The first Wednesday of February marks Winter Walk Day in Canada! This is a day for celebrations across the country to remind us that even though it is winter, that doesn’t mean we can't spend time outside. Winter is still a great time to get up, get active, and spend some time in nature. In 2017, 250 schools across Canada registered with Canada Walks to recognize that they would be taking part in Winter Walk Day. If February 7th doesn’t work for your school, you can still hold a Winter Walk Day anytime in February! Nova Scotia schools can enter to win a prize if they register their event with the Ecology Action Centre.
Walking is not only good for our bodies and minds, it’s also great for the planet! A walk-to-school (or walk at school) event reminds us that getting where we need to go doesn’t have to involve greenhouse gas emissions. In 2015, Canada’s transportation sector released 173 megatonnes of carbon dioxide. From 1990 to 2015, greenhouse gas emissions within the Canadian transportation sector grew by 42% partly because there were more vehicles on the road, and cars were being replaced with light trucks such as SUVs (Government of Canada, 2017). These numbers can be reduced with small changes in our routine such as walking to school. A school or a family can start by participating in Winter Walk Day in February, and then make this shift something you do together once a month, and then maybe that could grow into once a week. All of these actions in our daily lives add up and make a big difference to protect our environment.
The Engagement Officers at Green Schools NS are striving to reduce our transportation emissions by offering virtual engagements. We can join a classroom anywhere using Google Hangouts. Our virtual programming engages and informs students about various environmental topics. Recent topics include ecosystems, life before electricity, climate change, green Valentine's, and we have created fun presentations to talk about Winter Walk Day too! You can also check out our resources on Winter Walk Day and Sustainable Transportation. Get in touch with your Engagement Officer to learn more about virtual visits; we would love to visit your class without putting a car on the road!