This post was previously published on The Starfish. It is reposted here with permission.
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests throughout the world, we wanted to celebrate the achievements of black conservationists all over the world. It’s vital to showcase and amplify all the great things they’ve done over the years and point out how vital they are to the community.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hospitality industry in Canada have been catastrophic, with revenues per available room plunging as much as 97 percent by the first week of April. But as restrictions loosen, turning green may help these businesses regain their hold on the global economy.
There is no doubt that the youth of our nation are taking global issues more seriously than generations before them (and/while actively working to mitigate such issues). Many young activists, like those featured in The Starfish Canada’s Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25, are leading by example and shaping the path of how Canada will respond to the environmental crisis and other global challenges.
Chief Seattle once said that the “[Indigenous people] do not inherit the land from [their] ancestors, [they] borrow it from [their] children.” The land creates livelihood and in turn, the people sustain the land. Many Indigenous cultures do not exploit the land for economic gain. The Assembly of First Nations affirms that Indigenous peoples “have not traditionally considered the environment as a resource.” Their land-use methods rarely cause large-scale environmental impact.
As COVID-19 dominates our global discourse, unprecedented changes are in urban infrastructure. Some major cities in the world like Milan, Bogota, and Brussels, are converting a significant part of their roads to more extensive walkways and cycling paths. Additional cycling lanes have been built quickly while France is offering free cycling lessons and €50 to its residents for repairing their bikes. London, being a bustling capital city in the world, has recently started the “largest car-free initiative”.
If you are an aspiring environmentalist currently in high school (or maybe even middle school) and are interested in pursuing environment-focused studies, you may be wondering about possible post-secondary programs available to you. A degree centred around environmental studies will provide the education and skillset required for career paths in environmental public policy, conservation work, and environmental consulting. Many universities across Canada offer reputable programs centred around environmental studies and sciences.
The food we eat is one of the largest producers of greenhouse gases in the world. Globally, it’s equivalent to tailpipe emissions from every vehicle on earth. That’s just livestock production. It’s not even counting methane emissions from food waste or plant production. What we eat and how we make it has a huge impact on the environment, which is why there’s been a surge in organic and sustainably grown foods in our markets.
Microfibers, a form of microplastics, are microscopic pieces of plastic that separate from synthetic clothing when they are washed, go down the drain into surrounding water systems, including local rivers, lakes, and ultimately, the ocean. The explosive expansion of the fast fashion industry in the early 2000s has led to widespread overconsumption, waste, environmental pollution, and now something much smaller to the human eye, microfiber pollution.
Nature has always been there for us. A calm, healing environment that never withers, never loses patience, and always charges our emotional batteries. For people who needed to calm their thoughts, a quiet walk in a garden was seen as therapeutic. When we can’t go and meet our friends, the big tree in the park stands stoically. When we can’t go and tend to our elders, the big blue ocean crests gently reminding us of its depth and potential.
Situated on the northwest coast of British Columbia, Turtle Island, the archipelago of Haida Gwaii has remained free of COVID-19 cases. Translating to “Islands of the People” or Xaadaa Gwaay and Xaaydaga Gwaay.yaay in Haida/ Xaat Kíl/ Xaayda Kil the ancestral language of the Haida Peoples, the collective islands that make up Haida Gwaii extend for nearly 250 kilometers from its southern to the northern tip.