Five year Fusion seeks students

One facet of sustainability in Halifax is turning five and it wants students to help head its new projects.

Fusion Halifax, a sustainability organization for Haligonian adults, is looking to expand its social networks and become more youth centred as Fusion reaches its fifth birthday.
Kelly Schnare, the director of sustainability at Fusion, says that promoting Fusion to university students will be an asset, since the group is starting to create new projects for the upcoming years.
“It’s a completely volunteered-driven organization,” says Schnare as she sips her tea. “It’s a networking association, so what is the ‘club of doing business’ is an old man’s game. We are changing that to become more youth centered.”   
One of the current networking projects, in honour of the fifth anniversary, is planning an energy forum which will allow for discussion between business industries and academic NGO’s, Kaitlin Pianosi, a volunteer at the organization, says.
“It’s a long-term goal that takes a lot of effort and coming together to make that happen, it’s all about timing and volunteers. You can’t accomplish much without volunteer power,” says Pianosi.   
The sustainability action team is also embarking on new activities, looking for a “signature project, something that repeats every year that people know us for,” Schnare says.
The team already has ‘It’s more than Busses’ partnership, which connects people’s thoughts and ideas about changes that need to happen in the city, as well as the Fair Trade Town, which aims at defining what fair trade is in Halifax.
Fusion also created the Halifax Tool Library, where people can borrow tools, learn how to use them, and work on different projects together.
These projects need volunteers, and although Fusion has done well in engaging with adults in their 30’s and 40’s, it wants to bring in more students, which is not an easy task according to Pianosi.
“Students are a wonderful group of people who are keen and engaged and have such a diverse perception,” she says.
“We want more. I think it’s one of the great points of Halifax is that we have a strong student population, and we do want to engage more with them. But complications of exams, travel times and the nature of being a student is a difficult one in to really make your mark.”
Fusion has stayed connected with the Dalhousie sustainability office and the Dalhousie Student Union, and hopes that these connections will get more students involved in their projects.
“I would promote getting involved and getting your hands dirty,” Schnare says, “that doesn’t happen in a book. You can’t just learn from pure theory. You have to practice out those theories to see what you have learned.”
This article was written for Shelby’s feature writing class with Lezlie Lowe. We are always looking for contributions from your journalism classes – send us a line at to see if yours will work.

By David J. Shuman

David is the current editor-in-chief of The Watch and writes on student issues and events. Find him on Twitter: @DavidJShuman

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