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Sustainability in the time of COVID-19
This year has created unique challenges and a new way of living for many of us. As we are adapting to the realities of a global pandemic, we can use this time as an opportunity for reflection, to observe and come to a deeper understanding. In the midst of chaos, we can uncover meaningful ways to reconnect with ourselves, with our community, and with our environment.

Plastic Free July Final Remarks. This year Plastic Free July looked a bit different. The pandemic has made this more of a challenge, but our current situation warrants readjustment to being completely plastic-free to prioritize health and well-being. Plastic Free July is also a reflective practice to confront our consumption and seeing the wider systemic issues around plastic pollution. It helps to spark a discussion on the global effort to reduce our overall plastic consumption and production, creating cleaner campuses, streets, oceans and communities. For tips to continue a plastic-free lifestyle, check out our resources.

 
We want to thank everyone who took part in the challenge of reducing their plastic consumption. We hope that we can continue these sustainable habits and to live (even if not perfect) a zero/low waste lifestyle beyond July. It's important to remember that reducing our waste and mitigating climate change is a step forward to creating a more sustainable, just and equitable future. Take time to find ways to deepen your understanding of environmental issues. Here are some resources to help get started: environmental justice & ocean pollution. Every little bit helps.
 
10 Ways to Connect With Nature 

Explore new ways to take time for nature in this weekly tip with help from members of the Carleton community. 

This gallery of submissions to the Time for Nature photo contest spotlights various ways to take time for nature encouraging and inspiring us to build greater awareness and concern for the natural environment. 

1. Experience birdwatching.

“Apparently the recent pandemic has led to an increase in people having a greater interest in nature and the hobby of bird watching. That is great news for nature lovers. The Carleton campus and the surrou­­nding areas of Hog’s Back Park, Vincen­t Massey Park, National Arboretum, Fletcher Wildlife Garden, etc., are all great spots to head out with your binoculars and camera to check on the local feathered fauna!" 

– Ian Maclatchy, Biology Alumni

2. Observe nature’s designs. 

“There is so much beauty to be found in the intricate and detailed patterns of nature, and this has been a comfort in these pandemic times. Here are a few colourful explosions of Springtime beauty.”

– Kate Higginson, from The Institute for Comparative Studies in Literature, Art and Culture (ICSLAC)

3. Explore nature's trails. 

Take time to get away and immerse yourself in nature by taking a hike or a bike ride on nature’s trails. Check out these resources where you can find the perfect trail to explore: Ultimate Trail Guide for Ottawa and Ontario’s trails.

4. Do a community clean up.

“This picture was taken by my roommate after our final exams are over. We went on a celebration walk and did garbage picking for having finished all my exams. I hope I can show people that we can protect our mother nature and do something on a daily basis even when that something seems small.”

– Jiachen Wang, Information Technology-Photonics Laser Technology

5. Mindful stargazing.

“Long exposure images offer views of the motion of heavenly bodies through time. This was shot at Ottawa’s Prince of Wales Bridge. This image is a two-hour exposure, showing the arcs of the stars as the earth rotates. When the photo was taken, light pollution from the cities restricted what was visible to the eye to only four stars. However, a camera on a tripod can reveal hidden realities. Photography brings us closer to the cosmos.”

– Benjamin Heron, Master of Architecture.

Read the rest on our post!
Have a sustainability-related story that you'd like to share? Feel free to submit it by submitting it here.
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