Staff Directory

You are here

Nunavut Environment Week 7-Day Challenge (#NEW7)

Nunavut Environment Week 7-Day Challenge (#NEW7)
 

We’re challenging Nunavummiut to participate in the Nunavut Environment Week 7-Day Challenge as part of Canadian Environment Week from June 5 to 11, 2017!

Challenges will be posted daily on the Government of Nunavut (GN) social media pages and the Department of Environment homepage (www.gov.nu.ca/environment). If you complete a challenge, you will have a chance to get prizes! All you have to do is take a picture of yourself completing a daily challenge and post it on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #NEW7. Make sure your post is public so we can track it! Entries can also be emailed to environment@gov.nu.ca.

Canadian Environment Week is an annual event that encourages Canadians to take action to help preserve, protect and restore our environment. It coincides with World Environment Day on June 5, and World Ocean day and Clean Air day on June 8.

 

Challenge 1: Megawatt Monday (June 5) #MegawattMonday

Challenge 2: Taps-Off Tuesday (June 6) #TapsOffTuesday

Challenge 3: Waste-less Wednesday (June 7) #WasteLessWednesday

Challenge 4: Throttle-back Thursday (June 8) #ThrottleBackThursday

Challenge 5: Feel Good Friday (June 9) #FeelGoodFriday

Challenge 6: Secondhand Saturday (June 10) #SecondhandSaturday

Challenge 7: Strolling Sunday (June 11) #StrollingSunday

 

Challenge 1: Megawatt Monday (June 5) #MegawattMonday

What do caribou, people and cellphones all have in common?  They all depend on energy to work. Nunavut is the only province or territory in Canada that currently has no primary source energy production. As a result, Nunavut depends on imported fossil fuels for our energy needs. In 2012-2013, the territory imported 180 million liters of fossil fuel. These fossil fuels are burned to create electricity, heat, and are used for transportation. As we burn those fossil fuels, greenhouse gases (GHGs), such as carbon dioxide and methane, are released into the atmosphere. The more energy we use, the more fossil fuels we burn, and the more GHGs are produced and released into the atmosphere. By reducing the amount of energy we use, we can reduce the amount of pollutants that are released into the environment.

Conserving energy is not only good for the environment, it is also good for your bank account. By reducing your energy consumption, you can lower the cost of your heating, electricity and fuel bills. It is not difficult to reduce your energy consumption: it can be as easy as turning off the light when you leave the room, turning off your computer at the end of the day or unplugging electronic devices that are seldom used. For more energy saving ideas, go to: http://nunavutenergy.ca/homeowner_tips.

How will you complete today’s Environment Week Challenge? Simply submit a photo of you completing the challenge for a chance to win prizes. Photos can be tweeted using #NEW7, messaged to us or posted in the comments section on the GN Facebook page, or emailed to environment@gov.nu.ca.

IQ Fun Fact

In the past, when Inuit went on long journeys, it would be the woman’s job to light the qulliq once the iglu had been built. She would make the flames large to melt snow for water and to heat the iglu faster. Once it was time for bed, she would make the flames smaller to save more fuel. How will you save energy today?

 

 

Challenge 2: Taps-Off Tuesday (June 6) #TapsOffTuesday

All life on earth needs water to survive. Humans can go weeks without food, but only a few days without water. We all depend on water, and that is why it is important to make sure that we conserve water to ensure that we always have enough. Though some areas of Nunavut have experienced a wetter than normal spring, and it may seem as though we have more water than we know what to do with, we still need to make sure that we use water efficiently. Before we can use water, it takes a significant amount of energy to make sure it is clean enough to use and bring it to where it needs to go. If you let your faucet run for five minutes, this takes as much energy as leaving a 60 watt light bulb on for 14 hours.

There are many things that we can do at home, work, or school that can help reduce our water consumption. A leaky faucet that drips one drop per second can add up to 25 litres of wasted water in one day and more than 10,000 litres of water in a year. That wasted water is enough to wash more than 65 loads of laundry or take 140 five-minute showers. You can easily reduce your water consumption by checking for leaky pipes or turning off the water when you brush your teeth.  

