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This Earth Day, discover the NatureHood near you!
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This Earth Day, discover the NatureHood near you!

[caption id="attachment_31795" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Amanda Simard Amanda Simard, Writing Intern[/caption] This blog was written by writing intern Amanda Simard This year, Earth Day is on April 22! Learn how Nature Canada’s NatureHood program is the perfect fit with the 2017 campaign focus: EarthPLAY for Earth Day. About Earth Day Canada Earth Day Canada (EDC) is a national charity founded in 1990. It seeks to inspire and support people across Canada as they connect with nature and build resilient communities. It’s annual campaign works in conjunction with free, year-round, award-winning programs that get people of all ages outside, reconnecting them with nature.ed2017-playmemory-image EDC works closely with children and youth through several programs including EcoKids and their new EarthPLAY initiative. EDC also recognizes those leading the way in solving environmental challenges through their Hometown Heroes Awards. The organization works to engage diverse communities in the environmental NGO sector while helping their corporate partners achieve their sustainability goals. Earth Day 2017’s theme is EarthPLAY for Earth Day! Throughout the month of April, people across the country are encouraged to head outside to play and get in touch with nature. Why it’s important Getting kids outside and connecting with nature encourages an appreciation for the natural world. This motivates kids to advocate for and protect our planet in the future. What’s more? Being in nature increases mental and physical health, as well as overall wellbeing. Bringing back outdoor play and working to make nature a part of everyone’s day-to-day life makes for happy and healthy individuals. It is also crucial for fostering a planet-conscious generation. Get out in your NatureHood today! Much like the goals of EarthPLAY, Nature Canada’s NatureHood program seeks to connect people of all ages to nature right where they live. In Canada, many people live in urban areas but there is still plenty of nature to be found. We call this nearby nature! NatureHood inspires urban residents to connect with nature through celebratory events, educational and stewardship activities and events, and wildlife observation – all set in urban green spaces and Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA). Through strong partnerships with grassroots naturalist clubs and allies across Canada, NatureHood promotes nature awareness at the local level and exposes a new generation of nature lovers, naturalists and citizen scientists to nature all around them. In a world of cell-phones and social media, now more than ever Canadians need to remember the joys of being outside and interacting with nature! NatureHood aims to bring down the barriers keeping us from discovering the nature all around us.   Ready to get involved? Good news! We have partners in all different parts of Canada. Learn about the NatureHood near you. You can even take our virtual tours to discover nearby parks or see the natural beauty in other parts of the country! What nature are you connecting with this Earth Day? Let us know in the comments, or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter! Send us your pictures and tell us how you are working to connect your kids and family with nature. various NatureHood Activities

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The importance of connecting children to nature
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The importance of connecting children to nature

[caption id="attachment_30818" align="alignleft" width="150"]Jill Sturdy Jill Sturdy, NatureHood Program Manager[/caption] Last month, the Ottawa Citizen ran a series of articles which reinforced the importance of unstructured outdoor play for kids’ physical and mental health. Author Wayne Scanlan’s March 23rd article, Kids are now heavier, rounder and weaker – the fix ought to be simple featured Dr. Mark Tremblay’s research, the director of the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group (HALO) based at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). His research concluded that millennial kids are taller, heavier, rounder and weaker than kids from the 1980s. As well, Vancouver Sun just ran the article Kids need access to nature for mental health (Jill Sturdy just attended the Child and Nature International Conference last week to learn more about strategies to connect young Canadians to nature and the outdoors). Why? Our society has become less active. We lead a more sedentary lifestyle. In the 2016 Participation report card on youth fitness, kids received an ‘F’ on fitness. [caption id="attachment_24954" align="alignright" width="200"]Kids feeding Chickadees at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary - Oct 14 2015 Photo by A. MacDonald[/caption] Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for mortality, according to the World Health Organization, and contributes to an estimated 3.2 million deaths worldwide each year. With more than 80 percent of Canadians living in urban centres, we are unfortunately becoming less connected to nature. This is having a huge impact on humans, particularly children. And yet, the majority of Canadians live close to a public park and have access to nearby nature. The benefit of connecting children of all ages to nature is conclusive—their social, psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted when they have daily contact with nature. The solution is simple, take your kids outside and (re)discover nature in your neighbourhood. From watching a bee pollinate a flower, to watching birds at your feeder, you will find nearby nature all around. Nature Canada’s NatureHood program does just that - connects people of all ages to nature right where they live through celebratory events, educational and stewardship activities, and through wildlife observation, all set in urban green spaces. Our local NatureHood partners are gearing up for events in your region this spring so be sure to check it out, explore and learn more about nature and wildlife. I guarantee it will nurture your body and soul. [button link="http://naturecanada.ca/what-we-do/naturehood/" size="medium" target="_blank" style="light" lightbox="true" color="red"] Learn more about Nature Canada’s NatureHood program here![/button]

