Celebrated every April 22, Earth Day is the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide. More than 6 million Canadians join 1 billion people in over 170 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues. Nearly every school child in Canada takes part in an Earth Day activity.
First launched as an awareness event in the US in 1970, Earth Day is celebrated as the birth of the environmental movement. The first Earth Day, spearheaded by Wisconsin Governor Gaylord Nelson and Harvard University student Denis Hayes, involved 20 million participants in teach-ins that addressed decades of environmental pollution. The event inspired the US Congress to pass clean air and water acts, and establish the Environmental Protection Agency to research and monitor environmental issues and enforce environmental laws.
In 1990, two million Canadians joined 200 million people in 141 nations in celebrating the first International Earth Day. In many countries, the global event brought pressure on heads of state to take part in the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro to address issues such as climate change and the world wide loss of species. In Canada, Earth Day has grown into Earth Week and even Earth Month to accommodate the profusion of events and projects. Locally, ACAP Cape Breton is spearheading a week’s worth of activities in the CBRM.
Beginning in the morning of Monday, April 19 and continuing throughout the week, the organization will unleash its “eco-spies” into different communities to catch people “green-handed” and reward them for doing something beneficial for the environment. The eco-spies will be anywhere and everywhere people are making environmentally conscious choices – outside of restaurants rewarding those who don’t idle, visiting bus shelters, and “catching” people who pick up litter or recycle. Over 40 local businesses donated over 500 prizes to be doled out by the spies.
ACAP also has a full schedule of activities taking place throughout the week including a Used Book and Magazine Exchange, Lawn and Garden Care Workshop, Guided Walks, Lunch and Learn, Used Toy Drive, Earth Day Party and a presentation of the film An Inconvenient Truth.
ACAP CB Education Coordinator Alicia Penney says that over the years the event has grown from a day of awareness into a week of non-stop activities. “This is our biggest year yet,” says Penney. “This year we have 13 activities, and it’s our first year launching our ‘Eco-Espionage Unit’. Every year we are (pleasantly) surprised by the number and enthusiasm of the participants. It seems local businesses are always excited by the opportunity to give back to the community but this year they’ve really outdone themselves.”
View our events calendar for complete details on all of the activities.
For more information please contact ACAP Cape Breton’s Katherine MacDonald (902) 567-1628 firstname.lastname@example.org.