On Monday, June 26th, the Sustainable Community Aid Network (SCAN) concluded its 2022/23 Sustainability On My Mind Series. This series ran from November 29th, 2022, to June 26th, 2023, and held eight workshops in three locations – the Malton Community Centre, Ridgeway Public School and the Seva Food Bank. The primary focus of these workshops was to teach Malton, Mississauga residents about eco-friendly lifestyle strategies that households can practice independently for minimal cost and practical self-sufficiency methods.
Over the eight months that the series of workshops ran, they were focused on a variety of topics, including moisturizing hand and body butter, candle making, homemade laundry detergent, homemade moisturizing soap, mason jar herb garden, food preservation, tin can luminaries and green cleaning products. Almost all of the workshops were organized and taught by SCAN except the green cleaning products workshop and the homemade moisturizing soap, which were orchestrated by My Centrepeace, a small Black-owned business based in Toronto, the Bare Market, a zero-waste grocery store that ran the homemade laundry detergent workshop and the moisturizing hand and body butter workshop which Soft & Butter, a Black-owned skincare company facilitated. Some of the workshops were also supported by other groups that work in Malton, like the Malton Black Development Association, which collaborated with SCAN to host the moisturizing hand/body butter workshop, the Value Life Humanitarian Services, which SCAN collaborated with for the homemade laundry detergent workshop and the Malton Women Council, who collaborated with SCAN on the candle making workshop. These groups all provided essential assistance with recruiting and set-up, making the workshops run smoothly.
The participants of these workshops were diverse. There was an extensive age range of participants, with some attendees bringing their children and grandchildren as young as six years old and some senior citizens participating. Mostly, the attendees were all women, with men occasionally attending with their partners or families. The attendees primarily identified as South East Asians, West Indians, Black, North African/Middle Eastern. There were many regular attendees of the workshop who participated in at least three of the workshops and would also bring other people that they knew. Although there are no exact numbers, as there were many repeat attendees, it can be estimated that these workshops served at least 80 different participants of the Malton community.
Overall, the workshops were all successful. Attendees were engaged and visibly pleased with their final products at the end of each workshop. In the feedback forms collected after each workshop, attendees noted how easy the instructions were and how smooth the workshops went. These workshops also provided a space where Malton residents could connect with fellow residents and build friendships. Through planning ahead of time and the assistance of other groups, SCAN provided participants with all of the ingredients and materials needed to complete the workshops and easy to disseminate knowledge that would allow them to recreate their products without assistance.
A frequent feedback received at the end of the workshops was that SCAN continues to run more workshops like this past series in the future. There were also requests for specific workshops to be done in the future that SCAN hopes to consider. Thus far, the Sustainability On My Mind Workshops have been funded by the Government of Canada’s Healthy Communities Initiative and the Community Foundations of Canada. However, for the future 2023/24 series, SCAN needs further funding. These free workshops are very beneficial to the low-income Malton community. Through participating, residents learn sustainable ways to make daily used products with ingredients they often already have at home, saving them money and connecting with their neighbours. If you are interested in assisting with funding the future Sustainability On My Mind series or know of places where SCAN can receive funding, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Reports on all the individual workshops can be viewed here.
Please watch this short summary video of this program session:
The Sustainability On My Mind Program was successful due to the partnerships with:
The Sustainability On My Mind project is supported by the Government of Canada’s Healthy Communities Initiative