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Connect with Nature: Make Pressed Flowers
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Connect with Nature: Make Pressed Flowers

[caption id="attachment_33210" align="alignleft" width="160"]Guest blogger Rebecca Kennedy Guest blogger Rebecca Kennedy[/caption] This post was written by guest blogger Rebecca Kennedy. The art of pressed flowers spans cultures and time periods, from Victorian England to the Japanese art of ochibana.  Pressing flowers is a wonderful way to preserve your memory of a special day or a particularly good year for your garden. There are several ways to press them, but here we will go with the traditional (and energy-saving) method of using a heavy book. Choosing and picking flowers The easiest flowers to press are those with flat faces and thin stems. Larkspur, daisies, violets, primroses, snowdrops, and pansies are good candidates. More multidimensional flowers such as roses, tulips, and carnations, will require more preparation. It is best to split those in half or even better, to dry individual petals. Pick flowers that are as fresh as possible—those that are not wilted or browned. Pick your plants on a dry, sunny day, after the morning dew has dried off. It is important that the flowers are not wet, as they may become mouldy or darken during the pressing. It is also essential to press your plucked flowers as soon as possible, as they will begin to wilt or brown. If you cannot press them right away, store them in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge. pressed flowersSupplies needed

  • Flowers.
  • Sharp scissors or a small sharp knife.
  • Tweezers (optional).
  • A flower press or a heavy book. You can buy a flower press (or make your own!), but to keep it simple, instead use something you may already have around your home, such as a thick phone directory or an encyclopedia, or another weighted object that will allow your flowers to lie flat and unexposed to light and the elements.
  • Absorbent paper. To prevent damage to the book, such as staining, place the flowers between two sheets of an absorbent paper. Parchment paper, printer paper, or non-corrugated flat coffee filters work well. (Tip: Don’t use paper towels, as that may result in the inadvertent imprint of the towel’s pattern onto a pressed flower.)
  • A brick or heavy rock.
Instructions
  1. Trim and prep the flowers. Clip off stems completely or short enough to fit on the drying paper. You may need to gently manipulate petals with your thumb and forefinger to flatten them or look the way you want.
  2. Lay flowers flat. On a sheet of absorbent paper that fits within the pages of the heavy book, arrange flowers with your fingers or a pair of tweezers. They should be as flat as possible and spaced apart so they are not touching. Top with another sheet of paper.
  3. Place in book. Transfer the flower “sandwich” carefully into the heavy book. Close the book slowly, taking care that the flowers stay positioned as you arranged them. Place the brick on top of the book.
  4. Wait. Let dry for 10-14 days and check. Different types of flowers have different drying times, but those with less bulkiness will be fully dry, usually, within 3 weeks.
Once fully dried, keep pressed flowers stored between sheets of acid-free paper or in waxed envelopes. You can use pressed flowers in a variety of crafts and home decor, from a simple homemade card to a tasteful framed print. Acknowledgements: ProFlowers, RedTedArt, The Art of Pressed Flowers
 
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Celebrate World Water Day!
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Celebrate World Water Day!

