The Holiday E-Cards that Also Save the Planet
If you haven’t found what you need through our Holiday Gift Guide, especially the ethical gift cards, how about sending an e-card – one that also makes a donation to protect biodiversity. The David Suzuki Foundation offers e-cards with original watercolour art by Oksana Bula. Plus each $20.00 CAD e-card purchase also serves as a donation, so your recipient will get a gorgeous e-card, the David Suzuki Foundation will get money to continue their work and you’ll receive a tax-deductible receipt for the entire amount. The offerings include:
Beluga it’s cold outside
Seven populations of belugas live in Canadian waters. The fewer than 900 remaining individuals in Quebec’s St. Lawrence River stay there year-round, ranging only a few hundred kilometres. The other groups slowly migrate around our Arctic and Subarctic waters, travelling thousands of kilometres at just nine or 10 kilometres per hour.
You make winter bearable
Seeing grizzlies feeding on salmon as the fish make their way up the coastal streams and rivers of B.C. and Alaska is magnificent. These large brown bears with their characteristic hump and silver-tipped fur scoop salmon from the river in an age-old interplay between ocean, river, fish, bear, bird and forest. The salmon bring nutrients from the ocean. The bears eat salmon and drag the carcasses into the forest, providing food for other animals, like eagles, and fertilizer for the massive rainforest trees.
Grizzly bears are a “keystone” species — an essential part of a healthy ecosystem. They aerate soil by digging for nuts and roots, and disperse the seeds of plants they consume. And because they are messy eaters — dragging the salmon they love out of rivers, then pooping in the woods after feasting — they help distribute nitrogen-rich nutrients across the forest floor.
All life is related
Natural predator-prey relationships are symbiotic. Predators keep prey populations in check and maintain natural cycles — even heal degraded ecosystems. Wolves reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park in 1995 restored the natural biodiversity that had diminished in their absence. To avoid predation, elk spent less time in valley bottoms, which allowed plants and trees to regenerate, in turn attracting birds, bears and beavers. Vegetation stabilized riverbanks, beavers altered waterways and soon turtles, amphibians and river otters returned.
There are two types of orcas on Canada’s Pacific coast: the salmon eating “residents” and the marine mammal eating “transients.” Both are top of their complex food webs. The narrow passage east of Vancouver Island is one of the best places in the world to observe the resident pod. Salmon returning to streams and rivers funnel through narrow channels making a fantastic hunting ground for them. The transients eat pretty much any warm-blooded mammal, including harbour seals, porpoises, dolphins, minke whales, humpback whales, Stellar sea lions, grey whales and sea otters.
I caribou you!
Canada is home to over half the world’s caribou, the same animals called “reindeer” in other parts of the world. We don’t think of them much beyond Rudolph and the holiday season, but they’re ingrained in our national psyche, and appear on the currency we handle every day. Caribou are amazing, elegant creatures. A newborn calf can run as soon as it can stand, just hours after birth. It’s a survival skill for a species born into a dangerous life, pursued by predators like wolves, coyotes and bears.