Unexpected ways you can help the environment

Protecting the environment is a top priority for many of us, yet it can sometimes feel like we can’t make a difference as individuals. But, in reality, there are lots of small things you can do to make a big impact.

Clean up a shoreline. No matter where you live in Canada, there is likely to be a shoreline near you. It doesn’t have to be by the ocean—lakes, rivers and other bodies of water feed into the ocean and need to be free of pollution. Organize a community cleanup or go with your kids for a fun weekend activity.

Complete the census questionnaire. Infrastructure and transportation services play a major role in our collective carbon emissions. It is therefore important to participate in the census so data can be collected on population density and how people travel to work—information that can be used to promote eco-friendly construction and public transit where needed.

Cut back on printing. The small things really do add up, and limiting your use of paper is an easy goal you can set. Use apps on your phone to take notes and set reminders, and rely on your tablet or laptop to read manuals and documents. Nowadays, most movie theatre and event venues will accept digital tickets and don’t require a printout.

Turn off appliances at home. This is another habit that makes a big difference to your energy usage and carbon footprint over time. Make sure to turn off the TV, lights and any electronics you aren’t using. And, once your device is fully charged, remember to unplug it as the charger will keep drawing electricity as long as it’s connected.

Find more information on the census at census.gc.ca.