Past Projects


June 5, 2001 & May 28, 2002

Two events were hosted to experiment with increasing both profile and fund-raising potential through using eco-auctions for the environmental movement. The first, held at the Ottawa Civic Centre (hyperlink to poster), was led by Leslie-Ann Robertson, and the second was led by Jamie Laidlaw, at the Canadian Museum of Nature (hyperlink to poster). Board member Dave Smithcatered a dinner for each event at cost. Both events were sold out and all items, in both the silent and live auctions were bid upon. Money raised from the auctions allowed the NET to put in place an Executive Director, Jamie Laidlaw, for a year in order to try and raise the profile and partnerships of the organization.

Although they are successful fund-raisers, what we learned from the auctions is that they are very labour intensive and need at least a full-time coordinator or executive director to lead the exercise. Communities are very willing to make high-end donations, and the first auction was organized by a core of volunteers, that was very successful and appreciated. The second, was directed by the Executive Director then in place, and although both events raised money and profile, it was decided that they diverted the organization from its longer term fundraising strategies for the endowment fund.

Unwrapped eco auction live poster

EcoAuction Live Photo

EcoAuction Live Photo

Ecosavers Coupon Book

November 1998 to April 2000

The NET, in partnership with TerraChoice Environmental Services and the UNESCO Canada MABNet Ecoschols Program developed a project proposal (hyperlink to proposal) for a coupon book that featured a range of environmentally preferable products and environmental services used by individual householders and small businesses. In addition, by linking individual consumer choices with climate change, it also served a critical educative purpose. Anticipated distribution was through elementary and secondary schools as part of the EcoSchools Program, post-secondary student unions, ENGOs, youth groups such as girl guides and boy scouts, community groups such as Rotary Clubs and the Knights of Columbus, and seniors’ groups, for example, the Legion and Elderhostel.

The project failed to attract funding for the printing and distribution of the books. From the focus group testing for product uptake, we learned that even committed environmentalists would not choose an environmentally friendly product over another, if it was not price neutral. Securing distribution through the school system also proved problematic, and without primary funding, the project was dropped.

Paving the Yellow Brick Road

June 4 and 5, 1998

This was an experiment with holding a populist, fun-filled event with bands, buskers and clowns on a major street in Ottawa—the pedestrian Sparks Street Mall—designed to model the vision of the NET, that every person can make a difference. Ottawans were challenged to put down their loonies on the “Yellow Brick Road for the Environment” (hyperlink to press release). This pilot was highly successful in creating a fun-filled event around the environment, and this was largely due to the diversity and quality of support received from our partners from the Ottawa/Carleton community. Led by Ottawa businessman, Dave Smith, they included Lever Pond’s, the Canadian Biodiversity Institute, Loblaws, Ottawa 2000, Lisgar Collegiate Institute, Party Time Rentals, Shriner Klowns, Royal Canadian Legion Branch 632, Canus Plastics Inc., the Sparks Street Mall Authority, and musicians Colores Andions and Cocha Marka. The first two people to spontaneously lay down a loonie were a homeless youth and a person in a wheel chair.

202-174 Stanley Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario, K1M 1P1

We encourage you to make a difference now by helping to build our trust. If every Canadian donated a loonie, think about what we could do.

We are the first not for profit environmental trust in Canada. Our goal is to keep building a long term trust fund for grassroots environmental initiatives aimed at raising public awareness, education and conservation. Each year, we embark on a nationwide funding drive. We ask that you join in the movement and help ensure a clean, healthy future for our children’s children, one loonie at a time.