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April 22


"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children." -Native American Proverb

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

Native American Proverb

On April 22 humans across the globe will mark Earth Day by taking part in activities that promote a healthy planet.

Earth Day got its start in 1970, when United States Senator Gaylord Nelson conceived of a grassroots demonstration to call attention to environmental issues. That first event was a resounding success with 20 million people taking part in educational seminars and peaceful protests.

Since that initial success, Earth Day has gone worldwide with close to 500 million participants in approximately 180 countries and has inspired events and projects in many countries.

2006: More Earth Day Events than Ever

Last year communities across China celebrated Earth Day with a focus on saving energy. Beijing hosted an electronic waste forum, examining ways to deal with the growing
problem of discarded computers.

Moscow celebrated it’s first-ever Earth Day with a bike rally, concert, and press conference. Earth Day delegates visited Chernobyl, site of the world’s worst nuclear
accident, where they conducted global warming seminars for students.

On the other side of the globe, students in Washington, DC, took part in neighbourhood cleanups and environmental awareness campaigns. In Canada the Big Lake Environment Society in Edmonton created a hands-on display where kids could get up close and personal with tiny aquatic creatures. Families, teens, and senior citizens gathered to listen to folk music and enjoy healthy snacks. Many of the approximately 27,000 participants brought donations for the local food bank.

The Essex Region Conservation Authority recruited families, organizations, and corporate teams to plant 1,000 native trees and shrubs in Windsor City’s Malden Park. Participants learned about the importance of trees to our environment, and kids were invited to enter a writing contest.

All these Earth Day activities make a positive impact on our immediate surroundings. It goes to show that while political leaders continue to wrangle over global issues, lowly earthlings can contribute to keeping the planet a beautiful and healthy place to live.

If You Love This Planet

  • Purchase locally grown fresh fruit and veggies when possible.
  • Cut down on your consumption of fossil fuels. Consider walking or cycling to nearby destinations. Keep you car tuned up.
  • Insulate your hot water heater and use cold water for the laundry. The only thing that will shrink will be your utilities bill.
  • Measure the size of your environmental footprint at
  • Plant trees. In summer they provide shade that will lower your air conditioning costs. Before you plant, consider the size of the tree and where its roots will reach once it matures.
  • Replace that pesticide-hungry, water-thirsty lawn with drought-tolerant garden plants.
  • Don’t forget the three R’s: reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs.

For inspiration, ideas, or information about how to organize an eco-celebration in your area, go to the Earth Day Canada website,



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Matthew Kadey, MSc, RDMatthew Kadey, MSc, RD