A brief history of the Local Good

We thought it would be fitting for the first post of our new blog to be a timeline of what our group has accomplished to date, to give you an idea of our history before we talk about what our group will do next.

  • The first meeting of the Edmonton Socially-Conscious Alternative Green Entrepreneurs network (or E-SAGE) was a charette in December 2007, with the goal of creating a network to ‘gather together the threads of the green community in Edmonton’, and ‘encourage and support local businesses and individuals to make sustainable lifestyle choices’. About 50 enthusiastic people came out, watched a short film about a similar network in Bellingham, broke into discussion groups to answer the question, “What do we think we know about creating and living in a sustainable community?”, then spent some time mingling. What came through loud and clear to founders Maureen and Tad was the huge desire people had to connect with like-minded people and learn about local green events and issues.
  • At the second charrette in January 2008 (the first meeting Deborah attended),  the attendance was even higher and skewed toward interested members of the general public. The common themes from the first meeting were used to guide group discussions at the second meetings, with each table discussing a topic and people hopping from table to table to add projects and potential partner organizations to the lists that were being compiled. The themes discussed were food and agriculture, building design, alternative energy, food security, eco-village, education, community building, and media.
  • After more public and advisory-council consultation meetings to refine our vision, we renamed to Socially conscious Alternative Green Edmontonians (SAGE), then to Edmontonians Supporting A Green Economy (E-SAGE). We began holding separate events for business owners and for the general public, and began work on an online resource directory.
  • April 2008: Tad Hargrave presented ‘Marketing for Green and Local Entrepreneurs’
  • April 2008: Ron Berezan presented ‘The Edible City – cultivating connections to our food’
  • May 2008: Harold Verberg presented ‘Alternative Energy Options’; monthly ‘Growing Your Green Business’ meetings began
  • June 2008: ‘Greening Your Home’ with Stephani Carter, Andrea Jones, Godo Stoyke, and Shanthu Mano
  • June 2008: Mike Nickerson book tour: ‘Life, Money & Illusion: Living on Earth as if we want to stay’
  • July 2008: ‘Eco-Villages and Co-housing’ with Lorie Saito and Shanthu Mano; our Summer Soiree; emcees at 1st annual Devonian Botanic Gardens Green Festival
  • August 2008: ‘Who cares about Local Food?’ and ‘Creating a local living economy in Edmonton’ with Jessie Radies; ‘The Fun of Economics!’ with Mark Anielski and Joey Hundert
  • September 2008: ‘The 100-Mile Diet and Local Food’ with Ivor Mackay
  • We worked with the City and Keep Edmonton Original (now Live Local Alberta) to have November 2008 proclaimed as the first “Shop Local First” Month; it is now an annual event.
  • We worked with the Greater Edmonton Alliance to bring 600 people out to the Municipal Development Plan hearings to preserve Edmonton’s agricultural lands at city hall in November 2008.
  • January 2009: ‘Food Security & the Global Food System’
  • February 2009 (rescheduled from October 2008): E-SAGE was part of a collaboration with Keep Edmonton Original to bring in economist and author Michael Schuman to talk about The Small-Mart Revolution for both a small group of local entrepreneurs and a public talk.
  • March 2009: ‘Nutritional Therapy’; author Peter Brown on his book “Right Relationship Building a Whole Earth Economy”
  • May 2009: ‘Green Renovations and Eco-Villages’ with Andrea Jones, Shanthu Mano, and Godo Stoyke
  • June 2009: ‘Alternative Energy (Solar Electric)’ with Randall Benson
  • July 2009: ‘Green & Natural Parenting’ with Jennifer Summerfeldt and Nadine White; booth at the 2nd annual Devonian Botanic Garden Green Festival
  • August 2009: ‘Ancient Wisdom and Traditional Skills’ with Ivor Mackay, Dustin Bajer, and Operation Fruit Rescue Edmonton
  • September 2009: ‘Organizing for the Common Good’ with Michael Walters
  • October 2009: ‘Live Local 101: Growing a Local Economy’ with Jessie Radies; Local and Green Business Networking Meeting.
  • November 2009 marked the relaunch of Green Drinks Edmonton with E-SAGE as co-organizers with Edmonton’s Young Environmental Professionals.
  • November 2009 was also the launch of Shop Local Guide, our directory of local businesses and organizations with a unique green ranking system. (By July 2011 this had been handed off to cofounder Maureen to facilitate its growth.)
  • November 2009: Deborah spoke about our work to the U of A Energy Club.
  • December 2009: ‘Lessons from O.U.R. Ecovillage’ with Javan Kerby Bernakevitch
  • December 2009: We collaborated with several other groups to organize the TckTckTck/350 Vigil For A Real Deal, that to our delight brought out close to 100 concerned Edmontonians in support of a stronger climate agreement (that sadly did not come to fruition) despite the temperature (-30C without windchill).
  • January 2010: ‘Nontoxic Beauty‘ with Marni Devlin-Moses, Audric Moses, Jenn & Sheldon Durstling, and Allison MacLean
  • February 2010: ‘Reboot Alberta: Beyond Left & Right in Politics’
  • March 2010: the relaunch of the new expanded ‘Edmonton Greener Living Newsletter’ marked an increased emphasis on promoting the great events being held by other local groups
  • March 2010: ‘Real Sustainability: What Would It Actually Take?’ hosted by Ivor Mackay; ‘Alternative Education 101’
  • July 2010: ‘Savvy Citizen Salon – The G20: A ‘101 Primer’ for Progressives on What Happened in Toronto?!’
  • July 2010: ‘Creating A Sustainable Lifestyle – How to Weave Your Interests and Passions for the Earth into A Cool, Financially Sustainable Life’ with Alex Baisley
  • August 2010: ‘Medicinal Plant and Mushroom Walk of Mill Creek Ravine’ with Robert Rogers
  • August 2010: ‘Tarsands 101’ with Mike Hudema
  • January 2011: ‘Social Enterprise: The Future of Creating Change?’ with the Social Enterprise Fund
  • February 2011: ‘Our Water Is Not For Sale’
  • March 2011: ‘Permaculture 101’ with Rob and Michelle Avis
  • April 2011: ‘The Birds And The Bees: Urban Hives and Henhouses’ with Patty Milligan, Laura Klassen Russell, and Dr. Lori Hanson
  • June 2011: ‘Creating Revolutionary Jobs’ with Natalie Pepin
  • July 2011: ‘Medicinal Plant & Mushroom Walk’ with Robert Rogers
  • August 2011: ‘Sustainable Living 101’ with Emilio Gagliardi; Medicinal Plant & Mushroom Walk with Robert Rogers
  • January 2012: ‘How to Grow Your Green, Local and Holistic Business’ with Tad Hargrave
  • January 2012: ‘Local Money Summit’ with Mark Anielski, Jessie Radies, Nadine Riopel, Sangudo Opportunities Development Cooperative, and Duncan Kinney
  • August 2012: After an eight-month search for the best new name, the executive committee agree to rename E-SAGE to The Local Good, kickstarting our rebranding process prior to our application for official association status.


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