Photo: How to go green in Calgary

Here's a Calgarian hard at work in a community garden. (Credit: Jacqueline Pollard)

Some really "green" people live in Calgary, Alberta. I met them! And then I put them to work.

Here are tips and resources from Calgary Queen of Green Coaches Trina, Amy, Evelyn and Meghan (many apply to all Canadians):


Wash your recycling. This is an "everywhere plastics exist" problem — not just Calgary`s. Buyers shun dirty recyclables! Dirty containers get pulled from the sorting process and chucked.

Follow the rules. Learn what's accepted and memorize the info (or print this PDF guide). Don't bin items you wish or hope were recyclable. And don't bag anything (except shredded paper).

Best Buy and Future Shop recycle electronics and batteries. Staples recycles batteries and printer cartridges, pens, pencils, markers and highlighters.

Many charities won't accept mattresses. Try giving yours away on Kijiji or Craig's List. Recycle with Re-Matt or Mattress Removal and Mattress Recycling can help, for a fee.

Kidseat Recyclers accepts child car seats!

Terracycle offers national programs to collect previously non-recyclable or hard-to-recycle waste, free shipping and a charitable donation for each piece collected.

ThinkReuse Electronics Recycling refurbishes, repairs and recycles unwanted electronic items and reassigns them to someone who is currently looking for it. (They designate some funds raised from recycled electronics to the David Suzuki Foundation.)

Subscribe to the Queen of Green digest

Recycle Blue accepts small appliances, bikes, pots and pans, paint cans, eye glasses, car mufflers, solid wood furniture, clothing and much more.

Urban Impact`s Calgary office can help your workplace streamline waste, set diversion targets and manage recycling.

Women in Need Society`s four Calgary thrift stores accept donations of gently used clothing, household items and furniture.

Did you know that H&M has a clothing recycling program? I didn't.


The Calgary Urban Harvest Project turns a bounty of fallen fruit into a local food solution! Register your fruit trees and berry bushes for harvest. Or sign up as a volunteer picker. And check out YYC Growers and Distributors to learn about SPIN farming.

Visit a farmer's market (@cgyfarmersmarket) to check what's in season and meet a farmer! (See a map of Alberta options.)

LeftOvers Calgary rescues food!

River Café, Boxwood, Market, Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, Char Cut and Downtown Food all feature local ingredients and sustainable business practices.

Get to know a local meaderies — Spirit Hills and Chinook Arch.

Verge Permaculture has classes, events and private yard tours for learning more about growing food and community. And join the Calgary Horticultural Society — cultivating Calgary's gardening community since 1908!

Calgary Food Tours , Country Drive and Slow Food Calgary celebrate local food culture!

Worms at Work sell worms and vermicomposting kits.


Check out Green Calgary for the most current "green" resources, workshops and events in town.

Market Collective showcases the art community (local artists, artisans, designers and musicians)!

Reap Calgary lists local sustainable businesses and Riva's sells green goods.

Meet other individuals, organizations and businesses — over breakfast — interested in advancing sustainability in Calgary.


Bullfrog Power provides 100 per cent clean, pollution-free energy for homes and businesses.


Bike Calgary makes the city bicycle friendly!

car2go Calgary shares cars.

Attend Alberta Bike Swap, a one day event to buy, sell or donate your bike!

Will you share your favourite "green" Calgary resource in the comments?

Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

August 2, 2014

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Jan 15, 2015
6:02 PM

I’m so happy to say I am taking baby steps to go green, and this post will surely help me more.

Sep 23, 2014
1:39 PM

Thank you for writing a post focusing on Calgary’s green initiatives! I love being part of the Green Bin composting pilot and shopping with our great local farmers and store owners. We have a number of CSA boxes available for veggies, meat, eggs, cheese and flours. REAP is a fantastic organization with many great green members to chose to do business with because of their efforts.

Aug 27, 2014
11:52 AM

Sadly, I don’t know about Calgary green resources but here in Vancouver, Metro Vancouver offers free public tours of the Capilano and Coquitlam Watersheds and the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. Also, Science World decided Earth Week isn’t enough — and they have an entire Earth Month in April. Very cool exhibits and presentations. And lastly, check out Cascadia Green Building Council’s Metro Vancouver Collaborative and their upcoming community events. This past Spring, they hosted a beach clean-up (in conjunction with the Great Canadian Shoreline clean-up), an educational evening of comparing green building rating systems, and a walking tour of downtown Vancouver that highlighted urban development and public spaces.

Aug 11, 2014
9:10 AM

Lots of great resources on REAP Business Association’s website as well — Check out the “Find A Business” page for a list of environmentally conscious and socially responsible businesses in cow town that are worthy of your patronage. Or have a look at the “Events” page for a list of upcoming green events, workshops etc. that you’ll want to check out.

Aug 06, 2014
3:09 PM

Great article — as an ex-Calgarian and green dude, I love to see the support. But don’t forget to mention London Drugs! Lots of in-store recycling there, batteries, computers, TV’s, small appliances, light bulbs, plastic bags…

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