Earth Day—the world’s largest and most celebrated environmental event—is coming up!

It’s easy to feel you can’t personally make a difference to help the environment—but you can. Each of us is an integral part of the bigger picture, and through our combined efforts, we can make a difference together!

By respecting, protecting and preserving our natural resources, we can ensure that future generations have the same opportunities we have today.

What you can do

Get involved. Volunteer for a shoreline cleanup. Help out at a fish hatchery. Assist in monitoring a local watershed. Check out local organizations and events and get out there to meet some like-minded people. Who knows, you may make some great new friends while getting hands-on experience doing good for the planet!

Shop smart. Carry your own reusable bags. Buy recycled, biodegradable products. Avoid buying products with heavy packaging. Support businesses that are members of 1% For the Planet. Buy local! Being a savvy shopper means not only knowing what to choose but also buying only what you really need. Added bonus—saving money along the way.

Dispose of garbage responsibly. Avoid balloons, or make sure they make it into the garbage when you’re finished with them. Never release helium-filled balloons into the environment! Cut plastic six-pack rings before throwing them away or better yet, avoid buying products that use them. They trap all kinds of wildlife and cause countless deaths along the way. Make sure to properly dispose of vehicle oil, antifreeze, pet waste and expired medications. Contact your local municipality to find out how. Don’t leave used fishing line and hooks around for other critters to get caught in. If you see any on the beach, pick them up and throw them in the trash.

Keep your lawns and roofs pesticide free. Rainfall washes all those pesticides into the storm drains and out into streams and oceans.

Raise your voice. Sign petitions, write to your local government representative and send letters and emails. Tell organizations why you support them, or why you don’t. Maybe you’ll be the 100th person to suggest a change, and it could be the tipping point to make it happen.

Eat sustainably. Choose Ocean Wise Seafood. Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch or David Suzuki’s Top 10 Sustainable Seafood Guide to choose the most responsible dinner options. Eat less meat. Try something new and check out some plant-based recipes with your family a couple of times a week—you may even get your kids eating their vegetables!

Adopt a whale. Support wild whale research. Wild whale adoptions make great gifts for kids and adults alike! Check out the Ocean Wise Marine Mammal Research Program and The Whale Museum for more information.

Above all, be proactive! Don’t wait for someone else to fix the problem—you can make a difference!

This year, for the sixth year in a row, ViSTA (Victoria Sustainable Tourism Alliance) founding members Inn at Laurel Point, Harbour Air Seaplanes and Eagle Wing Tours, along with many new participants organized by Synergy Sustainability Institute, will be enjoying some friendly corporate competition via the Earth Day Power Hour garbage pickup.

The winners of the competition (the top team to pick up the most refuse in a one-hour window) will be awarded the coveted Golden Garbage Award. All refuse and recyclables collected during the challenge will be responsibly recycled and disposed of using separate bins for garbage, mixed fibres (paper/cardboard) and mixed containers (tin/plastic).

If you’re in Victoria and would like to join the Eagle Wing Tours team on Monday, April 22 from 12-1pm, please send us a message!