t’s been said that no one can stop an idea whose time has come. If the groundswell of interest in the Sept. 24 ‘Sustainable Sunday’ Tour and Mini Fair is a sign, people are eager to seize new ideas for developing a more sustainable Comox Valley and local economy.
This first-of-a-kind event is hosted by the Comox Valley Sustainability Project (CVSP) with volunteers from the sustainability and local food movements, as well as the Island WORD, small businesses, local governments and a diversity of grassroots supporters. The goal of the first-ever Sustainable Sunday Tour and Mini Fair is to highlight some of the inspiring and innovative ways that residents are taking the lead in building a more sustainable community.
The tour will feature more than a dozen unique sites where homeowners, enterprising co-ops and entrepreneurs are pioneering new and more cost-effective ways of building and energizing homes and providing local food and services. The tour is self-guided and visitors are encouraged travel in as environmentally friendly way as they can like bicycles and carpooling. Maps are available for download from the CVSP website (www.cvsustainabilityproject.ca).
The Sustainable Sunday Tour includes renewable energy show homes that use geo-thermal power, photovoltaic power captured in solar panels on the roof, and passive solar design. Other sites range from a Courtenay city lot dedicated to edible landscaping, to affordable, environmentally friendly co-housing and co-op gardening, a wood gasification project for power generation, eBob electric bicycle trailers, rainwater collection and storage, water conservation solutions and more. The tour sites will be open for visitors on Sunday Sept. 24 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
The first site on the tour is the Sustainable Mini Fair, which will be held in the Edible Island Whole Foods Market parking lot, 477 6th Street, Courtenay, from 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The Fair will feature printed copies of the tour map and displays on a variety of local projects, including incentives for water and energy conservation, how to do home audits for energy efficiency and savings, healthy food choices and plans for a regional farming co-op.
Organizing the all-day fair and tour revealed broad-based support. The vision of energy efficient homes, sustainable development, renewable energy, green jobs, habitat restoration and a healthy environment is uniting folks across the region.
“As soon as we announced the event concept, people began contacting us to get involved,” said organizer Norm Reynolds. “The curiosity and positive response was faster and bigger than we’d expected. Contacting the tour locations, I learned about some incredible home designs and money-saving solutions that are already happening around us. The Comox Valley as a whole community is starting to pull together and show leadership. We don’t need to wait. There’s lots of solutions we can start using right now to save money and build the healthy future we all want while protecting our environment and high quality of life.
“It’s time to turn sustainability from an aspirational goal into concrete actions and common sense.”
Everyone is invited to make new connections and learn more on Sept. 24. While the Sustainable Sunday Tour and Mini Fair is the first event of its kind in the Comox Valley, many communities have begun using such tours to help spread the word about the many personal, social, environmental and economic benefits of creating more sustainable communities. For more information on the Comox Valley Sustainable Sunday Tour and Mini Fair, or to help volunteer, visit www.cvsustainabilityproject.ca or call 250-338-0155.