[caption id="attachment_22916" align="alignleft" width="150"]Samantha Nurse, Web and Social Media Coordinator Samantha Nurse, Website and Social Media Coordinator[/caption] Water is essential to life. It supports billions upon billions of living things, sustains vital ecosystem functions, provides habitat for hundreds of thousands of species of aquatic flora and fauna, and offers unparalleled recreational opportunities for those of us looking to connect with nature. Today, people in every part of the world are taking part in the international celebration of World Water Day, and we think you should too! The theme of this year’s World Water Day is wastewater with the slogan "Why waste water?". Be sure to check out the official website to learn about wastewater and how we can reduce and reduce it in our homes. In Canada, we’ve extended the celebration of World Water Day to an entire week of water learning and water loving. People across the country are organizing events of all kinds to bring people together to share their stories, to increase awareness and to help people understand the true value of water. Check out the Canada Water Week website for event listings – with so many things being planned, there’s bound to be an event in your area! Image of a tree beside waterIf you’re curious to know just how much water you use, try out the Water Use Calculator, or go on over to the Water Footprint Network’s Water Footprint Calculator. We also have a few ways that you can reduce your water intake throughout your home in some tips below.

Tips to Reducing Use of Water

  • When planting a garden or landscaping a lawn, be sure to plant native trees and bushes. They’re naturally adapted to your specific climate, and are much less dependent on constant watering to survive and flourish.
  • Use rain barrels to collect water runoff that you can use to water your lawn or garden. This helps to reduce your use of treated water and can lessen the burden on municipal stormwater infrastructure by collecting and reusing water that would otherwise be nothing more than surface water runoff.
  • Invest in fixtures such as low-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads, and faucet aerators. This can significantly reduce the amount of water you use in your home – bathroom use accounts for 65% of all indoor water use!
  • Soak your dishes in warm water and soap before washing them, and don’t leave the water running when you wash them.
  • Rinse your fruits and vegetables in a bowl of water rather than under the tap, and use the water that is left in the bowl to water your plants.
  • Take shorter showers – even cutting down your shower time by 2 minutes can have a huge impact on your overall consumption of water.
This is by no means a comprehensive list – far from it! There are thousands of ways that you can reduce your use and become water-wise. Have any great suggestions or tips on how to save water? Share with us through Facebook or Twitter. And Happy World Water Day!
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Connect With Nature: Start Planning Your Spring Garden
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Connect With Nature: Start Planning Your Spring Garden

[caption id="attachment_33210" align="alignleft" width="160"]Guest blogger Rebecca Kennedy Guest blogger Rebecca Kennedy[/caption] This post was written by guest blogger Rebecca Kennedy. As the winter weather starts to slowly fade and the first signs of milder weather begin to show, now is the perfect time to think about and prepare for planting a spring garden. Whether you choose to plant flowers or vegetables, you should always plan out your garden in advance. The more prepared you are, the more fun you’ll have planting your bulbs and seeds, and the more rewarding it will be later on in the spring when your plants have started to grow and bloom. One of the first things to do is figure out the type of garden you want to grow. A vegetable garden is always a great choice and offers some fantastic rewards. You can easily grow just about any type of vegetable right in your own backyard without having to be an expert. As an added bonus, eating food that you’ve grown yourself is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. cabbage2The “Growing Vegetables Guide” from The Old Farmer’s Almanac can get you started on types of vegetables and their care. Better Homes and Gardens provides a list of the best cold-tolerant vegetables. Nature Canada staff have their own favourites as well! Megan, our Purple Martin Coordinator, recommends mint. Sam, our Website and Social Media Coordinator, loves growing green onions and basil in the spring. She says, “Green onions are easy to grow, multiply and taste amazing fresh out of the ground. I also love basil, mainly because I was surprised at how large it can grow! And it means fresh herbs for cooking!” Flower gardens are equally great, and they incorporate the creative and artistic vision of the gardener into the final product in a unique way. In the initial stages of planning a flower garden, you will have to think about what type of flowers or plants you would like to plant (for example, annuals or perennials) and where you would like to plant them (for example, in a shaded or sunlit part of your yard). If you want to plant flowers that will benefit and help the Monarch Butterfly, check out our Monarch Butterfly Guide! Better Homes and Gardens has a recommended list of spring flowers that can handle chillier weather.basil Says Jodi, our Director of Development: "My son Noah loves marigolds because he likes that they keep mosquitos away from biting him. My daughter Keira loves any purple spring flower, but especially salvia, which brings the honeybees to our little garden." For both vegetables and flowers, you will want to make sure you’re planning on putting the right plants in the right places, so it’s important to do a little bit of research on which plants grow best in shady areas and which plants grow best in full sunlight. marigoldMany people like to buy their seeds and bulbs early so they’re not rushed when the time comes to plant, so now’s as good a time as any to start! You can also choose to start growing certain plants right away by potting them indoors. You can then transplant them to an outdoor garden later. This method can be very helpful, especially for plants that are more sensitive to the colder and less predictable outdoor weather in the early spring. While a lot of hard work can sometimes be required to maintain a garden, you can choose to plant flowers or vegetables that require minimal upkeep. Even if there is a little bit of hard work involved, remember to have fun above all else! Do you have suggestions on what types of flowers or vegetables are best to plant in early spring? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Take them to feel the forest: Winter sensory activities for kids
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Take them to feel the forest: Winter sensory activities for kids

