Toronto has a lot to offer – amazing food, music, art and some fantastic environmental groups. Toronto-based NOW Magazine is inviting readers to vote on the best enviro group of 2016. We’re thrilled to be nominated! Vote for us here and help spread the word.

Here are five reasons why you should vote for Environmental Defence:

Environmental Defence Photo Blue Flag Beach Toronto 2012-07-251. Want to visit an awesome beach close to home? Hang out on one of eight Blue Flag beaches in Toronto. The Blue Flag is an international eco-certification for beaches and marinas and we operate the program in Canada. When you see a Blue Flag flying, you know that a beach or marina is safe, clean, and sustainably managed. And after years of pollution from microbeads, Ontario’s lakes, rivers and streams will soon get a break thanks to our work to encourage the federal government to declare the beads toxic, the last step needed before a formal ban.

Nila Sivatheesan Photo Ontario Peaches 2014-08-062. Would you like to escape the city for an outdoor adventure and enjoy locally grown food? Then Ontario’s Greenbelt is the right place for you. Covering nearly 2 million acres in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt protects some of Canada’s best farmland as well as forests, meadows, wetlands and river valleys. It’s a haven for cyclists, hikers, lovers of fresh local food and fans of award-winning craft beer and wine. We helped establish the Greenbelt in 2005. Now we’re working to grow and strengthen it. A stronger Greenbelt will prevent costly urban sprawl, protect valuable farmland and sensitive natural areas while encouraging compact, vibrant, livable communities.

Wayne Stadler Photo Wind Power Alberta 2015-07-263. Worried about the impacts of climate change? Environmental Defence was a driving force behind Ontario’s coal power phase-out, which resulted in fewer smog days. Now we’re working with Ontario to ensure a meaningful price on carbon pollution with a cap-and-trade system. And we’re working to ensure the federal government’s climate change strategy is effective.

Robert van Waarden Photo Redhead Protest 2015-07-20

4. Concerned about tar sands oil putting Ontario at risk? We’re raising awareness about the risks of TransCanada’s massive Energy East proposal – an export pipeline that would put five million Canadians’ drinking water at risk of an oil spill.

5. Don’t like toxic chemicals in your food, personal care products or dry-cleaned clothes? Neither do we. We’re working hard to get harmful chemicals out of everyday products and services. Thanks to our work, the City of Toronto is taking steps to inform dry cleaning customers about toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other health issues.

Our work wouldn’t be possible without people like you – supporters, volunteers and donors that power our work to protect Canada’s environment and Canadians’ health.

If you haven’t yet, vote for Environmental Defence today. Thank you!