By Marco Reid, Environment and Ecosystem Health Critic, Green Party of Alberta Shadow Cabinet
July 1st, 2017 marks the 150th birthday of this beautiful country we know as Canada. With celebrations like never seen before occurring across the country, there is certainly no shortage of fun and wonder. As an Albertan I am excited and eager to enjoy Alberta with visitors and locals alike for the Canada 150 celebrations and beyond.
One of the most wonderful aspects of Alberta is the stunning natural beauty across the province. The mosaic of Alberta consists of the dense forests of the north, the prairies of the east, the rolling foothills of the south and the beautiful mountains towards the west.
With such a geographical array, it should come to no surprise that Alberta contains many different ecosystems, some of which will host many celebrations this summer.
It’s important that while we enjoy Alberta with glowing hearts, we are aware of the damage we potentially do to these natural areas. Visiting your friend’s home, you would not leave water bottles, granola rappers or other little calling cards to your visit. Likewise, you would not drive in your friend’s yard, up the side of their home, through their kitchen and out the nearest window when there is a driveway readily available.
Alberta is beautiful enough without any additions in the form of plastic or paper. Also, please use care when choosing where to drive your vehicle this summer. The environment is more than just a friend we should treat with respect, as Indigenous people often say it is our Mother, without whom we are nothing.
What we receive from our intact environment and ecosystems is invaluable and irreplaceable. We are certainly not entitled to, nor deserving of, these gifts, but the natural world will always be willing to give them, so long as we treat it with respect.
Please, enjoy the festivities!