If you were driving by either the south or north end RONA stores very early on the morning of Saturday, May 25, you would have wondered what was happening. People were lined up outside both stores from the front doors to the end of the buildings and into the parking lots. Were the Rolling Stones playing an impromptu concert in the lumber aisle? Was “The Biebs” shopping for a furnace filter? No, it was something even better than that: The Home$aver Eco sale!
On Saturday, May 25, the City of Edmonton partnered with RONA and EPCOR to host our second Home$avers Event. The first, in November 2011 was held at five RONA locations across the City. While interest was steady, it wasn’t the “door crasher” we had anticipated. So in planning for the 2013 event, the partners decided to further test Edmontonian’s readiness for energy efficient products by offering a range of individual products, in fewer quantities, at just two locations, north and south RONA.
I arrived at RONA South for my volunteer shift just shortly before 6 am. As I walked toward the entrance door, I couldn’t believe how many people were waiting outside and I wondered if the line-up would even let me in.
Fortunately EPCOR anticipated this line-up, based on last year’s rain barrel sale, so they handed customers a paper stub that would guarantee them a rain barrel, allowing time to do some shopping inside. Within minutes of the doors opening, composters, push/reel mowers, showerheads and more products were being loaded into baskets and carts. By 7:00 am, the line-up for the cash registers wound its way toward the garden centre, and back toward lighting and from there, who knows where? Citizens showed enthusiasm and patience as they lined up again to make their purchases.
Those of us on the early shift, who expected the sale to end around 1 p.m., began calling our replacement volunteers at 7:45 telling them not to bother coming in: everything was gone!
Those who were too late for energy efficient products still took time to talk to the many displayers inside the store: EPCOR water; Landmark Group; C-Returns; the City’s Master Composter and Recycling Program volunteers; and the City of Edmonton. The message from each displayer was essentially the same: conserve water and energy; build and renovate for efficiency; reduce waste and dispose of materials in an environmentally-sensitive manner. City representatives spoke to hundreds of citizens about what they can do to reduce their energy use, and provided lots of ideas for where they can turn to learn more.
Needless to say the event was a huge success and I have a feeling that we might be organizing something similar for 2014…better start lining up now.