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Upcycling 101: Simple at Home Projects

At this point, many of us have cleaned our house, checked things off of the “to-do” list, and said “Well, now what?” This is a great time to better your environmental footprint—diving into Earth-friendly habits and projects. One way to do so is to start upcycling!

The term upcycling was officially coined in 1998, as a way for companies to create and market products made from used materials. This concept reduces the amount of raw materials used and the waste that eventually ends up in our landfills. Let’s reuse as much as we can—keeping upcycling front of mind—and help make our world a better place!

Create something upcycled yourself:

Newspapers and magazines are good for creating small baskets. All you need is glue, scissors, a ruler, and a few pages from a magazine. Cut 2 to 3 centimeter strips of magazine and then fold and glue them into thirds—using the folded strips to create a lattice. Weave the strips in and out to make the box bottom. Use the ruler to fold up the sides and continue weaving in and out. Finally fold the edges down for a clean finish!

Image of Newspaper and magazines being used ot create a small basket

Have your sorted through your closet yet? Find any shirts that don’t fit, but are too sentimental to throw out? Use it to make a pillow or attach it to a canvas to create art! Old shirts can even be made into useful bags for groceries! The pillow we made isn’t too difficult, but does involve a sewing machine, scissors, a long ruler, chalk, and a pillow. Trace the pillow with chalk on the inside of the shirt. Sew under the neckline and cut away the scraps. Plan out where the back fold will go (for this pillow, we cut and hemmed the back of the shirt and used the existing hem of the front of the shirt for the other back edge). Sew the sides and flip right side out. Even a sewing machine novice can make an upcycled pillow!

Old t-shirt being used to create a pillow case cover

Towels can be cut smaller into rags, but they can also be used to make shower mats or even beach bags! For this project, only the handles are sewn—the sides of the bag use an easy “no sew” method. For this project, all you need is a towel, scissors, sewing needle, thread, and strap material (we used a strong ribbon). Cut the towel to the width of the bag you would like. Fold the piece in half (the fold will be the bottom of the bag). Use scissors to cut strips on both sides. These strips should be 3 to 4 centimeters long and 2 centimeters wide. Tie the front and back strips in a double knot starting from the bottom of the bag, then sew on some straps!

Towel cut into small rags and being made into beach bags

Not only does upcycling reduce the amount of materials we use and saves us money, it also saves animals! About 100,000 animals die every year by eating or getting tangled in plastic. Upcycling is one way we can help reduce that number and make our world a better place!

Think of other upcycling projects you can do using materials you would normally throw away and together we can work toward zero waste! Care to share below?

Earth Day’s 50th Shell-abration

People had had enough, as unregulated pollutants filled the sky, a river erupted into flames, and oil soaked wildlife perished before their eyes. Millions came together to speak up for the environment and fifty years ago the first Earth Day was born. Once again we are called upon to give our environment and all of its inhabitants a voice. This year’s Earth Day theme is “climate action” and now more than ever is the time to embrace our role as environmental stewards and ‘shell’abrate our planet!

We have a few quick suggestions of how you can spend this Earth Day!

1) Green up your thumb

Did you know that having plants in your home not only lowers your stress levels but it also boosts concentration and productivity? Whether you are sprucing up the backyard with a few perennials or adding a hanging basket to the balcony there are endless ways to bring nature into your home. Plus, if you want a fun and engaging activity for kids, try making earth day seed bombs! We have easy to follow instructions you can use.

Click Here for Instructions!

2) Audit yourself

Sounds fun, right? I’m speaking of a waste audit of course! Do you know how much single-use plastic your household uses? How about if all members of the family know what goes in the blue bin? Now would be a great time to take a peek in your waste bins and find out! Use your audit as a way to improve your waste habits, are there small things you can change immediately to help the environment?

3) Watch a nature show

We are constantly learning new exciting things about our oceans, why not learn a few new tidbits yourself? After all, the more informed you are, the better environmental advocate you can be! There are plenty of options at your disposal when it comes to nature shows. I may be a little biased but I would always suggest one that features the blue parts of our planet.