How will you reduce your water consumption today? Simply submit a photo of you completing the challenge for a chance to get prizes. Photos can be tweeted using #NEW7, messaged to us or posted in the comments section on the GN Facebook page, or emailed to environment@gov.nu.ca.

IQ Fun Fact

Tides in the north vary from location to location. The tides are higher during or right after the new or full moon. This is called spring tide in English and in Inuktitut, ᐱᑐᕐᓂᖅ (piturniq). Travelers are asked to be aware of rivers, lakes and sea ice conditions during winter time, because regardless of weather, there may be water overflow on the edges of these water systems. Some Elders enjoy drinking the overflow water from the rivers.

 

 

Challenge 3: Waste-less Wednesday (June 7) #WasteLessWednesday

In Nunavut, most of the products that we consume are brought into our communities by boat or plane. Along with those products comes a lot of packaging to make sure the products we buy arrive in one piece. We can reduce the amount of waste we produce by first reducing the amount of products we buy. We can also minimize the amount of waste that goes into the landfill by reusing and recycling our old products. Reducing, reusing and recycling our waste helps to conserve our valuable resources for future generations. We only have one planet and it is important that we take care of it. 

Everyone can make a difference by reducing the amount of unnecessary garbage that ends up in our landfills. Putting less into the landfill can be as easy as bringing your own mug to a coffee shop. Did you know that many coffee shops will give you a discount if you bring your own mug? 

How will you waste less today? Simply submit a photo of you completing the challenge for a chance to get prizes. Photos can be tweeted using #NEW7, messaged to us or posted in the comments section on the GN Facebook page, or emailed to environment@gov.nu.ca.

IQ Fun Fact

In the past, one of the unwritten rules was to get enough meat to last you for the year, but no more, so that the meat would not be wasted. If Elders decided that there was enough meat to last a whole year, they would tell people “that’s enough”. That way, there would not be bones littered on the ground and the land and the air would be clean at all times.

 

 

Challenge 4: Throttle Back Thursday (June 8) #ThrottleBackThursday

Do you drive a car, charge an MP3 player or use a stove? If so, you’re burning fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal). With a global population of over 7 billion people, these actions add up and have noticeable results on the Earth. Although climate change is a natural process, human activities are causing the Earth’s climate to change faster than normal. 

Research shows the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. Other changes in the Arctic include: glacier retreat, sea-ice and lake-ice thinning, permafrost thawing, coastal erosion from wave action, changes in ocean currents, and shifting ranges of plant and animal species. Like many nations across the globe, Nunavut is trying to reduce GHG emissions in response to climate change. A main focus for Nunavut is promoting adaptation to the new conditions that have come with climate change. This means adjusting planning, decisions, and activities for the expected impacts of climate change.

We can all make simple changes in our daily lives that can reduce our carbon footprint. How will you throttle back today? Simply submit a photo of you completing the challenge for a chance to get prizes. Photos can be tweeted using #NEW7, messaged to us or posted in the comments section on the GN Facebook page, or emailed to environment@gov.nu.ca.

Want to know more?

• Visit our climate change FAQ (http://www.climatechangenunavut.ca/en/understanding-climate-change/climate-change-faq

• Are you climate change savvy? Test your climate change knowledge at  http://climatequiz.esolutionsgroup.ca/en/ 

IQ Fun Fact

“[One] thing is the timing of the seasons. They don’t connect anymore. We used to know in what season something would occur. For example when your feet would sink through the snow, you knew when the aujaq (summer) or upinngaaq (spring) would happen. Using our traditional knowledge you would know what was going to happen when, but you just can’t predict anymore. People like me are confused. In the early fall sometimes there will be a freeze of the lake and the ponds, and then after that it would take several weeks to have the ice finally safe enough to travel on." Donald Uluadluaq 

To read more Elders’ quotes on climate change, visit: http://climatechangenunavut.ca/en/voices-land

 

 

Challenge 5: Feel Good Friday (June 9) #FeelGoodFriday

We are all in this together! Little actions that we do every day can affect our environment and other people all over the world. We are all connected through our ecosystems. An ecosystem is a community of living organisms and non-living components that work together as a system. Ecosystems can be big or small, but all parts of an ecosystem are important to make it work. If one component is removed, it will impact other things in the ecosystem. Let’s look at an Arctic ecosystem. Seals depend on ice for their habitat, polar bears depend on seals for food, and people hunt polar bears for food and clothing. If the ice is removed from the ecosystem, it will affect not only the seals, but the polar bears and the people too. 

