Spring is a natural time of year to feel close to nature as we emerge out of the cold into the pleasure of milder temperatures, chirping birds, and new growth. It’s a time to clean, air out the home, and tidy up parks and yards. April is Earth Month and April 22 is Earth Day®.
Twenty-one years ago Canada launched its first annual celebration of International Earth Day on April 22, 1990. The following year, Earth Day Canada (1991) Inc, a charitable organization, was established to coordinate Earth Month activities and promote Canadian environmental awareness all year round. It acquired trademarks for use of “Earth Day” , “Jour de la Terre”, and the Leaf & Twirl design so that they may only be used under licence. This step was taken to prevent commercialization and greenwashing in the name of Earth Day.
The slogan for 2011 is “Give it up for Earth Day” and the question is “Are you giving it up for Earth Day?” If you have children, you might ask them what they have been learning at school about Earth Month and Earth Day. Have they been thinking about giving something up for the environment? Does their class have any special projects planned? A kindergarten teacher, Kimberly Clark, states why she feels environmental education in the classroom is important:
Earth Day Canada offers ways for children, youth, adults, and community groups to get involved. The EcoKids program offers online eco-games, a colourful calendar with environmental facts and ideas, and resources for teachers. The EcoMentors program caters to youth from ages 15 to 24, offering resources and environmental leadership training. The EcoActions team program is for individuals and groups, providing ideas for conserving energy and water; and reducing waste and fuel consumption.
What can you do?
Keep a lookout for local Earth Day® events—official events are registered at www.Earthday.ca— get out to a local park or conservation area, and think of an action pledge for yourself or your family. What’s one thing you could give up?—perhaps meat for one dinner a week, plastic bags at the grocery store, or a few degrees of heating or cooling? For more ideas, check out Earth Day Canada’s “Top Ten Actions to help the Environment” and the EcoAction Calculator.
This year Earth Day’s April 22 falls on Good Friday, so community events will probably be held earlier in the week or on Saturday April 23. This video,“Give it up for Earth Day”, was recently uploaded onto YouTube by Earth Day Canada: