St-Léon Gardens is thrilled to be opening for the season shortly, and the co-owner is sharing some tips on helping people lessen their carbon footprint.

"Earth Day for me is often very busy because it coincides with the launch of our store," says Colin Remillard, co-owner of St. Léon Gardens located on St. Mary's Road in Winnipeg. "But I think for most people it's a reminder that we do live on a precarious planet. Let's make sure every day is Earth Day and we practise what we do for fun on Earth day, every day of the year."

There are a few things people can do to make their carbon footprint smaller, according to Remillard.

"Six years ago I finally dug out grass in the backyard and got into gardening and fell in love with it right away. Now I have my own little backyard and I garden in little flower beds, mostly tomatoes and vegetables."

Remillard says he finds gardening therapeutic while being a slow and quick thing to do at the same time. 

"It's constant entertainment, like TikTok in your backyard if you will. I've become obsessed with growing sunflowers because they become so colossal that they sort of act like a fence for your yard."

Remillard shares that his favourite thing to plant and grow is many different kinds of tomatoes. 

"Buying local has a ton of benefits, and not just economically. The carbon footprint of something that was literally grown 100 kilometres from your house, or less, is drastically lower than the carbon footprint than when you're shipping overseas or even south of the border."

Eating fruits and vegetables grown locally while living in Winnipeg isn't totally possible as the winters prevent it, but Remillard says when people can it still makes a difference. It also includes food products like jam, local meats, and bread that are locally made. 

"Our goal has always been to improve the accessibility of local food. It's easy to say 'Buy local,' but if there's no grocery store in my area selling local food seven days a week, it's hard. We also have a garden centre in the spring so if people need bedding plants, vegetable plants, we're here to help them out."

St-Léon Gardens, open seven days a week in the spring, summer, and fall, is opening up for the season sometime before May 6. This is dependent on when the snow melts.