4) Become a citizen scientist

Becoming a scientist has never been easier or more rewarding! You can help track species, collect samples and contribute to data sets that guide scientific research. Browse an in-depth list of projects that need volunteers here: Scistarter.org/finder and get researching! My personal favourites are turtle tallies, any excuse to go searching for turtles is awesome in my books!

How will you spend your Earth Day? Why not share below?

What Lies Beneath – Myths & Monsters

We’ve all heard the legends of mermaids, krakens, giant whales, and other mysterious underwater monsters. In this Deep Sea Diary post, we’ll explore some of the lesser known mythical creatures that have been said to exist in our waters.

Myths and Monsters

Myths and Monsters

The ocean, in its vastness, is home to some amazing animals—and some amazing myths.

Before modern technology led to many of today’s discoveries, the ocean was filled with mythical creatures. Many historical sailors and explorers, while famous for their voyages and discoveries, are also to thank for the many tales of mythical creatures that exist today.

Let’s dive in, and learn about some of the lesser known mythical creatures that once called the ocean home.

Sea Serpent Image

Sea Serpent

Like boa constrictors on land, sea serpents are known for wrapping their long, snake-like bodies around ships during an attack. This monster measures up to 60 meters long and 6 meters wide. It lives in the depths of the sea and comes out when it is ready for a bite to eat!

Prister

The prister is a rapid attacker and can spray mighty jets of water from its blowhole! In one swift move, this creature can sink a ship just by emerging from the water. At nearly 90 meters long, the prister enjoys smashing ships with its huge body and blasting enough water from its blowhole to sink a ship.

Ziphius

The ziphius is another massive creature, but with some interesting characteristics. It has the face of an owl and a sword for a dorsal fin! It finds joy in hunting prey, including seals, and slicing open ships with its dorsal fin.

Island Whale

The island whale is best known for having a back that’s camouflaged as an island. After sailors anchor their ships and start a fire, this creature heaves up and pulls the oblivious crew and their ship deep into the sea.

We hope to “sea” you soon so that you can check out our NEW Shipwrecks exhibit and learn more about these mythical creatures for yourself!

Franklin Expedition: Discovering Canada’s Northwest Passage

In Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada’s NEW exhibit, “Shipwrecks,” we explore the ill-fated Franklin expedition and showcase replica artifacts and the specialized equipment Parks Canada’s archaeologists used to recover them.

Franklin Expedition Piece Image
In an attempt to find the Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans across what is now Canada’s Arctic, British explorer Sir John Franklin and 128 crewmembers set sail in 1845 aboard the ships HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.

The ships were hardy, originally built as Royal Navy bomb vessels. The threat from pack ice and icebergs was all too real and the sturdy construction of the bomb vessels made them ideal for polar exploration. But that didn’t guarantee anyone’s safety.

The Franklin expedition left England in 1845 and was last seen by Inuit on King William Island in Nunavut, Canada. They never returned to England. Searches for the crew, HMS Erebus, and HMS Terror came up empty for nearly 170 years, but helped map the Canadian Arctic and, over time, the Northwest Passage was finally charted.

In 2014, a new expedition set forth. With the help of Inuit oral history and modern technology, the underwater wreck site of HMS Erebus was finally found, followed by HMS Terror two years later. The shipwrecks are now National Historic Sites jointly managed by Inuit and Parks Canada—the first of its kind in Nunavut.

Find out more about the Franklin expedition, the search to find the ships, and what was left behind in our new “Shipwrecks” exhibit at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.

Blue Willow Dinner Plate

What appears to be dinnerware reserved for fine dining was actually the plates used daily by the crew of HMS Erebus. They are made of whiteware and meant to look like Chinese porcelain. This pattern is known as “blue willow,” and was common during the 19th century.

Franklin Expedition plate image

Tin and Message

One of the most important written records relating to the lost Franklin expedition was discovered inside a tin container, stored in a stone pile, or cairn, on King William Island. It was found by a search party led by Leopold McClintock in 1859.

