Toronto – This April 22nd, Earth Day Canada will celebrate its 20th anniversary of environmental action, education and leadership, and the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
“We have grown from two million Canadians taking part in Earth Day 20 years ago to over six million today,” said Earth Day President, Jed Goldberg. “Our message has always been that it does not take giant actions, but millions of small actions to change the environment in Canada and the world for the better.”
Earth Day began in the United States 40 years ago, spearheaded by Wisconsin Governor Gaylord Nelson and Harvard University student Denis Hayes. In the early days, Earth Day involved 20 million Americans taking part in teach-ins that addressed decades of environmental pollution. The event inspired U.S. congress to pass Clean Air and Water Acts and establish the Environmental Protection Agency.
In 1990, Earth Day Canada opened its doors and has been at the heart of the Canadian environmental movement ever since. Over the past two decades, one of the biggest changes has been public awareness of environmental issues and shifting from educating Canadians to facilitating their lifestyle changes to help the environment.
Even with the success of Earth Day Canada over the years, there will always be work to do to help protect the Earth. So after 20 years in Canada, what is the best gauge of success for Earth Day Canada?
“We are part of a global movement to help save the Earth,” added Goldberg. “But we are very proud of what we have accomplished and will accomplish in Canada. If we can empower one member of every Canadian household to change their attitudes and behaviours by participating in Earth Day Canada programs every day, we’re well on our way to starting to make the impact we need to live healthier, more environmentally responsible lives.”
In Canada, Earth Day has grown in Earth Week and even Earth Month to accommodate the profusion of events and projects. These events range from large public events to thousands of small private events staged by schools, employee groups and community groups.