Written by: Ethically Living
Before we set our footprint on the travelling trail, let’s have a quick lesson on the state of Canada and the scenery of our environment.
You may not know that Canada is one of the largest Arctic countries in the world. However, the deteriorating effects on the Arctic Ice are melting right before our eyes. This is a sure sign that our cold triangles are diminishing and wreaking havoc environmentally. The access to oil and some 90 billion barrels of petroleum lie above the Arctic freeze, adding vast reserves of natural gas that may not go untapped for much longer. I mean, technology, roads, and pipelines are also joining the horrible effects to our ecosystems. It also destroys sacred land to the approximately 150,000 Inuit livelihood that depend on these waters. But without the ice covering lakes and oceans, communities are diminishing and the land once cultivated is now environmentally destroyed.
So what does this mean for travel? It’s simple. If we continue to not carry high respect for where we are and where we are going, the less we will be able to enjoy. The plethora of wilderness and wildlife is becoming less visual because of us humans adding to its carbon footprint every time we take a step into the beauty of mother nature. For most of us, camping and experiencing the great outdoors won’t be the same as it was when we were kids. For the next generation, it will be up to them to provide the necessary maintenance and responsibly travel into the future.
While there are so many hidden gems in Canada, there are a vast majority of top rated green cities that you may not be aware of.
British Columbia offers a great abundance when it comes to all things eco. Kelowna has taken the number one spot for its overall sweat, while Edmonton takes its sustainable work seriously throughout its infrastructure, economic security, and lifestyle. However, what about that air quality? You probably won’t expect me to say Powell River, but it’s quite an accolade for a little island. They were given the Guinness World Record in 2016 for being the least polluted city in the world. If we are talking science, Powell River averages 3 micrograms of fine particulate matter in the air (PM2.5 per m3) compared to other places in the world such as Delhi with 153 PM2.5 per m3. That’s more than just a few breaths away of polluted mass intoxicating your lungs.
It’s also important to pursue eco-friendly hotels amidst the purified destinations in Canada that are doing right for the environment and their guests.
Rated high on the most environmentally sound hotels, Wickannish Inn in Tofino is no surprise as they have been green voyageurs since the beginning.
The preparation to build was well thought out to preserve every piece of nature. They utilize only trees that needed to be cut down in the process to equate space for the hotel. Inside you will fall in love with the red cedar walls and spruce trees that include a library and cafe. As Wickaninnish takes their leadership seriously by paving the way for others to follow, they partnered up with Clean The World initiative, a worldwide organization that re-purposes soaps and shampoos to communities in need. For every guest checking out, you leave knowing you contributed to a place that will make a difference.
It seems that our compass now has its sights on another high tourist province that keeps everyone in check with their treatment to mother nature.
Banff Aspen Lodge in Alberta presents a luscious amidst the wilderness while keeping their eco commitment the minute you check in. The property consists of a wide circulation of blue bin and green bin recycling, low flow toilets (to keep water usage on the down low,) and hallway lighting is motion censored for limited use. The guest rooms are also equipped with eco-friendly bins for vegetable-based soaps, how refreshing! But get this, to preserve the use of cleaning when not needed on more than a two-night stay, Banff Aspen Lodge will donate 4 dollars in your name to the Banff Community Foundation. Come on, that’s an exchange no one can turn down.
As we turn our maps into Eastern Canada for our final destination, there is a special place in Nova Scotia called Trout Point Lodge. The lodge’s first priority is their local renewable resources that play a major role in reducing their footprint. They feature wood fired hot tubs that are 100 percent solar energy and all the food to table is locally grown. However, there is no wifi! For this trip, maybe stash your laptops and phones and trade them in to explore the nearby Tusket and Napier Rivers.
While we may be hanging up your travelling hat for now, there are a few key tips to remind us how we can contribute to the sustainable travel while keeping your footprint safe and happy for our planet:
- Take public transit where possible or even better take a tour by foot
- Always carry a reusable water bottle
- Invest in reusable items such as coffee mugs, metal, and or bamboo straws. Remember to use containers to pack lunches so there is no littering or wastage of paper products
- If you’re travelling by air, try paying for carbon offset flights or utilize train service to get you to next destination
- Do your homework! It’s fun to plan and research your travels that meet a lifestyle of sustainability like plant-based or zero waste restaurants