Earth Day 2013 Gets Personal



As a Toronto electrician, I see incredible potential for our city to band together and reduce our environmental impact. My job requires me to be in constant contact with energy usage and I see the dramatic difference that conservation and efficiency can make with our energy bills, but also with our carbon footprint.

Every year, I like to use Earth Day to draw my clients and friends’ attention to how we can reduce energy usage by participating in this global event on April 22.  It helps us feel connected to others in our city, country, or around the world who share our vision to see a cleaner earth.

A Quick History Lesson
Earth Day has been around since John McConnell proposed that the first day of spring should be given this honour in 1969. Of course, the date and concept has changed a bit and we can give credit to US Senator Gaylord Nelson for founding what we now consider Earth Day in order to promote teach-ins focusing on environmental issues in 1970.

April 22 has been Earth Day in the US ever since. The day, which supports environmental protection, went international in 1990, thanks to Denis Hayes, and has continued to gain steam as the Earth Day Network coordinates more than 192 countries celebrating positive environmental projects and educating individuals on natural world issues.1

A Canadian Affair
Canadians have adopted the spirit of Earth Day by participating in large-scale events like the Earth Walk in Victoria, BC to individual pledges for lifestyle changes. Edmonton’s Earth Day Festival boasts 30,000 attendees, ready and willing to learn about how they can make an impact.

It’s estimated that over six million Canadians take part in Earth Day and that nearly every child in school will participate in an Earth Day activity. I love that this generation will grow up with incredible wisdom about environmental challenges and how they can help.

Make a Pledge
Attending an Earth Day event is a great way to connect with other people passionate about the environment and discover new ways to help, but making personal changes is another wonderful way to participate.

1. Recycle your electronic waste

We all have old electronics that we’re done with and want to get rid of, but many people don’t know that they should be recycling these items. The unfortunate statistic that over 50 million tons of e-waste is created in the US, each year, proves this point. Lead, mercury, and cadmium end up in our air and water as a result of improper disposal and are hazardous to our communities. Help lower this number by pledging to recycle any of your electronic waste.2

2. Restore forests $1 at a time

The Earth Day Network has pledged to plant 10 million trees around the world to restore the forest canopy, which will help rural areas where disappearing forests are contributing to poverty. Each $1 you donate will plant one tree through the network.3

Toronto Celebrates Earth Day:
We have some great Earth Day or Earth Month events right here in Toronto! Here is a list of what is going on:

Earth Month Youth Forum
Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park
April 27, 2013

250 Voices, One Night. Are you passionate about the environment? Want to connect with like-minded youth and have a positive environmental impact? The Earth Month Youth Forum will engage and connect 250 environmental youth leaders and educators from across Ontario in an exciting evening of fun and interactive workshops. Discuss important environmental issues, participate in hands-on workshops by awesome ENGOs, and join other young eco-leaders who are creating change!
More info at Ecomentors

The Natural Bible Book Launch
Darchei Noam, 864 Sheppard Ave. W.
April 21, 2013

Jewish educator and master teacher, Baruch Sienna, will give a book talk and guided tour of his new iBook, The Natural Bible. Come learn about what Judaism teaches about the environment, and what nature teaches us about the Bible. Experience how this innovative book uses the latest technology for interactive and engaging learning. FREE and all are welcome.
For more info: or call Baruch Sienna (416) 944-9730

Places of Natural Discovery Conference
Humber College North Campus, 205 Humber College Blvd.
May 9, 2013 | 5:30-8:30 pm
May 10, 2013 | 8 am-3:15 pm

This conference is a gathering of educators and other professionals dedicated to reconnecting children and youth with nature. Go to the link provided for the full program details. Register early! We hope to see you May 9th and 10th.
For more info: Humber Program Website and Program Information PDF

How are you celebrating Earth Day? Share your stories by commenting on this post or by dropping us a line through Facebook or Twitter!

[3] Earth Day Network