What do your culinary talents have to do with Canada’s water? Plenty. That Atlantic cod you bought for dinner tonight is at risk. And the containers from your favourite takeout spot take ages to degrade. What will you pledge to do to save Canada’s lakes, rivers and oceans?
Global fish populations are quickly depleting because of high demand, a loss of habitat and unsustainable fishing practices. So opt for Alaskan cod over Atlantic cod. Choose BC Spot Prawn over Farmed Shrimp. By choosing sustainably farmed or wild fish from healthy populations, you’ll be saving natural, wild fish populations. Need a little help picking? Download the SeaChoice App on iTunes.
Along with your gingham cloth, you’ll need your cutlery, plates, tupperware for your potato salad, and a picnic basket. Go old school for your picnic. Why? All the plastic cutlery, plates and cups, do no good to the environment. Approximately 260 million tonnes of plastic is produced every year, 10 per cent of which finds its way to our oceans. All that plastic destructs habitat and entangle marine animals.
Packing canned or bottled pop? Don’t forget to cut open the plastic six-pack rings. If they get into the ocean, they can entangle ocean life, like turtles and birds. The litter can entwine around them and either becomes embedded in the animal’s flesh as tissue grows around the litter or restricts the animal from growing entirely.
Make a vow to nix the plastic bags from here on out. When plastic bags reach the ocean, some wildlife, like the leatherback sea turtle, may mistake them for jellyfish and consume them. After chowing down on enough plastic bags, this can even lead to death. So choose cloth totes or other reusable bag when you hit the supermarket.
That little Thai restaurant around the corner from you might have the best pad Thai you’ve ever tasted, but if they’re sending it home to you in styrofoam packaging, talk to the manager. Explain that Styrofoam doesn’t biodegrade but simply degrades into smaller and smaller pellets that resemble food for fish and other aquatic wildlife. With a little understanding, you might impact his or her next order of takeout containers.
The next time you’re out for dinner, ask your waiter about the chef. More and more chefs are serving sustainable seafood exclusively. If you spot a threatened species on the menu, don’t be afraid to pipe up.
If it took hours to ship your salmon dinner to you, you’ve got to wonder how fresh it really is. Buy buying local fish and seafood, you know you’re not only supporting local fishermen but are also keeping your carbon footprint at a minimum.
Nix the wrap. Whether it’s for tenderloin or swordfish, ask your butcher to wrap it in paper instead of plastic. Plastic takes ages to degrade in water and breaks down into smaller and smaller bite sized pieces for aquatic wildlife.
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