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#GetSustainable: 10 Ways to Get Your Family Outdoors

To celebrate Sustainability Month, members of our FortWhyte team will be providing tips on how you can incorporate sustainability into your everyday activities. 

by Alex Armstrong


1. There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing!

Important tip #1! Even the muckiest, slushiest, wettest weather can be enjoyable if you take measures to stay warm and dry. The secret? Dress in layers -- moisture-wicking fabrics next to the skin, then a layer to keep warm (think fleece), and finally, a waterproof outer shell. Add hats and mittens (which keep hands warmer than gloves) and waterproof footwear, and you’re set for just about anything.

2. Do the usual fun stuff!

Depending on the season, go hiking, canoeing, jumping in the leaves... or go skating, snowshoeing, or skiing if there’s snow. These are classics for a reason. If you don’t have the equipment, you can always rent, or you can pick up inexpensive gear at second-hand sports shops. Remember, it’s supposed to be fun, so if you end up bird-watching or building snow forts instead, that’s cool, too!

3. Camp out in the back yard!

Haven’t got a couple of days to dedicate to 'real' wilderness camping? Organize a campout in your own backyard. It’s cheap, fun and easier than you might think.


4. Buddy up with the birds

In the city, country, or anywhere in between, birds are probably the most familiar wildlife we see each day. Invite them to your green space by making homemade feeders or nesting boxes. Or, simply enjoy their songs and calls -- and see if you and your child can identify these feathery friends.

5. Why wait for the rain to go away, just to come again another day?

Let your child pull on a pair of rubber boots and a raincoat and explore the rainy-day world of squishy yards and splashy mud puddles. Earn bonus points by joining them in the soggy fun!

6. Get dirty!

Kids love dirt! Put a spoon or a small shovel in their hand and they will dig a hole to China… or make a dozen mud pies. Let your kids get dirty -- not only is it a fun way to get in touch with the outdoors, but a growing number of researchers believe that good old-fashioned dirt play exposes children to a myriad of bacteria, viruses and microbes that strengthen their immune systems. So, dedicate a small part of your yard as a digging station. No yard? No problem. Set aside a large container or indoor flower box just for digging in the dirt.

7. Go climb a tree!

Tree climbing is a childhood rite of passage. Tree climbing can teach children about assessing risk and building self-confidence while exercising their bodies.

8. Say cheese!

Go for a walk in your neighbourhood, but this time bring your camera to capture interesting things you see along the way.

9. Explore your city

Winnipeg is packed with green spaces, biking and walking trails, markets, and a ton of opportunities for nearby outdoor day trips.

10. Implement a “Green Hour” each day

Simply aim for one hour outdoors engaging in unstructured play -- this is great for days when there is little time for an excursion.

Happy Sustainability Month! Be sure to #GetSustainable and check out events and activities by visiting the Sustainability Month events calendar

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