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="275"]Snowshoeing in Parc de la Gatineau, QC (Photo by DJ) Snowshoeing in Parc de la Gatineau, QC (Photo by DJ)[/caption]

This post originally appeared on the Nature Conservancy of Canada blog page: Land Lines and was written by Caira Clark.

I've walked in the woods all my life, but it wasn't until I took young children with me that I noticed how fascinated they were with the variety of textures found in their surroundings. Kids can spend hours feeling, building, touching and creating with natural materials, such as leaves, twigs, stones and, of course, snow. I’ve seen how young children in particular have a process of discovery that creates a lasting connection to the outdoors. Here are winter sensory activities that can fuel your child’s fascination: 1. Take a mindfulness minute outdoors Go on a nature walk that interests your child. Suggest something special about the place that can only be found if you both wait patiently with your eyes closed. Allow for a short moment of silence and tell them of a feeling you're having, like the breeze on your face. Ask your child if they're having the same feeling. What else can they feel? Talk about all the different sensations that make the place special. 2. Play a counting game See how many different textures and materials you and your child can find around you. If you have more than one child, ask each one to find a different texture, like soft or hard. You can also feel different textures from the same substance, such as soft snow and hard ice. Whatever you choose, you can practice counting the different textures and discover new sensations at the same time. [caption id="" align="alignright" width="275"]Walking through a winter wonderland (Photo by Canadian Voyageurs) Walking through a winter wonderland (Photo by Canadian Voyageurs)[/caption] 3. Make a winter wonderland Try a snowy alternative to “fairy houses" and suggest you build a town made of snow together. It can be for squirrels, elves or whatever else interests your child. Make roads, build houses and incorporate natural materials. How will you make the village comfortable for the squirrels? This is also an opportunity to learn or review the “leave only footprints, take only memories” principle, so use only fallen items. 4. Feed the birds Fill a large bowl or hollow with snow and mix in foods that are suitable for birds, squirrels and other wild animals, such as peanuts, popcorn, bird seed and cranberries. Add other natural materials, such as twigs, rocks, leaves and shells. Allow your child to dig, play and explore inside — the options are endless! If you live somewhere without enough snow, you can freeze the materials in ice instead and play while they melt. When finished, leave the food behind for animals.
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Connect with Nature – Make Your Own Herbal Tea
Two cups of herbal tea
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Connect with Nature – Make Your Own Herbal Tea