It is a series of notes written on a standard document that all Royal Navy ships carried at the time. It details the abandonment of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror on April 22, 1848, and confirms the death of Sir John Franklin. The original is housed at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, U.K.

Dive Mitts

These three-finger dive mitts were once worn by an underwater archaeologist at Parks Canada. They are made from 7mm neoprene.

The underwater archeologists use dive mitts when they dive and take notes and do their work. The three-finger style is a compromise between the dexterity of a glove and the warmth of a mitt.

image of Franklin Expedition
Image of Franklin Expedition

Dry Suit

This dive suit was once worn by an underwater archeologist at Parks Canada. This dry suit is 9 mm neoprene and would primarily be used in cold water diving locations. Unlike a wet suit, which allows water to enter the suit to be warmed though body temperature, a dry suit ensures that no water enters inside the suit when submersed in water and is essential when diving the frigid temperatures of the Arctic.

Underwater Camera Shell

This camera shell was used by Parks Canada underwater archaeologists to take pictures and videos of shipwrecks, artifacts, and marine biology. This shell was used with a Nikon D4 a high end DLSR camera.

Replica artifacts and archaeological equipment on loan courtesy of Parks Canada.

We hope to “sea” you soon so that you can check out our NEW Shipwrecks exhibit and learn more about the iconic Franklin expedition for yourself!

SECORE Coral Conservation

Since 2016, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada has been working closely with SECORE International in an effort to preserve coral reefs around the world.
Due to Global Warming, corals have been dying off around the world at an alarming rate. Warming of the seas, pollution and careless fishing practices have put every coral species at risk. However, through SECORE, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is changing the fate of our reefs and is working hard to restore these vital communities.

Every year, SECORE International hosts a workshop for aquarium professionals around the world, to aid in reef restoration during mass spawning events. Based on sea temperatures and the lunar cycle, scientists can predict when corals will spawn in the wild. During these predictable events, the researchers and aquarium volunteers go out in the field in the middle of the night and look for spawning coral.
Coral release ‘gamete bundles’ (bundles containing both egg and sperm) into the water which are then collected by scientists. The work is just beginning there however! Once collected, these bundles are brought back into the laboratory where fertilization occurs. To ensure success and genetic diversity, bundles from different colonies are mixed together into very fancy pieces of equipment- gravy boats. Much like oil on water, buoyant fertilized eggs will float to the surface of water, while dirty waste water remains below. Gravy boats let us remove/clean this water without disturbing the fertilized eggs.

After ~1hr fertilization is complete; a coral embryo has been produced! At this point, embryos can be observed under a microscope and development monitored. In order to ensure these embryos stay happy and healthy, the hundreds of thousands embryos are very carefully placed in different containers containing filtered seawater. Corals are divided into tanks, tubs, ‘pools’ in the ocean and even takeout containers! This careful, painstaking process often means very late nights in the lab. For several days we are often up until 3am ensuring these coral babies have the best chance at life.

Over the next several days the embryos develop into larvae which begin swimming around looking for somewhere to settle. SECORE has experimented with several different types of substrate in order to find the perfect one that coral larvae love. If we’re lucky the corals will approve, will start settling and slowly turn into a polyp with a skeleton! Once a skeleton starts to form these coral are ready to be outplanted on a reef, starting the reef restoration process.

Once on the reef, corals are regularly monitored for survivorship and growth rates. Eventually the hope is for these babies to grow into colonies that begin sexually reproducing themselves, completing the life cycle.

So far SECORE has successfully reared critically endangered or threatened species of coral, including Acropora palmata, Acropora cervicornis, Colpophyllia natans, Diploria labyrinthiformis and more.

The fate of reefs around the world relies on the dedicated work of these scientists and Ripley’s Aquarium is proud to contribute to research and work that SECORE is doing. If you’re interested in learning more about SECORE please visit http://www.secore.org/site/home.html

SECORE Coral Conservation

Coral embryos divided into a takeout container

SECORE Coral Conservation

Gravy boat containing fertilized eggs and ‘dirty waste water’

SECORE Coral Conservation

Late night work in the lab: Fertilizing eggs, cleaning/removing water and separating embryos into different containers.

