Choose People-Powered Recreational Vehicles 

I will choose people-powered recreation vehicles this summer. Fact: People power is as close to zero emissions as you can get.

Boy and girl canoeing

Hiking: On land all you need is a good pair of walking shoes.  Discover Muskoka’s amazing hiking trails — link below.  Lobby for trails you don’t need to drive to, connected to your community.

Biking: Road bike, mountain bike, plain old kids bike and everything in between…there are lots of opportunities in Muskoka – link below, but again we need to lobby for safe, separated bike trails connecting communities to each other.

On Water: Canoes and kayaks are enjoying ever-increasing popularity and can be rented many places. Peddle boats, paddle boards and an array of sailboats are also on offer. The physical effort required for these activities is a great health benefit; better for you, and with zero emissions, better for the planet.

Some inconvenient facts about fossil-fuel powered watercraft: Most powered boats use internal combustion engines (ICE), which produce nitrogen, carbon monoxide, particulates, and harmful organic compounds that affect water quality. An old two-stroke engine will discharge 25-30% of its gas and oil mixture unburned into the water. Newer four-stroke engines are more efficient, but still produce harmful emissions. Propellers churn up lake bottoms in shallow areas, re-suspending sediments. The nutrients (phosphorus) in these sediments feed surface algae and can cause algal blooms. If you must use a powered watercraft, see tips from “The Land Between,” Cottage County’s Conservation Organization below. Have a great summer!

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