We can encourage others around us to make good choices. Let’s celebrate Environment Week by showing others that they are an important part of our ecosystem. Instead of giving someone a material gift, do something nice for them – walk your friend’s dog or take a friend to a movie. Simply submit a photo of you taking part in the challenge for a chance to get prizes. Photos can be tweeted using #NEW7, messaged to us or posted in the comments section on the GN Facebook page, or emailed to environment@gov.nu.ca.

IQ Fun Fact

Inuit were told by Elders to respect the land. If you respect the land it will provide you with abundant wildlife. If you mistreat the land, then the land will not provide for you. One of the Inuit societal values is based on this concept, Avatittinnik Kamatsiarniq, which means to respect and care for the land, animals and the environment.  

Trivia question:

What’s the name for the biological hot spots in the Arctic where seals, whales, birds and other marine wildlife gather?

  • Pingos 
  • Polynyas 
  • Cornucopias 
  • Leads

Answer: Polynyas

 

 

 

Challenge 6: Secondhand Saturday (June 10) #SecondhandSaturday

Spring is in the air! It’s a great time to clean out your closets and cupboards. But don’t send all of those old items to the landfill just yet. Give your old and used items a second life! Repurpose an old yogurt container into storage for paperclips or leftovers. Invite your friends over for a clothing swap. Make that old sweater into a new pair of mitts. 

How will you get creative this Secondhand Saturday? Simply submit a photo of you taking part in the challenge for a chance to get prizes. Photos can be tweeted using #NEW7, messaged to us or posted in the comments section on the GN Facebook page, or emailed to environment@gov.nu.ca.

IQ Fun Fact

When items like wood were scarce, people used traditional knowledge and ingenuity to find a solution. If only small pieces of wood or bone could be found, then these pieces were mended together using braided sinew or strands of baleen. How will you show your ingenuity and make something new out of something old today? 

Trivia question:

If you paint chairs and make them look new, are you

a) reducing,
b) reusing, or
c) recycling?

Answer: Reusing an old item and making it new!

 

 

 

Challenge 7: Strolling Sunday (June 11) #StrollingSunday

Are you feeling down? Getting outside can significantly improve your mood. In Nunavut, we are fortunate to have easy access to an extraordinary backyard. All across Nunavut, national and territorial parks offer places to escape, places for reflection, places of power, and places that celebrate our cultural and natural heritage. For more information about the parks and special places near you visit: http://gov.nu.ca/environment/information/parks-and-heritage and http://www.pc.gc.ca.   

Today, get off the grid and get onto the land! What better way to celebrate Environment Week than to spend a little time outside and enjoy Nunavut’s magnificent landscapes and extraordinary wildlife! How will you get outside and enjoy Strolling Sunday? Simply submit a photo of you taking part in the challenge for a chance to get prizes. Photos can be tweeted using #NEW7, messaged to us or posted in the comments section on the GN Facebook page, or emailed to environment@gov.nu.ca.

http://gov.nu.ca/environment/information/parks-and-heritage

http://www.pc.gc.ca

IQ Fun Fact

In the past, Inuit had to move around to find resources because all the resources needed were not found all in one place. People would move from place to place, gathering and caching resources depending on the season. Get outside and see what new places you can discover today!

Trivia question:

What is the name of the territorial park that means big wave? Hint: For more information on Nunavut parks and special places, http://www.gov.nu.ca/environment/information/territorial-parks-and-speci....

 

Answer: Mallikjuaq Territorial Park near Cape Dorset