SECORE Coral Conservation

Coral embryos ~1hr post-fertilization

SECORE Coral Conservation

Orbicella faveolata ‘gamete bundles’ about to be released

*Photo courtesy of Olivia Williamson, PhD student at the University of Miami*

SECORE Coral Conservation

Two coral larvae that developed into polyps, settled on substrate and acquired algae Symbionts- Two weeks post-fertilization. Ready to be planted out on the reef!

*Photo courtesy of Olivia Williamson, PhD student at the University of Miami*

5 WAYS TO REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

Periods of natural climate change have occurred for millennia, but human industry since the 20th-century has contributed to change at an unprecedented rate, primarily due to our increased consumption of fossil fuels. (A fossil fuel is a natural fuel such as coal or gas, formed from the remains of living organisms).

The effects of this change can be seen in the increase of the planet’s surface temperature, the warming and acidification of the oceans, the rise of sea levels and the retreat of glaciers. Changes are happening at such an accelerated rate that plants and animals are hardly able to adapt quickly enough. For reference, adaptation occurs over several generations and the current rate of climate change is far too fast.

I’m sure that you know all this.

What you might not know is that you have the power to do something to help reverse the tides of climate change. We all do.

The term carbon footprint refers to the total amount of carbon dioxide emitted in the consumption of fossil fuels by a person or organization. The changes outlined below might seem small, but if each of us commits to reducing our carbon footprint in tangible ways, that can add up to big change—change that has the power to positively affect the planet. Here’s how:

1. Unplug electronics when not in use

We all know to turn the lights off when we leave the room—that’s Energy Conservation 101. But did you know about something called home idle load, or ghost energy? Ghost energy refers to the electricity being continuously used in our homes, even when we’re not there. This kind of passive energy use accounts for more than 30% of household electricity consumption!

Reducing your use of electricity is a clear way to also reduce your carbon footprint, and home idle load is a great place to start. Prevent the silent sap of ghost energy by:

  • Unplugging electronics such as your cellphone and game consoles when not in use
  • Using a timer-switch that stops electric consumption from devices not in use
  • Replacing old, inefficient appliances that must remain running (i.e. refrigerators) with newer, more energy-efficient models

2. Eat less meat


Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to go vegetarian. A simple reduction in the amount of meat you eat can have a tangible effect on your carbon footprint. In fact, eating just one less burger a week is the equivalent of taking your car off the road for about 515 kilometres! Consider taking the Meatless Monday pledge—committing to meatless meals just one day of the week.

How does farmed meat affect the environment you ask? It has to do with deforestation to make way for livestock (less trees means less ability for the planet to process carbon dioxide in the atmosphere), methane emissions from fertilizer use and the animals themselves (I’ll let you use your imagination to figure that one out), and agricultural runoff polluting our streams and rivers. Not to mention the food and water resources needed to feed our, well, future food.

3. Buy local


Meals are another way in which we can reduce our carbon footprints. By buying fresh, local foods, not only are we supporting local growers and grocers, but also reducing the distance that our food has to travel from production to our plates.

To put it simply, locally-grown fruits, vegetables and fresh meats don’t have to travel hundreds of miles by truck or get on a plane to the grocery store. And it really is that simple: less travel means less use of fossil fuels in transportation, which means a win-win way to reduce your carbon footprint…and put money back into your community, to boot.

4. Take care of your clothes

clothes

When it comes to our carbon footprints, so many of us wear them on our sleeves. Fast fashion is the trend of quickly and cheaply producing new clothing collections inspired by celebrities and designers. But fast fashion is also a disaster for the environment.

Fast fashion relies on synthetic materials such as polyester, which, when washed in washing machines, shed microfibers that pass into our waterways in the form of microplastics. These are often consumed by animals low in the food chain, and eventually make their way into the stomachs of apex predators—like us.

