Working to build more sustainable communities in Winnipeg, Qualico re-introduces native plants and grasses into new developments, preserving existing natural elements, creating walkable communities and using as many locally-sourced materials as possible (such as the crushed limestone on the trails).
These features are designed to naturally filter water run-off before it flows into city basins, they provide local wildlife with safe habitats made of native plants and grasses, and an added bonus is the colourful natural beauty the restored wetlands display in throughout the seasons.
As a homeowner, how can you make changes to make your home more sustainable and eco-friendly? How can you contribute to the sustainability of your community? There are many ways you can do so. Think of Earth Day as a ‘jumping off point’ for greener and more efficient living. Here are some suggestions for getting started.
Composting is one of the easiest and best ways to make your home more sustainable. By composting organic waste, such as fruit peels or uneaten vegetables, your home will send less waste to the landfill while providing you with valuable fertilizer for your lawn or garden. For more information on how to compost visit Compost Winnipeg
- Reducing landfill waste is an important part of improving sustainability in a community, and it starts with recycling. If you don’t have a blue bin or cart, or your current one is too small, new ones can be purchased at any hardware store, or may even be available through your municipality.
Work towards Energy Star rating
- An energy efficient home saves money and the environment. Having items such as a high-efficiency furnace, washer, or a heat exchanger, will allow you to save money on your power bill while reducing your long-term carbon footprint.
Plant native species in your garden and landscaping
- Natural plants native to our local climate and soil conditions, use less water, and attract songbirds, insects and local wildlife. By landscaping with native plants and grasses into your yard, you reduce the sod area and the amount of water and resources required to maintain grass. Learn more about Wildlife-Friendly Gardening and Native Plants on the Sage Creek blog.
Use a rain barrel for gardening
- A rain barrel is an excellent resource of healthy water for your plants. Rainwater is better for plants as it is highly oxygenated and free of salts, inorganic irons, and fluoride compounds. Plus, it’s free!
Don’t use pesticides on your lawn
- Keeping your grass naturally healthy can go a long way as far as ground contamination is concerned. Using natural products are best suited for the plants and local wildlife.
Ride your bike or walk for short trips around the community
Reducing your carbon footprint should include driving less. Why not hop on your bike and head to a friend’s or neighbour’s place, or a quick ride to the grocery store, instead of using your car? Take advantage of our community trails to get to your destination.
Founded in the United States in 1970 as a means to draw attention to our planet and to encourage peace, Earth Day went international in 1990 linking events in 141 nations. The very first earth day took place in 2,000 colleges and universities, and over 10,000 grade schools in the United States. Initially it functioned as a protest for environmental reform. These efforts resulted in a major increase in global recycling and paved the way for the 1992 UN Earth Summit.
With the internet age ushering in, the year 2000 marked a major milestone for Earth Day. Using online tools, getting the message out to multiple countries was now incredibly easy vs traditional methods and resulted in over 5,000 organizations participating outside of the United States, reaching millions of people in 183 countries, including celebrity host, Leonardo Di Caprio.