Canada Sustainable Travel Guide
FairAway Travel is a Canadian company, and hails out of Vancouver, British Columbia. This guide is intended to give you a quick insight into some considerations when travelling throughout this vast country.
Canada is made up of 10 provinces and 3 territories. It is a bilingual country with many Canadians speaking both English and French (although French is primarily used in the provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick). Most of Canada’s populous cities can be found within 200km of the USA border.
It’s important to keep in mind that Canada is home to many Aboriginal (or First Nations) communities, many of which speak different languages, and have various traditions and values. They are often a generous and giving people (a tradition that goes back to the days of the Potlach, a ceremony where First Nations tribes would invite neighbouring tribes and give away all of their possessions). Aboriginal cultures are very distinct, and it’s generally a good idea to welcome their hospitality. Many are also expert artists, carving such iconic pieces such as the totem pole. If you want, you can always purchase authentic and original Aboriginal artwork, clothing and food to create a positive impact when travelling through First Nations’ territory.
Canada is also home to vast a wilderness. As mentioned, most of Canada’s most populated cities are located within 200km of the USA border. As you travel further north, you’ll be immersed in a vast wilderness where mountains, lakes, rivers and glaciers begin to take over. In this wilderness, it’s important to take precaution when it comes to wildlife. Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Cougars, Wolves and even Wolverine can be found in many regions throughout northern British Columbia and the rest of northern Canada. However, wildlife guidelines will often be prominently displayed when travelling through areas with abundant wildlife. It’s important to respect these guidelines for your safety and theirs. For example, if you’re kayaking or boating, it’s required by law for you to stay at least 100m away from Orcas and Whales. Do not go chasing after them!
Canada also has a myriad of national, provincial and regional parks. When travelling through these areas, respect marked trails as going off trails can harm sensitive habitats and ecosystems. When camping, pack out what you bring in. Many campsites have a zero-trace policy in place to keep these areas pristine and clean for other travelers.
When dining out, whether you’re in a large city or a small community town, try ordering from places with local and sustainability policies. Many restaurants get their produce and meats from local farms and source their seafood from sustainable fisheries. The Vancouver Aquarium created the Ocean Wise program to help you find sustainable seafood restaurants near you. They even have a free iPhone app.
Canada is generally a free and open country. By following wildlife and ecosystem guidelines, respecting local Aboriginal cultures and traditions, you can lower your travel impacts or even create positive impacts, while experiencing a vast and wonderful country full of spectacular natural beauty and friendly people.