[caption id="attachment_33210" align="alignleft" width="160"]Guest blogger Rebecca Kennedy Guest blogger Rebecca Kennedy[/caption] This blog post was written by guest blogger Rebecca Kennedy. Consumed since antiquity across ancient civilizations, from China to the Mediterranean, herbal tea continues to be a popular beverage today. More formally known as a tisane, herbal tea is generally defined as a steeped drink made from an infusion of herbs, seeds, spices, flowers, leaves or other plant material. It is sometimes taken for medicinal or health benefits. Strictly speaking, a tisane is not actually considered a tea, as types of the latter derive from the leaves of the plant Camellia Sinensis, while tisanes are made from the parts of other plants and typically contain no caffeine. You have probably noticed many herbal teas at the grocery store — chamomile, ginger and mint are examples. But did you know that it can be pretty easy to make your own? Using plants collected from a recent hike in the woods or your backyard, or purchased from a trusted farmer or market, you can create your own personalized blend! orange-blossom-tea-pic
All you need is a pot or kettle, fresh cold water (filtered if possible), your chosen ingredient(s) and a mug for serving. A strainer is quite useful if you wish to strain your tisane before drinking. Alternatively, you can fashion a homemade tea bag from cheesecloth in which to put your herbal bouquet. Last, you may wish to get an airtight container for storing your blend. Here are some recipes to get you started. Licorice Peppermint Tea My friend Kristin absolutely adores this blend during the winter.

  • ½ cup + 2 Tbsp cut licorice root
  • ½ cup cut peppermint leaf
Combine ingredients well in a bowl. Steep 1 tablespoon of blend per one cup of boiling water. Sam’s Cold Comfort Tea Sam, Nature Canada’s Website and Social Media Coordinator, makes the following whenever she has a cold.
  • 2 slices of lemon
  • About a quarter of a ginger root, peeled
  • 1½ cups of water
Fill a small pot with the water. Add the lemon and ginger and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Pour into a mug and sweeten with honey if desired. Image of Eastern hemlockTed, Nature Canada’s Senior Conservation Manager, recommends a similar cold-fighting concoction of garlic and lemon steeped in boiling water and then adding honey. In addition, Ted also enjoys using these plants in particular for homemade tisanes:
  • Eastern hemlock – the needles
  • Wintergreen
  • Strawberry – the plants with their blooms
For the Eastern hemlock, choose the lightest green branchlets (the young and tender ones). For all three, use a handful or two and steep in boiling water for about 5 minutes. We hope these recipes will inspire you to create your own special tisane! As with any new-to-you plant, please be sure to first check in with a healthcare professional before trying. Your local public library is a great place to find herbal tea recipe books as well as information on safe plants to consume and their benefits and effects. Acknowledgements: Merriam-Webster, The KitchnThe Visual Food EncyclopediaThe Tea BookEncyclopedia of Human Nutrition
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Why Everyone Should Go Skiing
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Why Everyone Should Go Skiing

[caption id="attachment_30939" align="alignleft" width="150"]Image of Liam Harrap, Guest Blogger Liam Harrap, Guest Blogger[/caption] This blog is written by guest blogger Liam Harrap. 

