8 Ways to Have an Eco-friendly Summer in Vancouver

NOTE: I’m going to spend some time this summer on some non social media topics that I find interesting although hopefully tying them back to SM at some point in the post. If you have any topic ideas that you would like me to discuss comment below!
This piece is a version of one I wrote last summer for the Drizzle Environmental Society. Read the original here.

Summer is on its way to Vancouver and after a winter that, albeit, wasn’t as scary as last year but was still long and dark, it is time to get outside and soak up some Vitamin D! Personally, I like to run, play with my niece in the park, drink on patios, swim when I can, and read anywhere its comfortable, but there are a ton of other activities you can do in Vancouver in the summertime (just Google them, seriously, there are a ton). Speaking of a ton, there are also a ton of ways to make your summer (and fall and winter and spring) more eco-friendly. Below are a few, some generic and some Vancouver specific.

1. Leave No Trace

Wherever you spend your time outdoors it’s incredibly important to #LeaveNoTrace.  The annual Celebration of Light is a prime example of this, with fireworks viewers leaving mass amounts of garbage around English Bay and Stanley Park after each fireworks night.

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup has some great tips for removing trash as well as a list of cleanup locations occurring all summer long.

Remember to also be on the lookout for any litter or debris you can dispose of safely when out and about this summer. For some extra fun, track what you collect with Litterati.

2. Stop Sucking

Have you taken the #stopsucking pledge?  With 57 million plastic straws thrown out every DAY in Canada, they are a huge contributor to marine debris and one of the easiest to avoid. Say no to the straw or bring your own and step it up by bringing your own mug, bottle, utensils, coffee lid, chopsticks, Tupperware and of course cloth bags!  Check out strawlessocean.org and www.igotopless.org to learn more about removing plastic waste from our oceans.

3. Eat Local

Have you checked out a local farmer’s market yet?  It’s a great place to shop local, pick up some great produce, eggs, meats and even chocolate!  Bringing your own produce and cloth bags are great way to go the extra green mile.

4. Suns Out, Guns Out! 

Remember to always be sun safe including researching and using a safe sunscreen, one that is oxybenzone free.

5. Bus It, Bike It, Walk It.

During the PNE, Translink offers extra buses to get to the Fair.  There are also extra buses to Stanley Park all summer long. Most big events have bike valets and Mobi bike rentals are everywhere in the city now and its summer! Once you get over your flip flop blisters, just walk everywhere and enjoy the sun and scenery-it’s a great way to remind yourself why you live on the crazy Wet Coast.

6. Love Food, Hate Waste

Did you know over 50% of food waste is avoidable?  If your summer fruits and veggies are starting to wilt, don’t throw them out, throw them in a smoothie! Check out great recipes and food saving tips from Love Food, Hate Waste. 

7. Love Food, Hate E-Waste

Have some e-waste left over from your spring cleaning?  Check out the city of Vancouver’s e-waste and drop off events all over the city.

8. Snapchat for Science!

Get outside and use your phone with iNaturalist!   The Canadian Wildlife Federation invites you to explore and share your observations of the natural world allowing you to discuss your findings and add to citizen science all with a click of your phone! It’s a great way to learn about what’s in your backyard and to take some time to really pay attention to your surroundings when you’re out enjoying the sunshine.

These are just a few of the ways to make your life more eco-friendly. Check out the Physarum Facebook page for periodic other tips and let me know in the comments any that you think I missed! Have a great summer Vancouver!



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