REGINA -- Ward 8 Councillor Shanon Zachidniak and her family spent Earth Day cleaning up garbage around the Regina.

The idea came from her son Wylie Tzupniak, who challenged people on social media last year to clean up their neighbourhoods. It’s now an annual tradition for the family, which resulted some big collections this Earth Day

Zachidniak said the pandemic has increased the need for cleaning up the environment, and it’s an easy thing to do.

“I think unfortunately with COVID the amount of garbage for a variety of reasons has just increased,” Zachidniak said.

The family filled five shopping bags with garbage and a bag of recycling in the morning. Several more bags were filled in the afternoon.

“Some garbage, mostly garbage. We found lots of cups,” six-year-old Wylie said.

According to a provincial state of the environment report, the average number of containers being recycled has trended upwards over four years, but declined in 2019-20.

Saskatchewan has a goal of reducing waste generated per person by 50 per cent by 2040.

Now that the report is available online, residents can track environmental initiatives.

“In the future you're going to be able to to to log into the website and see where we are, kind of as a point in time. I think that's a big development for us. And I believe that we're one of the first jurisdictions in Canada to actually have that type of real time measurement,” said Minister of Environment Warren Kaeding.


The report also shows Saskatchewan is currently protecting 9.76 per cent of the provinces land, with a goal of reaching 12 per cent.

It’s something a local Facebook group is hoping to help with, encouraging residents to donate their SGI rebate cheques to purchase grasslands. So far over $26,000 has been collected for the “Field of Dreams” initiative, with 885 people interested in donating.

“It’s not necessarily the size, but the importance of the track of land. So if it’s an important corridor that links two pieces of already preserved grasslands, that’s really important,” said Marc Spooner, who started the Field of Dreams.

Spooner said although Earth Day is just one day, it’s important for people to remember the values of it, and try and keep the planet as clean as possible.