So what can you do? As a consumer, you have the power to put your money where your mouth is. Consider clothing brands that use recycled materials.

But the best way to reduce the environmental impact of your clothing is to keep your clothes on the hanger for longer—to buy high-quality, long-lasting pieces that you can repair or upcycle rather than discard—and resist the temptation of constantly buying new stuff.

5. Share what you know

clothes

The final and most powerful way you can help fight climate change is to share what you know and to talk about the changes you’re making to your habits with your family and friends.

You may be just one person making what seem like small choices for the health of the planet, but by serving as a good example and passing on what you know, there’s no telling how big of an impact you could have.

Photos

  1. Meatless Monday Infographic, https://www.meatlessmonday.com/earth-day-2015/
  2. Fast Fashion, https://phys.org/news/2019-01-fast-fashion-environment-workers-society.html
  3. Foodland Ontario Logo, http://www.foodland.gov.on.ca/media/

Sources

  1. “About Meatless Monday.” Earth Day Network, www.earthday.org/take-action/about-meatless-monday/
  2. “Climate Change Evidence: How Do We Know?” Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet, NASA, 5 Feb. 2019, www.climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
  3. Environment.” Meatless Monday, www.meatlessmonday.com/research/environment/
  4. Holth, Jesse. “7 Instant Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 6 June 2017, www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/7-instant-ways-to-reduce-your-carbon-footprint_us_59321992e4b00573ab57a383
  5. Milman, Oliver. “Why Eating Less Meat Is the Best Thing You Can Do for the Planet in 2019.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 21 Dec. 2018, www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/21/lifestyle-change-eat-less-meat-climate-change
  6. Perry, Patsy. “The Environmental Costs of Fast Fashion.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 8 Jan. 2018, www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/environment-costs-fast-fashion-pollution-waste-sustainability-a8139386.html

ROYAL FISH FLUSH

Have you heard the news? The royal baby has arrived!

That’s right, Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex–a.k.a. Meghan Markle–have welcomed their first child, and that people are excited about it. Even the London Eye–the famous landmark along the River Thames–has been lit up with the colours of the Union Jack to celebrate the little one’s arrival.

We at the aquarium would like to celebrate the “o-fish-al” arrival of the seventh in line to the Crown in our own special way, by checking in with some of our favourite royals under the sea.

RED KING CRAB

king crab

The undisputed ruler of the crustaceans is…the red king crab! This giant decapod (that means that it has 10 legs) is one of the largest crustaceans in the ocean. Adult king crabs can have a leg-span of nearly five feet, and can weigh over 20 pounds. This makes them a coveted prize for anglers, but they also play an important role as the ocean’s clean-up crew. Red king crabs are scavengers; they eat dead and decaying plant and animal matter on the ocean floor.

Like all decapods, the shell of the red king crab is in fact its skeleton, which covers the outside of its body. This exoskeleton does not expand as the crab grows, so red king crabs must shed (molt) their old shells in order to grow, revealing a new, larger shell underneath. This new shell is soft for a time and leaves the red king crab open to predation–it’s not easy being king!

QUEEN ANGELFISH

queen fish

The queen angelfish is downright iconic. With her yellow, green and blue colouration, the queen angelfish is one of the most eye-catching fish in the already rainbow-coloured coral reefs of the Caribbean. Her name comes from the dark splotch of colour on her head, which makes her look as though she’s wearing a crown.

Queen angelfish are foragers–they eat everything from sponges to algae to coral. Juvenile queen angelfish have also been known to clean parasites and eat loose scales off much larger fish.

Every queen (angelfish) has her king–queen angelfish live in pairs year-round, suggesting a monogamous bond.

EMPEROR ANGELFISH

emperor angelfish

The emperor angelfish is a master of disguise, in more ways than one. The adult emperor angelfish (right image) is patterned in a way designed to confuse predators, with alternating blue and yellow stripes and a dark band across its eyes. Its colours as a juvenile (left image) are so different–dark blue with white and blue rings–that the two were once considered to be two completely different species!

