm
Location: Central Library, 251 Dundas St. London Ontario.
Time: Conference is 9-4:00pm followed by a special Pints and Politics on Resilient Cities at the Fox and Fiddle from 4:00pm onwards.
Partners & Organizers: London Public Library, Advisory Commitee on the Environment, London Environmental Network, TREA

Registration will be on the Library’s website – and will soon be posted. Stay tuned!

See PDF of Workshops and times: Resilient Cities Plan – Sat Workshop + Speakers 

Nature London Plaque Unveiling – Cause for Celebration!

One of the oldest societies in London is being honoured by the Historic Sites Committee of the London Public Library. Nature London will be recognized by the unveiling of a commemorative plaque on October 13, 2017 at 3:00 pm near the Civic Garden Complex in Springbank Park.

Originally founded in 1864 as an Entomological Society devoted to the collection and study of insects, the club, its name and its interests have evolved over the years. For much of the twentieth century the group was called the McIlwraith Ornithological Club and, later, the McIlwraith Field Naturalists. Since 2009 it has been popularly known as Nature London. Today the organization continues its commitment to the study, enjoyment and conservation of the natural world.

The plaque is being erected in Springbank Park to recognize the club’s longstanding association with the area and the adjacent Thames River. This dates to well before the park’s establishment in the 1870s. In the late 1800s, club members were not only collecting insects but also studying birds, plants and fossils in the park and its environs. A century ago, the group was lobbying the Public Utilities Commission to put a stop to the wanton shooting of birds within Springbank Park. It also asked the PUC to establish habitat there to encourage waterfowl, whose numbers were at an historic low due to decades of overhunting.

Throughout the club’s history, Nature London members have most frequently visited Springbank Park and the adjacent Thames in order to observe birds – recording data on species and abundance. Springbank has been the location of many club-organized field trips to introduce the public to the wonders and diversity of nature. Nature London has also kept an eye on the ecological health of the Thames River and made input to the authorities at appropriate times. For the past two decades Nature London has held its meetings at the Civic Garden Complex within the park.

The plaque honouring Nature London’s 150 years is being erected near the Civic Garden Complex in Springbank Park. Fittingly, the site, which is wheelchair accessible, overlooks the Thames and the park’s main path along the river. Plans are being developed for an exciting event on October 13. Elected officials and the media are to be invited. The program includes the unveiling of the plaque, greetings from dignitaries, an overview of club history, a short nature hike, displays and refreshments.

The general public and everyone interested in nature or history are warmly invited to attend this event. Mark your calendars now and reserve the date – Friday, October 13, 2017 at 3 pm. Meet at the north side of the Civic Garden Complex parking lot at 625 Springbank Drive, just west of Wonderland Road. For more information about Nature London, go to

For more information about the plaque-unveiling event on October 13, contact Winifred Wake at

How the Goodwill Green Advisory Team is Creating Greener Workplaces

Goodwill Industries is spreading its goal to make the world a greener place with the Green Advisory Team. This is a committee within Goodwill Industries which advocates for sustainable practices in the business workplace, and consequently, in workers’ homes. I spoke to the co-chair of the Green Advisory Team, Andrea von Wahl, to learn more about their practices.


The main goal of the team is to implement environmentally friendly actions in the workplace. This includes using energy efficient lightbulbs, maintaining low heat in the winter, composting, and recycling. Andrea explains that “in the process of teaching people how to have a greener business, they learn how to be more responsible, and it influences their home behaviour.”


The team only consists of a few members spread across London, Tillsonburg, Woodstock, Guelph, Kitchener, and other parts of the GTA. As co-chair, Andrea’s role is to coordinate a feasible plan for businesses to implement in their daily schedules. She explains that by having an empathetic insight into people’s lives, people become more empowered to change their habits – “You need to seek input and make sure people feel engaged in the process.”


One of the Green Advisory Team’s greatest successes is composting. It is normally hard to get employers to install composting programs at their practices, but London has several options to get this done. Where Goodwill owns small properties, they have aerobic digesters in which workers can place their compostable waste. At the Horton location, compost is being picked up by a company that transports the compost to Orgaworld, and with the amount of kitchen scraps that accumulate, this makes a big difference. The team also aims to inform businesses across London that this composting program exists, so they also consider using it in their own practices.


The Green Advisory Team also wants to influence the general community by collaborating on projects such as Clean and Green, and the community garden at the Tillsonburg Goodwill store. Andrea is very proud of the community garden which her other co-chair, Leila Nattagh, helped plan. Andrea hopes that people will be motivated to grow their own food – “You may be less likely to waste food if you know what it takes growing it, and you have more respect about what goes on the table.”


If you’re interested in helping the Green Advisory Team at Goodwill, there may be a place for you. Andrea explains that it is hard to find capacity to get some work done – they especially need volunteers to strengthen the green ambassador program. The green ambassador program will eventually be implemented in every Goodwill location, and the people in charge will fill in staff on a weekly basis about a simple green tip. For instance, this can be reminding workers about using refillable water bottles or reusing products instead of throwing them out.


Andrea recently joined the LEN Steering Committee. She wants to listen to other peoples’ ideas and learn about the best practices. Andrea also wants to bring her passion for the environment and experience as co-chair to the other members of the steering committee.


Making green decisions in the workplace will ultimately lead to a happier community and happier planet. Starting off small, like reducing, reusing, and recycling, can lead to more impactful habits like composting food waste. Take care to make these decisions in your own workplace!

Want to know more about the Green Advisory team or get in contact with them?

Green Advisory Team at Goodwill Industries, Ontario Great Lakes
255 Horton Street,
London, ON N6B 1L1
(519) 850-9000

Article by: Ksenia Kolodka – Communications Volunteer 

London Environmental Network Volunteer

Project Neutral is hiring!

With new three-year funding from Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Project Neutral is investing in our tech platform, adding new features that will help them engage more households and catalyze the adoption of low-carbon actions, as well as expanding their footprint to five new cities across Ontario.

They’re recruiting dynamic people to join their team, including:

These are great opportunities for creative, entrepreneurial leaders who want to help shape the future of household climate action in Ontario.

Willing to hire individuals from across Ontario, although the organization is hosted out of Toronto.