Written by Denise Deby.
April 22 is Earth Day. Of course, it’s just one day. Nonetheless, for 45 years now, the designation of a day for the earth has prompted people to reflect and act on how to live more sustainably. (The Earth Day Network says more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities around the world.)
Here are a few ways to mark Earth Day 2015:
Take part in an event
How about a feast, a film and a thought-provoking discussion? The Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Movement Ottawa holds their annual celebration of the Defence of Mother Earth on Wednesday, Apr. 22 from 6-9:30 p.m. The film, Karistatsi Onienre: The Iron Snake, looks at Indigenous resistance to pipelines carrying tar sands oil. A panel with Jocelyn Iahtail (Cree mother, survivor and cultural teacher), Gabrielle Fayant (Metis and co-founder of the youth-led Assembly of Seven Generations) and Lynn Gehl (Algonquin learner-researcher, writer and rights advocate) will focus on Indigenous women. The event is a fundraiser for Shawnejeagamik, the 510 Rideau Indigenous Drop-In Centre. Check here for event details.
Want to talk trees? Tree Ottawa is holding a workshop with Master Gardener Ed Lawrence and other tree experts on Wednesday, Apr. 22 from 7-9:30 p.m. Details here.
Join the river cleanup
Interested in lending a hand for river health? The Ottawa Riverkeeper is organizing shoreline cleanups on Wednesday, Apr. 22 from 10 a.m.-noon at Parc Moussette and from 1-3 p.m. at Lemieux Island and Bate Island. Details and RSVP here. (See other upcoming shoreline cleanup events here or here.)
Green your transportation
Inspired to ride your bike, walk or take the bus more often? “Clean Your Commute” is Earth Day Canada’s theme for 2015, so check their website for green options. Earth Day Canada is also launching “Earth Day Every Day” on Earth Day this year. It’s a campaign to encourage people to reduce their carbon footprint by 20% by 2020. Check here for information. Why not sign up for Ottawa’s Bike to Work Month in May, too? Information and registration here.
For some background on Earth Day and additional suggestions of what you can do, from ordering CSA food shares to supporting renewable energy, see this previous post.