Male emperor angelfish are territorial. While a few females might cohabitate peacefully with a single male, he will attack any other male angelfish that tries to enter their living space. This emperor doesn’t like to share his court!

REGAL BLUE TANG

blue tang

That’s right, it’s Dory! Not only is her common name decidedly regal, but she’s Hollywood royalty! Dory has many aliases, including the blue surgeonfish and palette surgeonfish. Her regal common name comes from her royal blue colouration.

Regal blue tangs are important for the health of the reefs they live in, because they eat away at the algae that might otherwise grow on and cover the coral, affecting its ability to photosynthesize.

The name surgeonfish comes from the sharp spines that line the tang’s back and tail–so sharp that they have been compared to a surgeon’s scalpel. Male regal blue tangs establish dominance by “fencing” with their caudal spines, but they have another foolproof way to deter predators–by lying on their side, motionless, essentially “playing dead” until danger has passed. Didn’t Dory try that one in the movies?

LIONFISH

lion fish

You might wonder why the venomous lionfish has made this royal list–what’s so royal about a lion? Well, apart from being the undisputed king of the jungle, the lion is in fact the national animal of England, and has long represented the British royal family!

Everything about the lionfish warns you not to touch it–its red and white stripes, its long, showy fins… And for good reason. The lionfish is able to defend itself with 18 needle-like dorsal spines, which deliver a painful dose of venom if touched.

The lionfish is an excellent hunter–its huge mouth is perfect for gobbling up prey, and it can use its fanned pectoral fins to steer prey until they are trapped. This has made the lionfish a problematic species in parts of the world that it is not native to. The lionfish’s hunting prowess, quick reproduction rates and adaptability have made it an invasive species in the Caribbean and southeastern coast of the United States.

So welcome, Royal Baby! And remember, cod save the Queen!

Photos:
Queen Angelfish www.animals.mom.me/diet-queen-angelfish-4669.html
Adult Emperor Angelfish www.fishkeepingworld.com/emperor-angelfish/
Juvenile Emperor Angelfish www.mashbox.org/underwater-10-the-brightest-sea-inhabitants/

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Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada Hosts Prom Do-Over Event

April 22nd, 2019

Downtown Toronto attraction invites 19+ guests to Enchantment Under the Sea

TORONTO, ON – Was your first prom night full of teased hair, cheap cologne and taffeta dresses? Do the photos conjure up distant memories of slow dancing to one-hit-wonder songs you thought would never end? Either relive those glory days or make new memories at Ripley Aquarium of Canada’s Enchantment Under the Sea event. On Friday, May 3rd dust off that prom dress or ruffled tuxedo shirt for a prom do-over and enjoy a night you’ll never forget – and not regret!

There are no curfews or chaperones at this party, and the punch is already spiked at the fully-stocked cash bar. Dance the night away to some of the best songs of the past few decades with music from Sole Power featuring The Digs and DJ Kyrei. Capture the moment and strike a pose with friends in front of the many Insta-worthy photo ops and have a chance to win prizes for best (or in some cases, worst) dressed prom king and queen.

Tickets for Enchantment Under the Sea are available to guests 19+ and can be purchased in advance or at the door. For more information, visit Here or call 647-351-FISH (3474).

Media Contacts:
Lauren Chan
647-632-7453
lchan@ripleys.com

Melanie Greco
647-456-2653
melanie@getinkpr.ca

10 BRIGHT WAYS TO SPEND YOUR EARTH HOUR

Have you heard of Earth Hour?

Earth Hour is a movement founded by the World Wildlife Fund in 2008. This annual event encourages individuals, communities and businesses to turn off non-essential electricity for one hour as a symbol of commitment to the environment and to the health of the planet. The event is now observed in over 7,000 cities across 187 countries, and continues to raise awareness about energy consumption (especially coal-fired electricity) and its effects on the environment.

This year Earth Hour will take place on March 30, from 8:30 PM to 9:30 PM. Will you be participating?

Here are some fun ways you can spend your hour without electricity, all for the health of the planet:

  • Bust-out the candles: no lights? No problem! Light your space with beeswax candles (they’re all-natural and non-toxic!) and turn even the simplest activity into an event (candle-lit dinner, anyone?).

