Toronto’s green scene is easy to love. With so many resources to help the environmental enthusiast get started greening their life – and do it cheaply and easily – it’s not hard to reduce your impact. Whether you want to detox your body, your home, or just increasing your environmental karma points this spring, Toronto has something that can help in your go-green journey. Here are 5 things we love about Toronto’s green scene – and we think you’ll dig too.
Community gardens are unique pockets of green / hubs of social activity all over the city. Big ones in parks like Christie Park and Evergreen Brickworks transform underused spaces into lush ones and rally entire neighborhoods to promote urban sustainability and local food. Find one close to your hood to volunteer at this spring! Perks include free organic food, hands-on gardening experience and project management, and of course, access to a pool of caring and conscious new pals.
Many of Toronto’s farmers markets are open year-round, making fresh, organic fruit and veg available just a stroll away in the cold months. Find a market near you – Dufferin Grove, St. Lawrence Market North, Trinity Bellwoods – they’ve all got unique personalities – and get inspired to cook some healthy, from-scratch recipes this spring. As well as saving money and stocking up on low-cost organic foods, you’ll be able learn a thing or two from knowledgeable vendors and farmers, who’s nutritional advice is pretty much the most valuable advice of its kind. Farmers markets are the place to go to get on a green kick. They’re also a great summer date spot. Just sayin.
The cherry blossoms in High Park, the pizza oven in Dufferin Grove, the lounge-fests in Trinity Bellwoods … our parks, all 1,600 of them, are run by some passionate volunteers that keep them clean and running. Aside from being beautiful places to chill with friends or zen-outin solitude, Toronto’s parks have over 600 km of trails that are ready to be explored by bike. Some wind through ravines, along the Lake Ontario shoreline, and the beaches. If you don’t have a bike yet, get one now and get busy on the trails before they do!
Our environmental scene comes with many opportunities to give back to the community – especially if you’re a creative type who likes to get their hands dirty. Make connections in your niche and gain experience in things like project management, gardening, event planning, and more. Here are some upcoming opportunities to watch out for:
Toronto Vegetarian Association: Be part of Toronto’s best known vegetarian charity by assisting with outreach events and contests like the Totally Fabulous Vegan Bakeoff, the Veg Food Fest and more.
Live Green Toronto: Live Green Toronto volunteers will work at over 125 eco-events and festival across the city including the Green Living Show and the Live Green Toronto Festival.
Evergreen Brickworks: Community Greening Volunteers help out at Evergreen Brickworks’ Greening Events held for hands-on planting, removing invasive species, monitoring projects and more. No green thumb necessary.
Sorauren Farmer’s Market: Help make this year-round west end famers market happen! Voluneers are needed this summer to help out with events and workshops, an annual tomato tasting, and more.
Bike Pirates: Bike enthusiasts can lend their expertise at this DIY bike workspace dedicated to all things cycling. Monthly volunteer orientation sessions are held on the first Wednesday of every month at 7 pm.
Check out PlanetVolunteer.net for an ongoing roll out of environmentally-related volunteer opportunities in Toronto.
Spring and summer is the best time for festivals “ and eco-focused ones are no exception. Put some of these festivals on your calendar and learn more about the green niche of your choice, mingle, network, and fine-tune your green style.
The Green Living Show (March 27 “ 29 @ MTCC)
Toronto Raw / Vegan Festival (June 6 “ 7 @ 918 Bathurst St.)
Live Green Toronto Festival (July 19 @ Yonge-Dundas Square)
The Vegetarian Food Fest (September 11 “ 13 @ The Harbourfront Centre)
Toronto Garlic Festival (September 20 @ Artscape Wychwood Barns)