ECO-REALISM: Nature, Life and Tourism

Anthony Best Lifestyle Editor

Remember the great outdoors, that vast space of seeming nothingness we have somehow replaced with hashtags, networks and careers? Summertime used to mean 12 weeks of pure escapism, and now with lives busier with more appointments than a chief of staff we seem to have more to do than the devil himself. The real outdoors have been replaced with desktop screensavers of pristine landscapes, and the more digital our lifestyles have become the less we find time pause to admire a rose, or even to smell one.

“Eco”, a term popular in the late 1990s is once again trending as greater numbers of the population adopt urban lifestyles.  While vacations to eco-conscious destinations are highly sought after, major metropolitan cities have taken to heart the importance of education about the environment. In Canada the outdoors always been celebrated as a valued asset, and as the Rockies loom majestic on Canada’s west coast, its splendour is shadowed by busyness of our lives.  I for one find it harder to escape to the wilderness, but let me now lie, I can’t think of any pairs of shoes I would willing sacrifice to the rough country.


Canada cities are taking snippets of this majestic planet and recreating them in our backyards as a way of reigniting our passion and curiosity for Mother Nature’s offerings, and this challenge is lead by environmentalist and landscape artists as they bring that great escape closer to urban living – taking the proverbial Mountain to Mohamed idiom seriously.


Montreal, Quebec, home to the fascinating Bio-Dome had delivered another beautiful opportunity to spend an afternoon amongst flora and fauna with the Mosaïcultures Internationales de Montréal exhibition, in collaboration with the Botanical Garden of Montréal.  In what may be described as a fantasy garden in the middle of the Urban Centre, horticulturalists from around the world have created a stunning showcase of plant based sculptures which recount an epic story of nature’s versatility, splendour and harmony. The spectacle leaves you intrigued and astonished as these sculptures charts man’s imagination and the sheer beauty of nature itself.  A visit to Mosaïcultures Internationales it at once a worthy distraction from life’s daily insanity, our addictions and our lust for social networking and constant connectivity. On the off chance we are able to step beyond our bubble to take a glace at our world around us, we may begin to consider the critical importance of how we may contribute to preserving Mother.



Expos like Mosaïcultures remind us that our planet, with is vast oceans and unique landscapes, is truly our habitat and gives us a glimmer of hope.  The planet seems to tackle whatever we throw at it and though it seems to do so with very little interruption shouldn’t there be a compromise? Maybe we have lost touch with the operations of the plane so issues around global warming and carbon footprints more labels to the ordinary citizens, and not a call to action. Eco-tourism and similar initiatives allow us to gather closer to our environmental skin, and provide an opportunity for us to become individually sensitised to cause and effect our our daily lives on our planet, and also offers magic moments to engage and appreciate the phenomenal habitat called Earth.

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All photos by Anthony Best, and remain the property of ACU|BIEN.