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According to Earth Day Canada, today “more than 6 million Canadians join 1 billion people in over 170 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues.”
The very first Earth Day took place in the Unites States in 1970, where it was spearheaded by Wisconsin Governor Gaylord Nelson and Harvard student Denis Hayes. In 1990 the event became international, and 2 million Canadians joined 200 million participants worldwide to raise awareness for and initiate events which prioritize the healing and protection of our natural environment.
Andrea Mackintosh and Lindsay Eason at GreenStep Solutions, Inc., are local sustainability experts. Earth Day initiatives at their Kelowna office include a community clean-up, in which the staff will work to rid their city block of garbage, and the installation of a worm composter in their office.
GreenStep is a Kelowna company, and their mission is, “To change the world by making sustainable business more profitable than business as usual”. GreenStep was founded in 2008 by Lindsay Eason and Angela Nagy, and a number of important environmentally-conscious initiatives are maintained from its downtown Kelowna office. One of these is the conduction of free energy assessments for businesses in the Thompson-Okanagan region. That project is funded by LiveSmart BC, and GreenStep carries out the audits.
GreenStep is also in partnership with BC Housing to engage tenants regarding the important subject of energy consumption. A nine-month program involving 60 tenants in two Kelowna apartment buildings is currently ongoing in our city, and is endeavouring to educate the tenants about water consumption, local food, and other Earth-conscious issues. The program is in Kelowna for its first time and, if it is successful, may begin work with another group of tenants once the nine months are up.
Here in Canada, Earth Day has become too short of a time segment to accommodate all of the events our citizens organize in its honour. “Earth Week” and even “Earth Month” are perhaps more accurate indicators of the passion Canadians share for their environment, and Earth-related happenings taking place in the Great White North this month “range from large public events, such as Victoria’s Earth Walk (5,000 participants), Edmonton’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” (Earth Day Canada).
Will you be taking part in an Earth Day event? What do you think are some of the environmental issues facing our region today? Are you working to make your home or business more sustainable? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to comment below.