Five ways to do your part for nature on Earth Day

Jordana Divon

Now that we’ve seen how the outdoors can boost our mood and vitality, how about doing something nice for nature in return?

Mary Desjardins, executive director of TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, has put together a list of five ways to get your outdoors fix and do your bit for the environment at the same time.

“Often people feel like the environment is an overwhelming issue and they can’t have an impact,” she says. “But there are lots of small things people can do, and changes they can make in their everyday lives that can have a great impact.”

Plant a tree
“We’re all probably aware of all the environmental benefits of planting trees; it prevents soil erosion, improves air quality and reduces the effect of heat islands in urban areas. But there have been a lot of studies that show there’s great psychological benefits on people’s moods and emotions and that may be among the greatest benefits of tree planting in urban forests.”

Clean-up crew
“It’s spring time, so in the spirit of spring cleaning, get out for 20 minutes and clean up your local park or street just to try to improve the aesthetics and keep our communities clean.”

On the boardwalk
“Trails are a very accessible activity for most people, but they’re often in really environmentally sensitive areas. That’s why boardwalks are so important. They may seem like a small thing in trails, but they’re important, so that people aren’t trampling the areas.” 

Green commute

Now that the weather is warming up, leave the car at home and dust off your bike, rollerblades or walking shoes. If your destination requires a faster mode of transportation, try taking the bus or train whenever possible.

Public gardens
“We’re seeing a lot of folks getting involved in creating community gardens. Greenest City in Toronto works with younger kids and they provide mentors who try to explain about gardening and where your food comes from.” Even if you don’t have access to a large backyard, you can still plant at least one or two herbs such as basil or mint and try growing some of your own food.