Home to all 7.6 billion of us, planet Earth is in desperate need of our help. The icebergs are melting, the sea levels are rising, and the planet is getting warmer which is resulting in extreme weather events and a changing climate. Plus, people around the world are experiencing the effects of climate change each and every day. Places like Cape Town are predicting that they will soon run out of water and the World Health Organization accounts for an estimated 60,000 deaths each year because of extreme weather events. On top of this, biodiversity is in danger as species face extinction and we’re facing depleting natural resources threatening the health and wellbeing of people and other species. But even among this grim news, there is hope and environmental charities across Canada are working hard to put a backpedal on climate change and protect our planet from a depletion of resources we need to survive.
This Earth Day, hear from 8 charities talking about environmental issues and why they think April 22nd is an important day.
1. Because we need to PROTECT our ecosystems.
“On Earth Day, people come together globally to demand clean air, clean water, and protected ecosystems to sustain us all for generations. But Earth Day also teaches us to steward the environment for its own sake and for the sake of other species, not only for ourselves.”
— East Coast Environmental Law Association (ECELA).
About ECELAW: An environmental law charity in Halifax, Nova Scotia, ECELA engages in public legal education, community collaboration, and legal action throughout Atlantic Canada.
2. Because SMALL CHANGES make a BIG difference.
“Earth Day raises awareness of critical environmental challenges and inspires people to take action for the environment. Reducing waste and community gardening are examples of small changes that make a difference and should be priorities for greening communities.”
About Ecosource: Founded in 1979, Ecosource is an innovative environmental education charity specializing in engaging, hands-on programs that focus on how each of us can become better environmental citizens.
3. Because we need to save the TREES.
“Forests provide direct benefits to all 7 billion people living on our planet. For example, forests help recharge freshwater aquifers, protect soil and store carbon. Forest removal and degradation affect freshwater supplies for both urban and rural people. Forest removal also reduces fuel supplies for rural communities. The search and collection of water and fuel are having a disproportionately negative impact on women and children. Earth Day helps people to think about the benefits we all get from the natural world and come together to work on solutions.”
—Forests Without Borders
About Forests Without Borders: Engaging with local people in various countries to develop systems of governance and projects that are financially viable, Forests Without Borders is working to help protect and restore forests.
4. Because we need to protect our OCEANS and WATERWAYS.
“On Earth Day, we are thinking about the 70% of the planet covered by water. Canadians are linked to the sea on three coasts. An empowered, engaged charitable sector provides an essential opportunity for Canadians to keep our oceans clean, quiet, and full of wildlife.”
— Oceans Research and Conservation Association (ORCA).
About ORCA: A team on a mission to protect marine wildlife, ORCA conducts use-inspired science on ocean noise, bycatch, health, and protected areas to support conservation action for a healthy ocean.
5. Because we need to create SUSTAINABLE ENERGY.
“Earth Day is our opportunity to tackle our global climate challenge and achieve a sustainable energy future that is economically, socially and environmentally equitable. Young people are capable of delivering this future; we aim to do everything in our power to help them achieve it.”
About Student Energy: A Canadian charity building the next generation of energy leaders who will accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable energy future, Student Energy have built a network of 50,000 youth globally.
6. Because we need to take care of the planet for FUTURE generations.
“Earth Day is a day where we can celebrate our planet and the people and groups working on ensuring the next generation has the opportunity to have their breath taken away.” — Sustainable Food Edmonton
About Sustainable Food Edmonton: Operating for over 20 years in the greater Edmonton region, Sustainable Food Edmonton is on a mission is to initiate and support projects and programs to encourage the building of community through urban agriculture.
7. Because our WILDLIFE is in danger.
“We have lost over 58 per cent of the wildlife on this planet since 1970. And we’re on track to lose two-thirds by 2020. Earth Day is a chance reflect on how we can become better stewards of our amazing planet – because it will take all of us to restore its healthy, thriving ecosystems and reverse the decline of wildlife.”
— World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF Canada)
About WWF Canada: Creating solutions to environmental challenges, WWF Canada working to support nature, wildlife and people thrive, now and into the future. The choices we make will decide the future — for us and for all species. Because we are all wildlife.
8. Because we’re already seeing CLIMATE CHANGE in action.
“In the Yukon, we are already feeling the impacts of climate change: unpredictable winter weather, melting permafrost, big changes for plants and animals. April 22nd is Earth Day—a reminder to work hard the other 364 days to shape a sustainable future for people and the land.” — Yukon Conservation Society
About the Yukon Conservation Society: A grassroots environmental charity, the Yukon Conservation Society has been working to protect Yukon ecosystems since 1968. That’s 50 years and counting – through education, advocacy, and research.
- In less than 3 months, a major international city will likely run out of water
- WHO | Climate change and health