Today, more than 6 million Canadians are expected to join 1 billion people in over 170 countries in recognizing Earth Day. The annual worldwide event celebrates the environment and addresses local issues.
Jed Goldberg, president of Earth Day Canada, says this event is all about changing the actions and attitudes of Canadians when it comes to protecting the environment.
“We're encouraging people to let go of four habits that they might have, for a week, for a month, or hopefully even longer.”
The initiative was first launched in the United States in 1970. Since then, Earth Day has pressured governments to take part in the UN Earth Summit and address climate change issues, and convinced people to change their habits every day.
“10-15 years ago people didn't know what a composter was. Now, in every second backyard across the country there's a composter sitting there,” says Goldberg. “People are engaged in looking for ways to save energy and a whole range of other things. So we're just trying to step up things a little bit and take people and give them options that we think are attainable. Hopefully it changes their habits in the long term.”
Popular activities on Earth Day include planting trees, recycling, picking up trash and walking to work or school. But Goldberg says we can do more than that.
“The best way to make Earth Day meaningful is to change your bad environmental habits. And we're not suggesting that you take your car and put in your front lawn and use it as a planter. We want you to be realistic about these things, and we also want you to try to shake off some of these that do make your footprint that much bigger.”
Here are the top 10 actions you can do to make every day Earth Day, as listed by Earth Day Canada:
Goldberg says being aware of how our actions affect the environment is the goal of Earth Day.
“Going to events is great, being involved on the day is fantastic, but we're looking for action all year round.”