How to Live a Greener Lifestyle, According to Canadians

In their busy daily lives, many people don’t think about what they can do to reduce their impact on the environment.

Climate change can also bring on feelings of stress or anxiety that cause people to completely ignore the issue.

But for some Canadians, harm reduction to the planet is not only a good habit but a challenge they are proud of, prompting them to step up and give the needed optimism voice and voice. motivation to create sustainable habits.

Megan Andrus and Joe Hood are two Canadians trying to inspire others to make a difference. For them, protecting the environment is a passion that has organically grown to bring their community together.

“We have some ideas and we want to put them out there and let other people understand what it’s like, like using solar power,” Hood told in a statement. interview.

In 2018, the couple moved from their smaller home near Lucasville, NS, to the suburbs, where they purchased a two-acre piece of land.

There, they built a home with the goal of being as sustainable as possible — something that was both expensive at the time and less common than it is now, Hood said.

“We found the plot with the perfect slope facing south, the perfect trees, the perfect location to build our house,” he said. “Before we cut the tree, we planned everything. So that was the beginning of the Sound Living brand.”


The house is equipped with solar panels that power everything including their eclectic car. It features rainwater tanks, a meadow with native plants for the front lawn and a fully functional garden with fruits and vegetables.

From seeds to fresh vegetables and fruits, Joe Hood and Megan Andrus are giving back to the environment and community with their garden. (Photo from Megan Andrus)

Despite being classified as an “environmental conservation organization” on Facebook, Hood said Sound Living’s purpose is to bring people together and share ideas.

“We came up with the name first, and then I worked with a graphic designer for our business, and I convinced her to design the logo for us,” says Hood. “We don’t actually monetize it, it’s not registered or anything like that.”

Over the years, the site has grown to 3,268 followers of what Hood and Andrus post, mainly focusing on gardening and nature conservation. It has allowed a stream of ideas to go viral as members of the online community comment on ideas and share their opinions.

With the online community growing, Hood is pleased with the number of people they have inspired to start gardening or installing solar panels.

“Our hope is that more people will start doing the little things,” Hood said. “It’s like changing your lawn from lawn to grassland.”

Andrus recently started a separate community group outside of the Sound Living brand that regularly meets in person on weekends.

“We have people come to our yard and we’ll split the oregano, chives and mint to the new gardeners,” Hood said. “We will give them seedlings of tomatoes, pepper and the like to help them grow their gardens.”

Giving back to their neighbors is an important aspect for Andrus and Hood, and they offer these plants in exchange for a food bank donation.

“It’s organic. It just happens,” Hood said. “There’s a local food bank that we’d like to support, so we thought it would be a neat way to force them into… food for food.”

One of the biggest draws to their neighbors is the year-round greenhouse the couple has invested in, allowing for fresh vegetables even during the Nova Scotia winter.

Some of the plants being grown include elderberries, sea buckthorn, horseradish, sunchoke, lemongrass, tomatoes and a variety of spices, as well as broccoli, kale, spinach, carrots, and oranges.

In addition to sharing with their human neighbors, Andrus and Hood knew they had to share with local wildlife, including a mole they named “Gary”.

The mole Gary loves to steal broccoli. (Megan Andrus)

“We have a mole living in our yard (so) we can lose 20 per cent of our production per year to wildlife,” he said. “We accepted that (but) last night it got into my broccoli, which made me very upset.”


While Hood and Andrus focus on mobilizing their communities, both online and in person, environmental activist Albert Lalonde is focusing on increasing engagement.

The young advocate spent time studying at the University of Quebec, in Montreal, and working with the David Suzuki Foundation, all while trying to mobilize Canadians from around the country.

Lalonde helped organize protests, including one that grew to include more than 150,000 people in March 2019.

It was one of several Fridays for future climate protests held in Canada that year, inspired by young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

“I think those protests really come from being fed up with making small everyday gestures that take a lot of time and energy, and that really, people have really put their heart into it. they’ve been in the business for years,” Lalonde told in an interview. interviews, mentioning calls to action from governments and large corporations, in addition to individual-level efforts.

For Lalonde, their first memory of climate change came at the age of 4 when they saw an advertisement about melting ice and its effect on polar bears in the north. A young Lalonde explains this as the North Pole being destroyed.

They said, “My reasoning is that if Santa’s house and factory were to sink into the sea, everyone would talk about it, but no one would.”

Students organize a protest against climate change, Friday, March 15, 2019 in Montreal. (CANADIAN REPORT/Ryan Remiorz)

As they grow up, the ad’s message stays with them, prompting them to put their energy into bringing green policies into their schools and organizing students to support the planet. As they got bigger, the reach grew until it culminated in the 2019 protests.

“There were two things that led us to mobilize,” says Lalonde. “The feeling of being betrayed, and being so tired of government policies and contradictions that put people at risk… And second, I think we took to the streets because we felt empowered. for having this movement, and we feel like we’ve finally built up power.”

Leveraging that momentum, Lalonde co-founded the Student Union for Environmental and Social Change (translated from French) in Quebec, but its efforts were halted by the pandemic.

Now that they’re looking to make a comeback, hopefully the momentum is still there so they can inspire more Canadians to take action.

They say, “Mobilization is built with a lot of conversation…It’s like going from the cafeteria table to the cafeteria table and really having deep conversations and also a lot of fun. emotional about the state of the world and where we fit into it.” “And how we can act collectively and hold our governments accountable is because, after all, we have influence.”

Young Canadians are environmentally conscious, says Lalonde, but they follow in the footsteps of previous generations.

“We must also acknowledge all the work that previous generations have done on so many issues,” they said. “I’ve always wanted to like the kind of atmosphere that the vision of people like Gen Z is like, ‘super activist.’ I think all the previous generations were really activists.”

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