• By: Kat Walcott

Unplug and get in touch with nature for Earth Day

Earth Day was officially declared in 1970. Every year since on April 22nd, people around the globe are encouraged to think about environmental issues, how our actions impact the natural environment, and what we can do to minimize our carbon footprint. Here are some enviro-friendly things you can do to celebrate and be kind to Earth for Earth Day and every day.

Shop local

While online retailers like Amazon are surely convenient, it’s not the best for the environment. Between wasteful packaging materials and all the fuel used by trucks and planes, online shopping has quite the environmental cost. Instead, try to buy goods from local farmer’s markets, stores and boutiques as much as possible. Many local stores offer online shopping with in-store pickup. Shop Ottawa is a great resource for sourcing local vendors, products, and services right here in the National Capital.
Photo: Ottawa Farmers’ Market

More walking and biking, less driving

To cut back on emissions, consider biking or walking in the spring and summer instead of hopping in your car. Want to make your walk more adventurous? Try out Conqueror Virtual Challenges! With this app, you can join virtual walking challenges that are equivalent to the distances of famous real-life treks like Mount Kilimanjaro and the Great Wall of China. The app tracks your walking, running, and biking to calculate your covered distance, while the satellite view feature shows you the surroundings and landscape you would see if you were actually walking through these landmarks. Set your own goal, and once you achieve it, you’re mailed an actual medal! I’m just 25 km away from completing my “Road to Hana” trek!
Photo: Stock Photo via Nappy.co

Cleaner eating

Did you know that eating more whole foods is better for the environment? Processed food, often sold in plastic or styrofoam packaging, contains synthetic ingredients, and more energy and resources are used to both make and package it. Then there is livestock farming, which uses a lot of water and energy. A diet that includes more plant-based food is a great way to decrease your carbon footprint. Whatever your dietary choices are, being mindful of where your food comes from and the process involved to get to your plate is something we should all consider.
Photo: iStock

Start a garden

Give back to the planet by planting native trees and flowers in your garden. Plants can help feed and home local birds and insects, like endangered bee and butterfly species. A backyard pond or fountain is a great way to attract birds, chipmunks, and even frogs looking for a place to bathe, drink, or even live. This free tool by Natural Resources Canada will help you identify plants native to your region that may be a good fit for your backyard.
Photo: iStock