A Summer Full of Green Flags

How to spend your sunny summer days with the environment in mind

Lea Krusemeyer (She/Her) // Staff writer
Andy Poystila (He/Him) // Illustrator

The other day, while I was sipping on my overpriced coffee through a soggy paper straw, I had a moment of frustration about the “Save the Environment” movement. Why do I have to drink my coffee in such an inconvenient way while big corporations out there keep messing with the ozone layer and pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere? After venting out my frustration to a trusted friend, she told me the same thing my mom used to tell me as a kid, “just because someone else jumps off a bridge would you jump as well?” So I put my big girl pants on and thought just because they ruin the Earth, I do not get to participate in that same behavior because I actually care for the turtles and the dolphins. With that in mind, here are a few ways to spend the beautiful Vancouver summer days in a way that ensures your conscience can be clear and the turtles get to live another day. 

There are ten beaches located across Vancouver and a day spent at the beach is always a great idea. A beach day is fun alone, with a good book or a nice playlist on your AirPods but it’s also a great activity to do with your friends. Grab a few blankets and homemade snacks, make sure you wear sunscreen, and head out for a sunny day spent at Wreck Beach or Sunset Beach. If you make sure to take all your garbage with you at the end of the day and do not feed any seagulls or fish, this is completely environmentally friendly. 

Another idea that came as a shock to me, was the Vancouver Aquarium. After hearing horror stories about whales and dolphins being held prisoner in small tanks their whole life, I developed a tendency to avoid aquariums. Doing some research on the aquarium led me to realize that the focus of this institution is to educate and conduct research that ensures the future of marine life. The Aquarium offers a student discount, so for $36 you can get to learn about marine life and admire sea animals from a multitude of species. 

Strolling around a farmer’s market can also become a great daytime activity for people who have the environment in mind. The variety of small stands that sell homemade and locally grown foods offer not just the chance to try new things but also make it easier to learn about the background of your carrots, jam and other goodies. Cooking with locally grown veggies and fruits is not just great for the environment but also provides local farmers with the income they need to sustain their business. 

Lastly, there is always the option to volunteer. The Stanley Park Ecology Society is currently looking for volunteers, they offer positions in which you would be removing dangerous plant species from the grounds of Stanley Park, or others in which you assist with the relocation of animals that endanger the wildlife of the Park. More information can be found on their website. 

Overall, just the fact that you are reading this article shows your interest in creating a greener future for our world so I am confident that whatever summer activities you choose, you will keep the environment in mind.

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