• Environment

    Turning a blind eye

    People naturally want to avoid the problems that surround them. This is especially true when these issues are happening far away and do not affect them directly.  Climate change may have seemed insignificant and easy to ignore 50 or 60 years ago, but the habit of turning a blind eye to problems that should have been taken more seriously has made the climate crisis what it is today.  Joseph Desloges, a professor of earth sciences and geography at the University of Toronto, says the first signs of climate change included very hot periods, very cold periods and the speed of which changes occurred.  “Almost half of North America was covered…

  • Environment

    Protecting people at the cost of the planet

    Justine Ammendolia and her partner Jackie Saturno were on a trip to the supermarket when they first noticed a problem. Only days after the pandemic was declared in March 2020, they were already seeing piles of disposable face masks, hand gloves, disinfectant wipes and other personal protection equipment (PPE) surrounding them on the streets of Toronto.  Both being environmental scientists whose summer plans had been cancelled due to COVID-19, they set their sights on a new goal: picking up the waste and tracking how much there really was.  In a matter of two weeks, Ammendolia and Saturno found 1,300 items of PPE waste in one Toronto community and since then…

  • Environment

    Eight tips for travelling sustainably

    After a long travel hiatus and many months spent indoors, the idea of travelling again has undoubtedly been on many people’s minds. From surfing in Sydney, to salsa dancing in Spain or sightseeing in Santorini, there’s something dreamy about exploring a new locale far away from home. However, it’s important to remember the impact that leisure travel has on the environment. By making wise decisions, you can play an active role in reducing your carbon footprint while still going on globe-trotting adventures. Here are some easy sustainability tips to help you get started. Mode matters Travelling by train reduces the amount of harmful carbon emissions per person than travelling by…

  • Environment

    Overtourism: A lesson from the pandemic

    Throughout 2019, Athens saw 5.7 million tourists pour into the city. One such tourist was Hannah Kennedy, a student studying media at the University of Guelph-Humber. That year, Kennedy spent three months from May to July living and working in Athens as a social media manager and data administrator for the start-up company Travelmyth. Because she was in Athens during peak tourism season, Kennedy witnessed the swarms of tourists taking over the city. “The stores were always full of people, the markets were crammed,” she said. “You could barely move around.” Greece is no stranger to tourists. People flood to Athens for a tour of the historic Acropolis while other…

  • Environment

    Will sustainable air travel take off?

    The aviation industry, which currently contributes to 2.8 per cent of global carbon emissions, has come under scrutiny in recent years for its negative environmental impact. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), a total of 4.4 billion people boarded a plane throughout 2018; this figure is set to rise to nearly 10 billion by 2040. This means that if sustainable solutions are not found, industry emissions will rise exponentially. Many airlines have invested in carbon offsetting programs and biofuels to offer what are known as eco-flights. These are flights that operate on reduced carbon dioxide levels. A quick search of popular Canadian destinations on SkyScanner—a search engine to compare flight…

  • Environment

    Companies, consumers should adopt alternatives to fast fashion, environment experts say

    People around the globe are becoming more aware of the harm our lifestyles have on the planet. One of the biggest harms on the environment is clothing — more specifically, our fast and frequent consumption of it. So, what exactly is fast fashion and why is it harmful? Kelly Drennan, the founding executive director of Fashion Takes Action, Canada’s largest non-profit organization focused on sustainable fashion, explained that fast fashion is clothing made quickly, at a low cost. “Often, it is uber trendy, copies designs and poor quality,” Drennan said. “Fast fashion brands have 52 seasons, which means each week, new items are appearing on the racks. Not only is…

  • Environment

    Why and how you should adopt a sustainable lifestyle

    Sustainable living is becoming more popular. More people are taking climate change seriously and more people are becoming aware of their environmental impact. A 2019 study by Southern Cross University indicated that 77 per cent of those surveyed want to learn how to live a more sustainable lifestyle, with 93 per cent showing general concern for the environment. In 2019, youth across the world participated in a global climate strike, proving that environmentalism is more than just a trend or a passing moment in youth subculture. It’s something that people are willing to fight for. However, there still doesn’t seem to be a clear answer on how to live a more sustainable lifestyle…

  • Environment

    Experts say the response to COVID-19 must be matched for climate change

    While COVID-19 spread globally, the rise of single-use plastic indirectly had an outbreak of its own.  The world has seen a resurgence in single-use plastic. Grocery stores, restaurants and other food vendors have increased the use of single-use plastic, as well as the introduction of personal protective equipment (PPE). As life was put on hold, many climate change programs and emissions-reduction targets were also placed on hold.  “The Government of Canada’s top priority in the procurement of PPE and other medical supplies is the health and safety of the frontline healthcare workers,” said Gabrielle Lamontange, spokesperson for Environment and Climate Change Canada, in an email to Youth Mind.  “This has led…