Sunday, January 17, 2010

Catch the Green Wave...Thursday, May 7. 2009

In Canada, and other parts of the northern hemisphere, May is a beautiful month. It is wonderful because the outdoors turn "green". The leaves blossom on the trees and shrubs, plants and flowers come to life and the grass is green. It is a time when more people get outdoors. People will visit a park to walk, hike or just sit and relax over a cup of coffee or tea. Cycling enthusiasts will be on their bikes and some may even take that early camping trip. I love this time of year. After a brutal, cold Canadian winter, I appreciate the warmer weather and the ability to enjoy nature at its best. Spring is like the rebirth of nature around this part of the world.

Many of use tend to take Mother Nature and the environment for granted. Just going to the park and seeing ducks swimming in the pond and birds flying about make me want to do my part in protecting our environment. Just the sounds and smell of nature are refreshing. Listening to birds in a park, away from the noise pollution that we are accustomed to in the city is relaxing. If you are in a wooded area this time of year, you probably can smell the freshness of the trees blossoming and the flowers blooming. The fresh smell of nature certainly beats the smell of urban pollution caused from automobiles, trucks and heavy industry. I frequently hike a few of the big parks in my area which over looks the Bay of Fundy and scenic lakes. The two main parks in Saint John, New Brunswick are the Irving Nature Park which is a peninsula on the shores of the Bay of Fundy. The other one is Rockwood Park, which has numerous lakes throughout, and miles of combined walking or biking trails. There are areas in these parks that have spots for barbecuing and benches to sit down relax and just enjoy nature. These parks and others are gems that we are fortunate to have. There are also many other smaller parks and beaches in my area that I often visit to enjoy the great outdoors. Many areas in North America and other parts of the world set aside areas that we can go to relax and get away from our stressful busy lives to enjoy nature. I personally, never get tired of the great outdoors, assuming that the weather is tolerable.

Many parks and scenic areas are falling victim to our modern lifestyle. Pollution, whether it is air pollution, soil pollution, water pollution and even noise pollution has a detrimental affect on the balance of nature. You don't have to be a big company to contribute to harming our environment. Many individuals perform harmful environmental practices. It is disturbing to see the amount of garbage thrown around in neighborhoods, parks and water supplies. Everyday I walk by litter, which includes plastic food containers, paper and plastic bags, coffee cups and more. There is a strict indoor smoking policy in my province which forces people to go outside to smoke. This is a great thing; however the fringe benefit of this is the amount of cigarette butts on the ground. If I had a nickel for every cigarette butt I pass by everyday when out walking, I could quit my day job. It is sickening. Where do these butts go? In our soil and water of course! Also there are people with dogs and other pets that when they let them outside they can't clean up after them. I am not sure if this is laziness, ignorance, stupidity or a combination of these, but this is unacceptable. How much effort does it take to put garbage in its proper spot? There should be more stiff fines and penalties for people caught doing this. As well, businesses and corporations need to be more environmentally responsible in regards to dumping toxins into soil, water and our air.

Many of us need to step back from our busy, hectic lifestyles and get out and enjoy nature. We as humans are designed to interact with the outdoors and nature. Nature is a gift to the human race. While we are outdoors hiking, biking, camping or any other outdoor activity we should take some time to reflect on the beauty around us and realize that as remarkable as nature is, it is still fragile in many ways and our actions can affect nature and our climate, for not only our generation, but our children's and grandchildren's generation. It is up to all of us to be environmentally responsible.

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