The term “going green” is pretty much synonymous with taking environmental action. But you don’t have to sell your car and move to the woods to make a difference – even small changes can help the earth and promote healthful, family living.
Hop on public transit (or walk!) instead of driving whenever you can, and take advantage of Ottawa’s abundance of parks and trails this season.
We hope to inspire you to find your family’s shade of green – this summer and beyond.
The number of parks within Ottawa city limits
Some of Ottawa’s parks offer stunning views and are the setting for many national celebrations and local festivals. Find out more about some of the key parks managed by the National Capital Commission at:
Number of kilometres of multi-use paths within the Capital Pathway network
The National Capital Region is home to the Capital Pathway network, one of the largest in North America. More than 600 kilometres of multi-use paths link natural areas, parks, gardens, museums and attractions. Get out and enjoy cycling, running or walking on the Capital Pathway network this summer. Get a detailed Ottawa-Gatineau cycling map at:
The number of old bike tires and tubes transformed into unique belts and jewelry at a recent Operation Come Home workshop
Claudia Salguero (claudiasalguero.com) is a local artist and community art facilitator who recently lent her talent to Operation Come Home, an employment, education and support centre for homeless and at-risk youth. Over the course of five weeks this spring, Salguero led a workshop to teach homeless youth how to transform old bike tires and tubes into belts and jewelry.
“I wanted to teach them something that would be cool for them,” says Salguero, who says such workshops assist young people in developing hand and tool skills, while providing new ways to generate much-needed income.
Salguero, who thrives on using her passion for art to help others in the community, has led other art-based workshops for food banks and community organizations in Ottawa.
“I’m trying to work with people who don’t have access to creative outlets – giving space and creativity to people that might not have the resources to attend workshops,” she says.
During the five-week OCH workshop, Salguero estimates 25 belts were produced, plus a number of bracelets and earrings.
“In every single workshop, I had kids around me learning and asking questions,” says Salguero. “It’s beautiful.”
OCH operates the Repurpose General Store (repurposestorefront.ca), a unique boutique and storefront located at 150 Gloucester St. (between Bank and O’Connor) The boutique sells products from social enterprises, artisans and youth products that are made by at-risk and homeless youth at OCH.
The number of years the Ottawa Farmers’ Market has been operating
Nothing says summer like farm-fresh produce, and the Ottawa Farmers’ Market (ottawafarmersmarket.ca) is the perfect venue to find your favourite fruits and vegetables while supporting local farming.
“All farmers and producers are from within 100 kilometres of the City of Ottawa,” says Steph Kittmer, assistant market manager. “The exception is one farmer from Niagara that was invited to provide stone fruits from his farm that do not grow in this area.”
On July 10, the Ottawa Farmers’ Market will celebrate its 10th anniversary at Lansdowne Park, and the kid-friendly party will include face painters, balloon animals, live music and more.
“One of the things I love the most about my work with the Ottawa Farmers’ Market is how family-oriented the market really is,” says Kittmer. “I’ve watched kids grow up over the 10 years we’ve been operating.
“It’s great seeing kids be involved in household shopping decisions, and meeting the folks who grow and prepare their food; I think it gives kids a greater understanding and appreciation for where their food comes from.”
The Ottawa Farmers’ Market has two locations. The market at Byron Park in Westboro is open Saturdays (9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.) till Oct. 29, or visit the market in Aberdeen Square at Lansdowne all year on Sundays (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
The Sun Protection Factor (SPF) found in the Green Beaver Company’s Natural Mineral Sunscreen Spray for Kids
Chemical sunscreens are able to obtain precise numbers – like 20 or 30 SPF – since their ingredients are artificial and extremely consistent. The Green Beaver Company’s Natural Mineral Sunscreen Spray is rated as 27 SPF because the company uses minerals and natural ingredients and, as a result, doesn’t control the test results.
The main reason to choose a natural sunscreen is to avoid the potentially harmful ingredients found in chemical sunscreens, says Alain Ménard, co-founder of the Green Beaver Company, which is based in Hawkesbury, Ont.
“Natural sunscreens are simple, he says. “They contain the minerals zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide to create a physical barrier on your skin, which block and reflect harmful UVA and UVB rays.”
Visit www.greenbeaver.com to check out other certified organic products.