Human health is intimately connected to the health of the planet. We need fresh water, clean oceans, and natural spaces that contain a rich array of animals, insects and plants. Promoting education about and recreation in our natural spaces has been a part of the Sierra Club philosophy since it was founded in 1892.
Health & Wellbeing
How serious is air pollution in Ottawa? We have our BreatheEasy project underway to find out. First, using small hand held air sensors, we are measuring air quality in different areas all across the city and reporting our results publicly. We are also digging out existing information on air quality from a variety of sources both in Canada and around the world. It turns out that globally, there are a lot of people doing serious work on this subject and are readily sharing their findings with open reports and research results.
In May 2020, we received funding from the Ottawa Community Foundation to begin the BreatheEasy project and start measuring AQ across the city. With a team of volunteers, we have taken readings in all of Ottawa’s wards, primarily looking for ‘hot spots’ where the air pollution levels are potentially dangerous to our health.
Sierra Club Canada Foundation has joined Indigenous and environmental groups in requesting a moratorium on a mining development in Ontario's "Ring of Fire". As it stands, the region’s wetlands and watersheds are not protected under this development and local communities, both upstream and downstream, are in need of access to clean water, housing and other health services.
By Jake Cole and Lucy Bain.
According to Health Canada, some 14,600 premature deaths across the country are caused annually by air pollution. In Ottawa alone, approximately 500 deaths are deemed pollution-related each year. Yet, the topic of air quality (AQ) and its impacts are rarely discussed. It remains a silent killer.
If you've walked around a neighbourhood when people have their fireplaces going, you've probably noticed that woodsy scent wafting through the air. Some would even find that a soothing, pleasant smell. You may be surprised to learn that the smoke from a wood stove, a wood burning fireplace, or an open campfire, is not at all good for you. In fact, in some countries, like the U.K., wood-burning produces more than double the air pollution that results from traffic exhaust.
By John Bacher with contributions by Danny Beaton.
How can the Premier of Ontario award politicians who have been linked to the murder of Indigenous Activists defending sacred burial grounds?
We are most definitely living unprecedented times with new generations that are spending much of their time indoors and too many of their interactions are hollow and ripe with digital interactions.
December 3, 2020 @ 12:00 noon eastern time
Free webinar featuring Beth Gardiner author of “Choked - Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution” - sign up HERE
How is the air you’re breathing today? That’s a question few of us ask ourselves. Maybe we should be asking.
We are searching for an impact-oriented, outgoing, passionate individual to grow our Beyond Coal Atlantic campaign and volunteer support system. The successful candidate must also ensure we grow to meet our organization's commitment to inclusion, diversity, and justice.
Start Date: December 1, 2020
So there I was on that sunny summer afternoon, just getting started with our Sierra Club Canada project, “Breathe Easy,” to measure air pollution all across Ottawa. I was working from home, all the windows open, when suddenly there's a cacophony of clattering noise starting up somewhere in the neighbourhood and a real stinky smell wafting into the yard and in through my windows. I investigate to find that a local hedge trimming company has unleashed a team of three ardent cutters on my adjacent neighbour's back yard. I close up all my windows and whip over to see what's going on.
No plan that gets us to net zero in a reasonable time frame includes new nuclear reactors. Nuclear is far too slow and expensive to deal with the climate emergency.
What prematurely kills some 500 people in Ottawa every year, and about 14,600 in Canada?
It’s air pollution. How serious is that? As I stated in an opinion piece published in the Ottawa Citizen, that’s about as deadly as the COVID-19 pandemic. During 2020, about 500 people died in Ottawa from the Covid-19 virus and about 15,000 in Canada.
As revelations mount about problems with mercury contamination from the now closed De Beers Victor Diamond Mine in Attawapiskat, opposition to proposed Ring of Fire mining projects soar. Claims by the Wildlands League that the company did not release the monitoring results for mercury contamination at 5 of 9 monitoring wells, received a boost on January 13, 2020, when Justice David A. Thomas ruled that these claims of violation of Ontario environmental laws could proceed to trial.
Il y a quelques semaines, j'ai vu mon premier papillon de la saison. Après un hiver au climat capricieux, et au milieu de la crise sanitaire actuelle, la vue de cette jolie petite créature - d’un orange flamboyant sur l'herbe morne du printemps, avec ses ailes qui battent doucement - a été un baume pour mes yeux et mon cœur. (Ce n’était pas un papillon monarque. Je suis toujours en train de faire des recherches - peut-être était-ce un papillon belle-dame (Vanessa cardui ?))
We find ourselves in unprecedented times. We are working hard to adapt to the new normal and do our part to reduce the spread of the virus. We encourage you to stay connected to nature in what can be difficult and stressful times. Although we cannot be in nature together, we can still enjoy the outdoors apart! Spending time in the fresh air is helpful for mental health and staying active during this time. Here are our best practices for how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly.
1. Stay Up to Date with Local Health Authority Guidelines