Celebrate our vast, complex, interconnected, beautiful environment

For the past 45 years, Canadians have marked the week of June 5 as Environment Week and taken the opportunity to talk about being green – but why do we do it?

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Our environment isn’t just the air we breathe and the water we drink, it’s the plankton that provide oxygen, it’s the bats that reduce pest species, and it’s the worms that make the soil more fertile. It’s a complex web of relationships between all the life with which we share the planet.

It’s sometimes hard to see the forest for the trees.

Because the environment is so vast and complex, every action we take can’t help but to affect the environment in some way, large or small. Every road we build separates one ecological niche from the next, every tree we plant might cast shade over a patch of grass, and every boat we paddle sends ripples across the lake.

Environment Week is an opportunity to think about the consequences of what we do, and to make good environmental choices.

If you’re wondering about how you can reduce your impact on the environment by conserving energy, visit www.efficiencyalberta.ca – you can even save money through rebate programs.

If you’re considering how you can reduce your water usage, visit http://aep.alberta.ca/water for information and for tips.

If you want to try composting at home to reduce the amount of household waste material that ends up in the landfill, we have information about that at http://aep.alberta.ca/waste/composting-at-home

All this week on our social media (AEP Twitter, and on Facebook at Respect The Land, My Wild Alberta and Alberta Parks), we’ll be posting environment-inspired materials. So follow us for fun facts, information and more as we celebrate our environment and celebrate making better choices for everyone!

Mulch ado about pumpkins

Backyard CompostWe can’t deny our love affair with pumpkins. Every fall we find them in pies, cookies, lattes, and even beer. And yesterday Alberta’s doorsteps were decorated with some of the spoookiest and scariest carved pumpkins around. So now that the trick or treating is done, what do we do with our favorite jack o’lantern and his seedy entrails?

Many a pumpkin ends up in the landfill, but that’s not the best resting place for our biodegradable pals. It can take years for a pumpkin to degrade in a landfill, where it slowly decomposes and gives off greenhouse gases.

Now that all the little ghouls and ghosts have had collected their share of candy and the festivities are done, try tossing ol’ Jack in your backyard compost bin so he can help cultivate some friends for next year. Continue reading