Discover the Canada in your backyard on skis

Canada is a big country. Like second-largest-in-the-world big. Like 41-times-larger-than-the-United-Kingdom big. There’s a lot to explore in this country. For some, winter can be an inconvenience for exploring. It’s snowy, cold, and dark. Thankfully, there’s an item that can make winter the best time of the year – skis. [caption id="attachment_30940" align="aligncenter" width="601"]Image of Skiers on Wapta Icefield in Banff National Park Skiing is meant to be spent with friends. These skiers are watching a sunrise on the Wapta Icefield in Banff National Park | Photo - Liam Harrap[/caption] There are few things that make people as excited as skis. Skis mean adventure, adrenaline, and time spent with friends. Just because you’re going skiing, doesn’t mean you must jump off cliffs or ski steep slopes. You can just hangout on the granny slope and have the time of your life. Skiing can be simple. [caption id="attachment_30941" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Skiers in Banff National Park Learning to ski by the Bow Hut in Banff National Park | Photo - Liam Harrap[/caption] People always ask whether snowshoes are better than skis. The answer is always skis. Walking is for summertime. Skiing is for winter. Skis can take you to places you never thought possible. Large glaciers, epic mountains, and thick forests. See a view that not even the Queen of England gets to see. Skis are the poor man's limousine. [caption id="attachment_30950" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Image of skier looking into Yoho National Park A bit nicer than the view from Buckingham Palace. Looking into Yoho National Park | Photo - Liam Harrap[/caption] Ski with the family. Enjoy a day without Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat. Unplug and watch the show provided by nature. Get some exercise – apparently, it’s good for you. Learn about the critters that call the forest home and see their tracks. You may be surprised to find that many species are still around in the cold. Learn about the wildlife that live right outside your front door. [caption id="attachment_30943" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Image of a fly on Freshfields Icefield in Banff National Park A fly on the Freshfields Icefield in Banff National Park | Photo - Liam Harrap[/caption] Skiing is a perfect way to explore our national parks. Worried about the parks being super busy this summer with the free access? No problem, go in the winter and enjoy the quiet season. You may even have the trails to yourself. [caption id="attachment_30944" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Image of a skier Having some fun on Mt. Nanga Parbat in Banff National Park | Photo - Liam Harrap[/caption] Of course, there are risks with skiing. If you do want to venture into avalanche country, take an avalanche rescue course, practice your skills, and don’t ski alone. However, you can still go skiing if you don’t have avalanche rescue training. Ski at resorts or on trails that do not travel through risky terrain or stick with cross-country skiing. In the end, all that matters is that you’re outside and exploring. [caption id="attachment_30938" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Image of Mt. Robson Every so often, you inspect the snow with your face. At least Mt. Robson provides a beautiful backdrop | Photo - Liam Harrap[/caption] Want to improve your skiing ability? No problem. Take a lesson, find ski buddies, or join a club. Canada is a winter country, instead of fighting the snow, embrace it. Winter lives here. Happy Skiing!
Liam Harrap is a master’s student in the Journalism program at Carleton University in Ottawa. He originally comes from Jasper, Alberta. A perfect place for climbing pointy things and survival skiing. When a snow day hits Ottawa, he’s the “weirdo” holding up traffic as he skis to school.
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Nature Therapy – How nature can help elevate your mood
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Nature Therapy – How nature can help elevate your mood

[caption id="attachment_30758" align="alignleft" width="150"]Marika Carter Guest blogger, Marika Carter[/caption] This blog was written by guest blogger Marika Carter. Do you ever just wake up in a bad mood? Or someone/something has you unsettled? Sometimes the best way to clear your mood, and those “mice talking to each other in your head” (as my brother-in-law puts it) is to go for a nice long nature walk. When my Mom passed away in October, I would walk every day by myself, through the woods of Bronte (west Oakville in Ontario). One day, I was reflecting on my Mom, and how she would have loved to be on this walk with me. [caption id="attachment_30781" align="alignright" width="275"]Image of a fall forest by Marika Carter A fall forest by Marika Carter[/caption] It was a warm early November afternoon, most of the maple and birch leaves had fallen, creating a golden mosaic on the path. I said out loud, “Mom, you can come with me, but you’re going to have to keep up!” Just thinking of her walking with me made me smile.  As I rounded the corner, there, in the fork of the path, was a White-tailed Deer. He was a young buck, judging by the impressive antlers that crowned his head. We stared at each other – I stood stock-still as he sniffed the air with black nostrils, his ears flicking around, listening. A ray of sunshine emerged from the clouds, a blue jay squawked, and the young deer nonchalantly strode off into the woods. I felt sense of wonder and calm spread through my senses. For days afterward, it seemed as though a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, that the air, the trees, the birds – all of nature was conspiring to make me feel at peace. Of course you should never just wander off into the woods by yourself.  Remember the rules:

  • Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return
  • Stay on the path and respect all living things
  • Dress in layer (remember the old Finnish saying “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”)
  • Bring water and healthy snacks (no littering)
  • Bring a cell phone/camera – all my best photos have been unplanned
Have a conversation with yourself – it’s amazing how saying things out loud can really put your thoughts into perspective!  I hope you will try this – what I call “Nature Therapy”. Let us know what in nature makes you the most relaxed and share your experience with us by commenting below!
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Start the Year Light – Steps to Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
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Start the Year Light – Steps to Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

[caption id="attachment_22916" align="alignleft" width="150"]Samantha Nurse, Web and Social Media Coordinator Samantha Nurse, Web and Social Media Coordinator[/caption] The planet will thank you all year long! The new year is an ideal time to introduce simple, easy changes to your lifestyle that can have a major impact for the health of our planet. Whether you’re on the road or at home, there are plenty of ways to tread more lightly on this Earth – here are just a few.

