Posted by: Vicki Burns | October 18, 2010

National Survey Points To Disconnect Between Global Concerns and Local Environment for Most Canadians

Community Foundations of Canada  in conjunction with Environics Research Group have just released the results of a national survey that points out a disturbing disconnect between the way Canadians view their own local environment and the concern they have for global environmental issues. Most of those surveyed felt content with their own local environment at the same time as expressing that environmental concerns are the number one problem facing the world.

image of 3 children splashing into the water at a lake

Children Splashing in the Lake

In some ways, this is understandable since we still tend to think of Canada as a country of wide open unlimited spaces with lots of wilderness and clean water. The reality, however , is that there are very significant issues in Canada that we all can be part of turning around. Some of those issues are:
• Greenhouse gas emissions from personal vehicles, which have risen by almost one-third in Canada since the early 1990s
• The Alberta Tar Sands, called the fastest growing source of global warming pollution in Canada, will affect all Canadians no matter where they live because of its sheer scale.
• Record algae blooms in the Lake Winnipeg watershed – and across North America –  this summer, causing illness in people and pets
• The more than 213 billion litres of water wasted by Canadians every year (roughly equivalent to the City of Toronto’s annual water use) due to low efficiency toilets
• And the most personal example of all: the toxins that can now be found in our bodies, such as bisphenol A, which a recent survey found in 91 per cent of Canadians aged six to 79

Check out the full story on this survey and its implications on the Vital Signs website. I think its an important red flag for those of us working on environmental issues. We need to really be thinking about how to bring that concern for the global environment into everyone’s back yard. Each one of us has the potential to contribute to a healthier environment through so many everyday actions. How do we take this message “mainstream”?

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