All posts filed under: Outdoors

eXXpedition North Pacific in the Salish Sea

EXXpedition Round-up: The Science, The Sailing and The Sights

I’m back from eXXpedition! We’re still waiting on all of the samples to be confirmed by the scientists we took them for so while I can’t share any confirmed data just yet I can start sharing what we saw and did on this microplastic research voyage.  I will update this post once the data has been confirmed. Everyone keeps asking me how eXXpedition was. Which is a completely normal and appreciated question but one I’ve struggled to answer adequately. Of course it was amazing, I mean, 8 days of sailing the west coast of British Columbia and Washington is a dream. Especially when you’re in the company of 13 inspiring, funny and downright lovely women. Having said that, it was also really hard at times. The physical and mental challenges were easy to take in stride (unless you suffered from seasickness) but the emotional tax of collecting microplastics out of the ocean was draining. We did our best to stay positive, morale matters when you’re living on top of each other. The sampling was a …

Beach Scene in Malibu

10 Ways to Make Your Road Trip Eco-friendly

Thought caring about the environment meant giving up road trips? Think again! Roll down the window, crank the tunes and give slow travel a go. Car travel almost always comes out ahead of air travel for less emissions but there are many online calculators to help you out. Some of the factors include plane capacity, distance and the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. Of course driving less is always better but if you need to get somewhere, why not enjoy it. I had to head down to LA for a conference at the end of summer so after roping in a friend we turned what could’ve been a fly-in/fly-out work trip into a much more fun west coast road trip. Both of us live a pretty eco-conscious lifestyle so while we prepared for the trip we definitely learned some more ways to reduce our impact along the way. Read on for my top 10 tips: 1. Camp or stay at eco-certified accommodations You will use far less power camping and likely conserve more water. What’s a road trip without sleeping under the stars anyways? If …

Take It Outside

#TakeItOutside30 Winners!

We had so much fun with the #TakeItOutside30 challenge, remembering to get outside kept us feeling grounded and energized- we hope it did for you too. The #TakeItOutside30 contest winners from Instagram are… @katiebrockett, @keyabythelake and @islalifedesigns! A few of our favourite of their submissions are below: Thank-you everyone who participated in the challenge, we hope you’re inspired to keep it up throughout the year!

Glass House Mountain

Feeling at Home in the Wilderness

Imposing peaks, unknown wildlife, poison ivy… there’s a variety of factors that can contribute to feeling uncomfortable in the wilderness. Even if you are used to spending time outdoors, a new environment or changing conditions can throw you off. I’m speaking from experience on this one, I’ve found myself feeling uncomfortably low on the food chain anytime I’ve been in shark populated waters. I have a tremendous respect and admiration for sharks but I’ve also got an active imagination, and shark attack stories – those stick with you. Logically, I know sharks are not hanging out down there just waiting to take a sample out of me but some small part of my mind screams at me that it does happen and that I can in fact be next. We don’t often feel like prey in the modern age and I think we’ve forgotten how to deal with it. Our primal fears once served a very important purpose but now that most of us live in protective shelters with basic needs met, we’re no longer …

Bird Watching in the PNW

Spring Bird Watching in the PNW

I’ll be the first to admit I am a bird watching nerd. I have numerous bird identifications books, apps, various camera lenses and binoculars. This hobby started while taking an Introduction to Ecology class in my first year of school and carried over into my second year research project. Now I can’t get enough of it. Just yesterday I was walking along a trail at work doing some light pruning when I heard an unfamiliar woodpecker sound…. I looked up and low and behold there was a Lewis’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis) trying to get some snacks out of a Cottonwood tree. These guys are rare in our neck of the woods and are a blue-listed species1 so it was a real treat. Books and Apps to Get Started First things first, get yourself a bird identification book. I highly recommend The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America by David Allen Sibley. It is super easy to use with a quick identification guide, pictures are true to life, and notes on how to …

Take It Outside Challenge

May Challenge – Take it Outside

In May the David Suzuki Foundation’s annual 30×30 Nature Challenge begins. We’re adding a twist. We want this challenge to be habit forming, making nature apart of your daily routine by taking something you would normally do indoors, outdoors. This can be anything like taking a meeting, eating lunch or simply spending time with friends. By dressing appropriately and thinking creatively there is no reason you can’t spend 30 minutes in nature every day of the year. Why would you want to do this? For starters, nature is awesome, the outdoors are fun and there are tons of physical and mental benefits, such as; lowered heart rate, improved concentration, stress-reduction, boosted immune-system and much more. Plus the more time we spend in nature the more likely we are to take care of it. Other than that, prizes. We’ll be randomly selecting 3 winners at the end of the month. PRIZES: 1 $50 gift card for TenTree, 1 limited edition photo or fine art print (of your choosing) on FSC-certified paper,  and a knitted beer growler carrier using cruelty-free wool. How to enter: Post a photo on Instagram …

Minnekhada Park

Best Ways to Explore Your Local Parks

No matter where you live, you’re likely within a short drive to a Municipal, Regional, Provincial, or National (if you’re really lucky) park. With warmer weather and longer days ahead there is no reason not to get out and enjoy what these parks have to offer. Municipal and Regional parks are a great place to spend the day picnicking and recreating. Bring food, re-useable non-single use plastic supplies for a BBQ, and your appetite. Most parks have fire pits for cooking or allow propane based camp stoves (briquette fires not allowed). Bring a football, soccer ball, baseball and mitt, or volleyball net, and some friends for a friendly game. Even a tube of bubbles or water guns can provide endless hours of outdoor fun for the wee kids. No supplies or on a budget? Games like freeze tag, capture the flag, hide-and-seek, kick-the-can are all free ways for kids and even adults to get outdoors and play. I recently played freeze tag on a school field trip and it was so much fun to run around and …

The First Ever Camp Suzuki

I went to summer camp for adults, we played capture the flag. And did some serious stuff too. Going to camp is weird. I never went as a kid but as an adult it’s like lets throw all these strangers together and make them do stuff that will probably be super awkward at first. But once you’re past that point it gets really rad. This camp was extra awesome because it was put on by the David Suzuki Foundation for young adult environmental stewards in the Howe Sound region. BC’s southernmost fjord has been having a comeback after years of industrial damage but it is once again facing many proposed industry projects. I went in feeling like I’d probably be the least relatable but little did I know everyone was feeling the same way. They’d chosen a very diverse 50 of us. I don’t know how they did it or if it was absolute fluke but it was an incredible group dynamic. The Squamish Nation welcomed us to Cha7elknech (Gambier Island), their traditional and unceeded territory. They taught us songs and dance, breaking the …