October 29, 2018
Interested in Helping Canada Reach its Climate Change Target?
As we all know, climate change is extremely important to monitor as warming temperatures continue to affect the health of our ecosystems, wildlife and economies. Right now, the world is on track to warm up by 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2040. The world is currently warming up at about 0.2 C each decade, and has already warmed by more than 1 C compared to the mid-19th century.
What can we do to help Canada reach its climate change target?
It all starts with plastic waste and marine litter, as people and companies throw away more than $100 billion worth of plastic packaging each year. Devastatingly, 8 million tonnes of plastic flow into our oceans every year, which is equivalent to one garbage truck full of plastic being dumped into our oceans every minute! In order to sustain a healthy environment for Canadians, we need to keep all of our waters and shorelines clean of debris – which is why the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, travelled across Canada this past summer to encourage Canadians to learn more about climate change and how the use of plastics can seriously harm the environment. She launched the Community Cleanup, which is a call for all Canadians to clean up plastics from their local shorelines, parks and neighbourhoods. This cleanup started on September 8, followed by International Coastal Cleanup Day and World Cleanup Day on September 15. In order to maintain this community cleanup, participants need to be continuously involved – you can join or lead your own cleanup, on your own or through the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, anytime and anywhere in Canada! Make sure you register with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup to contribute to global and Canadian data by recording what you find.
If I can’t participate in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, are there little steps I can take to help fight climate change in Canada?
Of course! Many people throughout Canada are tackling climate change with some simple changes to their every day schedule. See below to see how you can help too!
1. Try reducing your transportation emissions. In Canada, transportation accounts for 24 per cent of climate-polluting emissions. Try taking public transit, riding a bike, car-sharing or switching to an electric of hybrid vehicle. These changes will also contribute to your health and will save you a few bucks along the way!
2. Use energy wisely. Try switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and try unplugging your computer, TV and other electronics when they are not in use. In the summer, try hanging your clothes outside to dry instead of using the dryer!
3. Recycle and eat for a climate-stable planet. If you are going to indulge in a meal that is wrapped in plastic, make sure you recycle! Try growing your own food. Make your food at home instead of buying food and wasting plastic! Try using reusable containers.
Together, we can eliminate plastic waste and reduce marine litter in our own country and around the world! To read more, click here.