Day 491: The Big Wild

"Well, hello there!" (Photo: Ted Simonett, Ontario caribou)

You know the saying, “Always read the fine print”? No? Okay,  maybe not that catchy. But still good advice. Even applies to good deeding.

Today, for example, I was browsing the book section of Mountain Equipment Coop (“MEC” to those in the know) and I spotted a display of pretty green shoelaces.

They were wrapped in a label that read “Do something small to save something big.” Turns out, every purchase of the laces supports  The Big Wild, an admirable campaign to protect the Canadian wilderness.

Now, who can’t use an extra pair of shoelaces? (Actually, I’m wearing boots these cold days, but never mind.)

What I didn’t notice until I got home and started lacing them through my sneakers, was the aforementioned fine print, which said, “Wearing just one green lace is a symbol of the Big Wild vision — to save at least half of Canada’s remaining wilderness.”

I looked up The Big Wild website and, sure enough, the idea is to wear just one lace and give the other to someone else to represent the whole one-half concept. Very creative, I thought. And any shoe-friendly good deed is one I’m happy to do!

Now I just have to find someone in need of a single shoelace….

Here’s what else I found out about The Big Wild:

The Big Wild celebrates Canada’s large wild expanses: our forests, lakes, free-flowing rivers and stunning coasts…Canadians know how lucky we are. Nearly one quarter of the planet’s wild forests are inside our borders; 20% of the world’s fresh water and 24% of the planet’s wetlands are Canadian, too. It’s an incredible national treasure… and it’s under tremendous pressure.

Flathead Cliff (Photo: Theo Lamb)


Real wilderness needs to be large enough to keep the natural balance – and that means thinking big. That’s the vision behind The Big Wild. Conservation scientists believe we need to protect at least half of Canada’s wild spaces to ensure the integrity of our ecosystems.

Fortunately, more than 90% of our wilderness is still in public hands… which means our bold vision can become a reality.

Who’s behind The Big Wild?

The Big Wild was founded in 2008 by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and Mountain Equipment Co-op, who provide funding, research and staff. Donations to The Big Wild Fund support initiatives aimed at protecting large wild spaces.


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