Health & Wellbeing

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.

How serious is air pollution? We need to dig a little deeper to find out.

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.

All Hands on Deck Webinar - How's the Air You're Breathing?

Join us for the latest installment of our All Hands On Deck webinar series. A series intended to showcase the diversity of issues and solutions as we come together to deal with the environmental and social challenges of our time.

When: Thursday, March 25th, 2021 for 40 minutes at 6:30pm Eastern / 7:30pm Atlantic / 3:30pm Pacific

Indigenous & Environmental Groups Call for Moratorium on Mining Development in Ring of Fire

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.

How’s the air you’re breathing today? The BreatheEasy project can help you find out

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.

That Nice Smell of Wood Smoke in The Air - Maybe It's Not So Nice

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.

The Sneaky Culprits Behind Air Pollution

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.

Opposition to Ring of Fire Increases

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.

Rejoignez-nous et regardez votre effet papillon en action !

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 ?))

Best Practices for Staying Connected to Nature During Covid-19

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