  • Go for a walk: grab your dog, or the whole family, and get outside. In past years, even the CN Tower has gone dark for Earth Hour–this night-time walk could give you a whole new perspective on your city. Depending on your neighbourhood, you might even be able to see the stars!

  • Plan a game night: crack out your favourite board games, invite your friends, and you’ve got yourself a candlelit games night! (Just make sure candles are set well out of the way of the action–we all know how contentious those games of Monopoly can get!)

  • Do some yoga: roll out your yoga mat, fengshui your candles, and there’s everything you need for a relaxing, candlelit hour of Zen. Or, take this electronics-free hour to clear your mind through meditation.

  • Read a book: there’s nothing quite like getting under the covers and reading a book by flashlight to make you feel like a kid again. If you’re feeling especially brave, choose a spooky mystery or classic horror title to read in the dark.

  • Go camping: speaking of acting like a kid…why not set up a tent or build a fort in your living room? It’s indoor camping! Pack a picnic dinner and eat sprawled out on your best blankets and pillows. Or (carefully) roast marshmallows by candle-fire using chopsticks.

  • Soak in the bath: bliss-out in a candlelit bubble bath, and let the world (and the energy crisis!) slip away for an hour.

  • Take a nap: it’s like the whole world is dimming its lights, just for you! Shut your eyes and catch up on some much-needed z’s.

  • Tell ghost stories: use the dark to your advantage, and set the stage for some spooky ghost stories, whether from a book or straight from your imagination.

  • Come to the aquarium: finally, consider spending your Earth Hour with us here at the aquarium! We won’t be in the pitch-dark, but we will be turning off our non-essential lighting outdoors and in the lobby, to do our part for Earth Hour. Want to do even more for the environment during your visit? Consider traveling by bike, foot or public transit.

Regardless of how you choose to spend your Earth Hour, the event is meant to encourage us to “go beyond the hour,” by taking energy-saving action year-round. You can visit the World Wildlife Fund website here to make a pledge to reduce your energy use–whether by committing to purchasing less plastic or to restoring nature in your community–in the coming year.

Sources

  1. “What Is Earth Hour?” Earth Hour, World Wildlife Fund, 18 Mar. 2019, www.earthhour.org/what-is-earth-hour

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada Designated as First Autism Certified Attraction in Canada

March 28th, 2019

Canada’s largest indoor aquarium to offer special initiatives for autism families throughout April

In honour of World Autism Awareness Day on April 2nd, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is pleased to announce that it has been designated as a Certified Autism Center by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). After completing intensive autism sensitivity and awareness training, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is the first attraction in Canada to receive this important designation.

Becoming a Certified Autism Center demonstrates an organization’s commitment to ensuring guests with autism and sensory sensitivities have the best possible experience. As part of the certification process, Ripley’s Aquarium staff underwent extensive training as well as an onsite review which involved the integration of IBCCES Sensory Guides at each exhibit to give visitors more information on sensory impacts.

“We’re thrilled that Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is the first organization in the country to complete this process. Their team’s dedication is unmatched and we are so excited families will have another great option to experience together,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.

Autism Ontario’s Family Support Coordinator, Sinthea Chowdhury agrees, “Being the first Canadian attraction to be an Autism Certified Center means more inclusivity, sensory integration and access to an invaluable community experience. We hope to see more Canadian attractions follow suit and foster a welcoming and barrier free environment,” she said.

Additionally, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada will host several sensory-friendly days throughout April which will offer increased lighting, a music-free environment and a quiet room for guests who require a break. These sensory days were developed in conjunction with Autism Ontario and will occur on April 2nd, 7th, 14th and 28th; as well as on the first Sunday of the month the remainder of the year.

For more information, visit Here or call 416-351-FISH (3474).

Media Contacts:
Melanie Greco
647-456-2653
melanie@getinkpr.ca

Lauren Chan
647-632-7453
lchan@ripleys.com