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Volume 9 Issue 6
Mar/Apr 2004

April is Earth Month, April 22 is Earth Day
Let's Celebrate Our Precious Earth Every Day!

Choosing Natural Sweeteners

The BodyTalk System™
Using Innate Wisdom to Synchronize and Balance the Bodymind for Optimum Health

Medicinal Marijuana (Cannabis)
A Natural Relief for Pain and Suffering

Phoenix Message
A Journey South Inspired by Crop Formations

Editorial

April is Earth Month, April 22 is Earth Day
Let's Celebrate Our Precious Earth Every Day!

Information Courtesy of Earth Day Canada
Linda Brooks


Earth Day, which is celebrated every April 22nd, is the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide. More than six million Canadians join 500 million people in over 180 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues. In fact, nearly every school child in Canada takes part in an Earth Day activity.

First launched as an environmental awareness event in the United States in 1970, Earth Day (April 22) is actually celebrated as the birth of the environmental movement. This kind of event is a powerful catalyst for change. The first Earth Day, spearheaded by Wisconsin Governor, Gaylord Nelson, and Harvard University student, Denis Hayes, involved 20 million participants in teach-ins that addressed decades of environmental pollution. That event inspired the US Congress to pass clean air and water acts, and to establish the Environmental Protection Agency to research and monitor environmental issues and enforce environmental laws.

In 1990, two million Canadians joined 200 million people in 141 nations in celebrating the first International Earth Day. In many countries, the global event brought pressure on heads of state to take part in the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and to address issues such as climate change and the world wide loss of species.

In Canada, Earth Day has grown into Earth Week and even Earth Month to accommodate the profusion of events and projects. They range from large public events, such as Victoria, British Columbia's Earth Walk (5000 participants), Edmonton, Alberta's Earth Day Festival at Hawrelak Park (30,000 participants), and Oakville, Ontario's Waterways Clean-up (2,000 participants) to the thousands of small, private events staged by schools, employee groups, and community groups throughout Canada.

Earth Day Canada (EDC) is a national environmental communications organization mandated to improve the state of the environment by empowering Canadians to achieve local solutions. Since 1991, EDC has been coordinating Earth Day/Earth Month events and creating successful community programs and award-winning artistic and media projects.

EDC's vision is that Earth Day will remain Canada's strongest positive voice in promoting constructive and sustainable environmental values, actions, and solutions. Their goals are to Create positive public awareness for existing and developing environmental solutions; to Empower and Encourage Canadians to take environmental action in their communities; to Address the challenges to Canada's environment by working in partnership to create programs that can be delivered by communities, organizations, and individuals; and to Foster and Maintain the positive celebration of Earth Day annually.

Canadians are concerned about how environmental degradation and pollution is affecting their health, their quality of life, and Canada's air, water, and wildlife. And although we may not be able to take on the nation's problems, we can tackle those that affect our community. By holding an Earth Day event, we can increase awareness and take small steps towards restoring and protecting our Earth.

Some common types of Earth Day events are: tree planting, gardening, community clean-up, school yard clean-up, eco field trip, nature walk, bike/walk day, reuse activity, charity clothing drive, waste reduction program, recycling drive, assembly, guest speaker, information display, workshop, seminar, art display, Eco Festival/Eco Fair, reuse arts and crafts, bird house building, play/concert performance, green clothing day, bake sale, raffle fundraiser, and auction. The most popular Earth Day events are: tree planting, community/school yard/waterway clean-up, and Eco Festivals/Eco Fairs.

If you want to get involved and/or need some help in setting up an Earth Day event, then the Earth Day Canada (EDC) programs and resources will help you organize a successful activity, event, or project in your organization or community. Their mission is to improve the state of the environment by empowering and helping Canadians to take positive environmental action. EDC contact information is provided below.
Deciding to set up an Earth Day event requires a time commitment. The time required depends on the type of activity you are planning. For example, a large-scale Eco Festival will require much more planning than setting up an information display at the local community centre. In most cases, you need to get together a group of committed volunteers, decide on the type of event or activity, and get planning! Starting in January or February should be enough time to organize a successful Earth Day event. Although Earth Day is April 22, it is not essential to hold your event on this day. It could certainly be held any day throughout the year because, remember, every day is earth day!

To get support you can contact Earth Day Canada (see below) and/or an accredited Earth Day Coordinator in your town or city (see below). You can also explore funding opportunities through Environment Canada, provincial and municipal governments, as well as local banks and foundations. If you do decide to plan an event in your community, it is important that you register it with EDC as it helps them track what is going on locally, it generates publicity, and it inspires others into positive action. Also, with April 22 falling on a week day, most Event Organizers and Earth Day Coordinators have found from experience that an event held on the weekend draws a larger crowd than during the week, so that is something to keep in mind.

For those who would like to get involved in or attend an Earth Day event here are a few Earth Day Coordinators in Saskatchewan:

  1. Kathleen Zary, Saskatoon Regional Zoological Society, 1903 Forest Drive N., Saskatoon, SK S7S 1G9, phone: (306) 975-3042, fax: (306) 975-3326, e-mail: zoosociety@quadrant.net website: www.quadrant.net/zoosociety.
  2. Jim Elliott, 2108 Reynolds Street, Regina, SK S4N 3N1, phone (306) 352-4804, email: caar@accesscomm.ca.
  3. Royal Saskatchewan Museum, 2445 Albert St. Regina, SK S4P 3V7, phone (306) 787-2815. See their website www.royalsaskmuseum.ca for a detailed list of Earth Day/Earth Month activities. Some of their plans include a tree-planting, games, live music, and a poetry contest inspired by their Life Sciences Gallery. There are also displays from a variety of environmental agencies and groups. Most of this will happen on Saturday, April 24.
  4. The Good Ideas Group, Regina, Debra Brin (306) 525-2949. For folks interested in dealing with taking action around environmental concerns.
  5. Prince Albert Earth Advocates, Celeste Boran-Fetch, Prince Albert, SK, phone (306) 764-3068, email: cel_b22@yahoo.com.
  6. EarthCare Connections, Box 2800, Humboldt, SK S0K 2A0, phone (306) 682-2407, website www.earthcare.ca. They will sponsor an Earth Day event on March 28 - pancake breakfast with the EarthCare Balloon at St. Augustine School gym, 9-1 pm.
  7. Meewasin Valley Centre, 402 Third Ave. S., Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G5, phone (306) 665-6887, www.meewasin.com.

Earth Day Canada is a registered charity and the Canadian arm of Earth Day Network. With over 3,500 affiliated community-based organizations and 5,000 member organizations, EDC operates year-round to provide resources, user-friendly programs, and networking assistance to help Canadians help the Earth. To learn more about Earth Day Canada, including their staff, board of directors, and accredited coordinators, visit their website at www.earthday.ca. To contact them: phone (416) 599-1991 Ext. 107, fax (416) 599-3100, email: pr@earthday.ca, or write: 111 Peter Street, Suite 503, Toronto, ON M5V 2H1. Remember every day is an opportunity to honour our Mother Earth! Let's show Her how much we care!

 

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