Canadians love nature – and why not? There’s a whole lot to love, from coast to coast and from the majestic Rockies to the vast Great Lakes. It’s true, most of us now live in cities but, from hiking, camping, canoeing and rock-climbing to boating, skating and skiing, the great outdoors are never too far away – in body or in spirit.
Which also probably explains why Canadians have become some of the most environmentally conscious people on earth. In fact, over 79% of our electricity comes from eco-friendly sources – with big inroads in wind power in Manitoba and Prince Edward Island. Even Quebec, being a hydroelectric powerhouse, now has over 1800 wind turbines pumping out electricity.
Big cities are getting into the action as well. Vancouver is already one of the planet’s greenest cities, with plans to reduce its carbon emissions by one-third by 2020. Plus, Calgary’s 30-in-30 policy aims to reduce the average household’s water consumption by, you guessed it, 30% over 30 years. And, while Toronto and Halifax led the way, most Canadian cities now offer curbside pickup of organic waste.
An increasing number of us – more than 6% – are also walking to work, avoiding fossil fuel burning car rides and getting a little exercise to boot.
And our homes are increasingly eco-friendly too. Take toilets, for instance. Other than the shower, the porcelain convenience has traditionally been one of the most wasteful appliances around, with older flush toilets using 22 L of water per flush. But that’s changing as newer affordable high-efficiency toilets only use about 6 L for each flush. And dual-flush models, which use 6 L for solid waste and 3 L for liquid waste, reduce water consumption even further.
Finally, if you actually needed a reason to love and appreciate Canada in all its natural beauty, remember that this year, to celebrate our 1-5-0, national parks are free for everyone. So, get out there and enjoy!