Canadian Environment Week... by the numbers


May 31 to June 6 is Canadian Environment Week!

Here are some facts on assorted topics related to the environment.

(Last updated: May 26, 2015)

Conservation and protection of the environment and wildlife

  • 18% — The proportion of households that engaged in unpaid activities aimed at conservation or protection of the environment or wildlife in 2013. Among these, just over 4 out of 10 households (41%) helped clean up shorelines, beaches, rivers, lakes and roadsides.

Source: “Canadians and nature: Interacting with nature, 2013,” The Daily, Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

Parks and green spaces

  • 85% — The proportion of households that reported they had a park or green space close to home in 2013. Among these, 85% visited one of these nearby parks or green spaces in 2013.

Source: “Canadians and nature: Interacting with nature, 2013,” The Daily, Tuesday, April 14, 2015.


The production of glass, paper, plastic and metal consumes a lot of energy when they are initially created from raw materials. Recycling products made with these materials when they have reached the end of their useful lives can consume significantly less energy by reducing the amount of raw materials needed in the manufacturing process. This also reduces the amount of material going into landfills.

The vast majority of Canadian households have access to recycling programs that accept these materials, and of those that do, almost all use the programs when disposing of items that contain glass, paper, plastic or metal.

  • 92% — The proportion of households in Canada that had access to a recycling program in 2011.
  • 98%— The proportion of households in Canada that used at least one recycling program to which they had access.
Table summary
This table displays the types of recycling. The information is grouped by glass, paper, plastic, metal. In Canada, in percent.
Glass Paper Plastic Metal
Canada 94 97 97 92


Most batteries contain chemicals and metals that are harmful to the environment. Batteries should be disposed of in a safe manner, rather than just thrown in the garbage.

  • 51% — The proportion of Canadian households that had dead batteries to dispose of in 2011.

The most common method of disposal was taking them to a depot or drop-off centre (43%), while some put them in the garbage (32%) or returned them to a store (10%). As well, 16% of households had not done anything with them.

Source: Households and the Environment Survey, 2011.

Electricity consumption

  • 547 096 terajoules (TJ) — The amount of electricity used by Canadian households in 2011, or 40 gigajoules (GJ) per household.

Source: “Households and the Environment Survey: Energy Use, 2011,” The Daily, Thursday, September 19, 2013.

  • $1,311 — The average household spending on electricity in 2013.

Source: CANSIM, table 203-0021.

Programmable thermostats

  • 91% — The proportion of Canadian households reporting having a thermostat in their dwelling in 2013. Among these, 58% of households reported they lowered the temperature when the household was asleep, while 39% indicated they maintained a constant temperature regardless of whether household members were awake or asleep.

More than half (56%) of households with a thermostat had one that could be programmed and 81% of them were actually programmed. These households were more likely to have lowered the temperature during the winter when everyone was asleep (71%) compared to households that had non-programmable thermostats or unprogrammed programmable thermostats (47%).

Programmable thermostats
Table summary
This table displays the types of programmable thermostats. The information is grouped by had a thermostat, had a programmable thermostat. Under the column heading lowered the temperature in the winter, had a programmable thermostat, had a non-programmable or unprogrammed thermostat. In Canada, in percent.
Had a thermostat Had a programmable thermostat Lowered the temperature in the winter
Had a programmable thermostat Had a non-programmable or unprogrammed thermostat
Canada 91 56 71 47

See also Enviro Fact Sheets.

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