What does your travel bug have to do with Canada’s water? Plenty. Petting the dolphins on your beach vacation changes their natural behaviour. 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?
The next time you go on a beach vacation, be picky about what jewellery you buy from merchants. Jewellery and hair accessories made from sea life, whether it be coral, tortoiseshell or shark teeth, are not always made sustainably.
If you’ve got a long flight coming up, consider carbon offsets. Many airlines offer carbon offsets when you buy a ticket. With the money you donate, the airline will invest in carbon sequestering projects (like planting trees in a forest).
When choosing a hotel, do some research. Is the hotel on a beach? That beach may now be occupying what was once turtle nesting habitat. Opt to stay at resorts that minimize the impact on wildlife. A helpful hint? Pick a resort away from habitat.
Or stingray. Or any wildlife. Swimming with the animals if fine, but interacting with them by either feeding them or petting them is not healthy for these animals. Think about it. Dolphins wouldn’t regularly hang out with humans. So why change their behaviour for a photo op? Admire them from afar.
Do a little research before you head out on your whale watching adventures. Ask the tour company how they interact with the mammals. Hint. They should be incredibly hands off. Your boat should not approach the whales, tourists shouldn’t be encouraged to reach out and touch the whales and the captain should turn the engine off when they spot a whale.
Global fish populations are quickly depleting because of high demand, a loss of habitat and unsustainable fishing practices. So find out what marine species are at risk in the area and if you see it on the menu, don’t order it! Better yet, talk to the chef!
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So you’re ready to take the Water Challenge! Great!