The Sustainable Red Deer Society (operating as ReThink Red Deer) is dedicated to enhancing the long term quality of life in Red Deer and surrounding area.
This group seeks out and shares ideas that inspire citizens to make and create sustainable consumer choices - global in awareness, local in application. Members believe that we are citizens first and consumers second; that our world is finite and borrowed from future generations; that we can live sustainably and in harmony with nature; and that inspiration is a renewable resource.
Mission: We promote citizen-driven leadership through sustainable planning and living in the Red Deer region.
Vision: We envision a community that is living sustainably.
For more information on sustainable community development visit The Natural Step Canada.
ReThink Red Deer is driven by the energy of its members and coordinates its action around four key principles:
1) Smart Urban Planning
2) Waste Minimization (aka Zero Waste)
3) Protecting and Enhancing Natural Assets
4) Reinvigorating the Democratic Process
We believe in starting where we can - with our own lives, and our own community - Red Deer.
ReThink Red Deer was founded in 2007. Today it functions as a non-profit society registered in Alberta (since 2010) and is governed by a volunteer board of directors. We are volunteer-driven with a small staff for project management, maintaining day-to-day operations, and project coordination opportunities for summer students.
Our organization assembles around the practices of a "for-benefit" organization; integrating social and environmental aims with business approaches. ReThink Red Deer is applying a social enterprise model, selling soil amending products (premium worm castings, compost teas and extracts, and micronutrient-rich rock dust) as well as heirloom seeds, microgreens, and vegetables grown at local urban 'homesteads' and demonstration gardens that are sold at local markets through "The Root Cellar: ecoStore & Apothecary". We aim to couple environmental responsibility and community service while using funds raised for projects that responsibly inform citizens and contribute to the common good.
We're a member of the Recycling Council of Alberta, the Alberta Environmental Network, and proud to collaborate with the Red Deer Polytechnic Green Campus initiative.
Our board of directors strives to broadly represent the community of Central Alberta and we are always looking for new directors to join the organization.
Art van Zanten - Interim Chair, Project Lead (Common Ground Garden Project)
Heidy Panameno - Vice Chair
Jonathan Wieler - Treasurer
Sarah Grass - Secretary and Project Lead (Piper Creek Restoration Agriculture Project)
Mana Ajila - Director
Stacey Guthro - Director
(5 additional director positions currently available)
Rene Michalak - Project Manager (Common Ground Garden Project)
Lead Volunteers / Supporting Members:
Sylvia Kennedy (Education and Outreach Coordinator for Common Ground Garden Project)
TBA (Garbage-Free February and the EcoLiving Fair + Workshops)
TBA (Summer Student - Project Coordination)
Christiane Guilbeault (Little Green Thumbs)
From 2007 to 2015, ReThink Red Deer focused on raising awareness of the importance of community sustainability. Founder Lorne Daniel presented on the history of ReThink Red Deer at the 2011 Pathways To Sustainability Conference we hosted at the Red Deer College:
With the ongoing support of numerous volunteers, we have established four key projects that will be the focus of our strategic planning in the years ahead:
1) The Common Ground Garden Project
2) The EcoLiving Fair + Workshops / The Renewable Energy Fair + Workshops and Garbage-Free February campaign
3) The Piper Creek Restoration Agriculture Project
4) The Root Cellar: ecoStore & Apothecary
If you are interested in volunteering with ReThink Red Deer please Contact Us and Join the organization as a voting Member.