Five Resolutions for the Road

    1. Get your vehicle's body into shape Most people resolve to get their body into better shape in the New Year. Why not make the same resolution for your vehicle? Basic vehicle maintenance, including measuring your tire pressure, checking for leaks once a month, and regular tune-ups, will help keep your vehicle in top working order. You save money, fuel, and the environment.
    2. Be a fuel-efficient driverImage of a road in winter Slow and steady wins the race – and the environment wins too. Aggressive driving and speeding can increase your fuel consumption by as much as 35 percent. You can save money and fuel, and reduce your vehicle’s emissions by slowing down, giving yourself more time and planning your routes ahead of time.
    3. Stop idling your vehicle Idling is bad for your wallet, your vehicle, the environment, and it even hurts the people around you. Besides, it isn’t even necessary! The best way to warm up your car is to drive it at a moderate speed.Idling for 10 minutes a day produces almost a quarter-tonne of carbon dioxide emissions and costs you more than $80 every year! Even on the coldest winter days you can drive away after letting the engine run for only 30 seconds.
    4. Think twice about air travel Cheap flights abroad carry a heavy cost for the planet. Why not take a break nearer home? You can undo all your eco-friendly efforts with one long haul flight. The world's 16,000 commercial jet aircrafts produce more than 600 million tonnes of CO2 every year, nearly as much as all the countries of Africa put together.
    5. Give Your Car a Rest Resolve to leave the wheels at home and opt for walking, biking or public transit at least one day a week. About 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from the transporataion sector.

Six Resolutions For Your Home

  1. On the menu: healthy, organic and local Out with the old -- fast food and supermarkets – and in with the new – organic and local produce. The production of organic food causes much less environmental damage than conventional agriculture. It’s pesticide-free, and with demand growing every year it’s becoming easier to find in communities almost everywhere. Buying locally grown food is even better; it helps reduce aviation pollution, which is a big contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Compost your organic kitchen waste You can compost fruits, vegetables, tea bags and coffee grounds, as well as leaf and yard waste. Compost makes valuable fertilizer and reduces the amount of waste in landfills. By composting, a family of three can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than one-eighth of a tonne each year.Image of a potted plant
  3. Take up gardening A green thumb leads to a healthy planet, and it’s a great way to relieve stress. Growing your own fruit, vegetables and plants in the garden can beautify your property and is great exercise. If you don't have a backyard, seek out community gardens in your area, and make gardening a social activity!
  4. Hit the off switch Small lifestyle changes can have a big impact on the planet – and your bank account. Energy saving measures at home can cut bills for a typical family by hundreds of dollars a year. Simply turning your room thermostat down by one degree could cut up to 10% off your heating bill. Programmable thermostats are now readily available to make this even easier. Other measures include insulating your home, using energy efficient light bulbs, switching to renewable energy, turning off lights and unplugging appliances when you're not using them.
  5. Stay true to an old standby: recycle Everything old can be new again. Recycle and reuse. The average person throws out their body weight in garbage every 3 months. Get familiar with your community’s recycling program. They may have added new products to the list of recyclables. Half of electrical goods left at dumps work, or require only very basic repairs, so think before discarding them.
  6. Connect with nature It’s a fact; the more emotionally and physically attached we are to the natural world, the more likely we’ll act to conserve the planet’s nature. So find time to connect with nature, and remind yourself of nature’s wonders. There are many ways to do this; here are seven:
  •     Visit a national park that you've never been to before.
  •     Relive a piece of Canadian history at a national historic site or park.
  •     Participate in a local environmental cleanup or restoration project.
  •     Make your voice heard on at least one environmental issue this year.
  •     Share a picnic lunch with your family at a provincial park.
  •     Camp for One Weekend under the stars.
  •     Teach a child to swim, or climb a tree
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