Guiding Principles

GREN Guiding Principles

Our Belief

We are near the carrying capacity of the essentials for life—water, air, energy, greenspace aggregate, agricultural land and wetlands—in our communities.

Our Commitment

GREN will draw from the well of creative people in our communities to:

  • find innovative ways to live better with less.
  • work cooperatively to promote initiatives that restore, maintain and enhance the livability of our communities.
  • do so for all lifeforms, for current and future generations.

Our Current Goals

  • Implement aggressive water conservation and reuse programs instead of planning on outside water sources, such as through a pipeline from Lake Erie to Waterloo Region
  • Preserve natural and groundwater recharge areas such as Hidden Valley, the Waterloo Moraine and the Guelph-Amabel Aquifer
  • Move our communities to adopt the precautionary approach and principles of sustainability in all decision making
  • Measurably improve air quality
  • Reduce private car use by improving infrastructure to support human-powered (walk/bike) and public transportation
  • Increase production, availability and purchase of local and organic food
  • Measurably reduce toxics use and toxic and climate-changing emissions (land, water and air)
  • Institute waste avoidance, reuse and recycling and composting programs to avoid disposing of garbage either through landfill or incineration
  • Eliminate urban sprawl
  • Other goals as issues arise

GREN Policies

Decision Making

  • Consensus will be the normal way of making decisions; in cases of disagreement, voting as per Robert’s rules will be the method
  • Two members of the executive and three GREN members constitute a quorum for meetings
  • Members only make decisions. Meetings are open to guests
  • Members who can’t get to a meeting can be involved in discussions, decisions and voting by electronic correspondence
  • When quick decisions are needed, members will be invited to respond by e-mail, a decision will be made by the executive, and the item will be on the agenda for the next meeting
  • The agenda will be circulated at least a week prior to meetings so all members can participate in discussions and decisions


  • Membership fees are $20 for individuals, $40 for groups, and $10 for students
  • Treasurer will share the names and contact info of GREN members with the executive
  • Treasurer will send e-mail invitation to all GREN members (member= paid up) to sign up for “member” list-serve. Treasurer will administer this general member list and add members as they reply
  • Each subcommittee will have a list administrator who will act as “gatekeeper” to that list—inviting members to join and allowing access only to those committee members
  • All postings on all lists will be archived, and those archives available to list members


  • The Chair will be the spokesperson for GREN
  • Other GREN members can be designated to speak on behalf of GREN  when the membership has agreed to their position
  • Members can ask GREN to support a particular issue only after discussion and agreement of other members (usually after a short presentation at a GREN meeting

GREN Meetings

  • Generally, GREN meetings will include a guest presentation, unless complex issues arise requiring more time