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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day 2009

Tommorrow, April 22,2009, is Earth Day.Earth Day, celebrated April 22, is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. It is held annually during both spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the southern hemisphere. It was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord as an environmental teach-in in 1970 and is celebrated in many countries every year.
The United Nations celebrates an Earth Day each year on the March equinox , a tradition which was founded by peace activist John McConnell in 1969.Responding to widespread environmental degradation, Gaylord Nelson, a United States Senator from Wisconsin, called for an environmental teach-in, or Earth Day, to be held on April 22,1970. Over 20 million people participated that year, and Earth Day is now observed each year on April 22 by more than 500 million people and national governments in 175 countries.
Senator Nelson, an environmental activist, took a leading role in organizing the celebration, hoping to demonstrate popular political support for an environmental agenda

Many countries of the world have their own celebration of Earth Day. For example, here in Canada, Earth Day Canada (EDC), is a national environmental communications organization.mandated to improve the state of the environment by empowering Canadians to achieve local solutions. Since 1991, EDC has been coordinating Earth Day/Earth Month events, and creating successful community programs and award-winning artistic and media projects.
Earth Day Canada was a recent winner of the top environmental education award in North America for its innovative programs and educational resources. The mission of Earth Day Canada is to" improve the state of the environment by empowering and helping Canadians to take positive environmental action. The goals of Earth Day Canada are to:

(1) CREATE positive public awareness for existing and developing environmental solutions.
(2)EMPOWER and ENCOURAGE Canadians to take environmental action in their communities.
(3)ADDRESS the challenges to Canada's environment by working in partnership to create programs that can be delivered by communities, organizations and individuals.
(4)FOSTER and MAINTAIN the positive celebration of Earth Day annually.

source:http://www.earthday.ca/pub/about/organization.php


Earth Day Canada’s EcoAction Teams program offers the Top 10 Actions for Earth Day 2009 to help Canadians reduce their impact on the environment everyday.
“Earth Day Canada’s EcoAction Teams program wants to support Canadians as they move to live more responsibly with the environment. The Top 10 Actions are simple tips to get the ball rolling,” says Cheryl Gudz, Manager of the EcoAction Teams program. “Once people realize how simple it is to conserve at home and on the go, it can quickly become a way of life.”
Earth Day Canada’s Top 10 Actions for Earth Day 2009
1.Smart shopping
Buy what you need, not what you want, Consider renting and borrowing things that are seldom needed, Buy used items from garage sales and second-hand stores.

2.Simple savers
Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs,Use aerators on faucets and shower heads,Weatherstrip windows and doors

3.Transportation alternatives
Walk, cycle, car pool and use public transportation
When driving, reduce idling and maintain correct tire pressure
Consider car sharing programs or renting

4.Food choices
Choose local and organic foods that are in season and support local food producers
Eat less meat

5.Washing and drying
Wash full loads of clothes in cold water and hang to air dry

6.Heating and cooling
For summer air conditioning, set your thermostat to 24°C or 25°C
For winter heating, set your thermostat to 19°C or 20°C
Install ceiling fans and programmable thermostats

7.Close to home
Vacation, travel and work as close to home as possible

8.Bathroom basics
Take short showers instead of baths
Close water taps while brushing your teeth

9.Careful cleaning
Choose natural, non-toxic cleaning products
Make simple, natural cleaners with ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and water

10.Don’t discard
Donate, reuse and recycle items before throwing them into the trash
Harmful materials like chemicals, batteries, electronics, etc. should be taken to local hazardous waste depots or recyclers (source:http://www.earthday.ca/pub/resources/media_releases/2009-04-16_edc_top_10/index.html)


The equinoctial Earth Day is celebrated on the March equinox (around 20 March) to mark the precise moment of astronomical mid-spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and of astronomical mid-autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. An equinox in astronomy is that moment in time (not a whole day) when the center of the Sun can be observed to be directly "above" the Earth's equator, occurring around March 20 and September 23 each year. In most cultures the equinoxes and solstices are considered to start or separate the seasons.

"Earth Day Network has over 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries. Over 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world.This year's Earth Day will see the launch of the Green Generation Campaign; a two-year project that will end on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in 2010. The special focus areas of the Green Generation Campaign will be:- A carbon-free future based on renewable energy that will end our common dependency on fossil fuels, including coal.- An individual’s commitment to responsible, sustainable consumption.- Creation of a new green economy that lifts people out of poverty by creating millions of quality green jobs and transforms the global education system into a green one. (source:http://www.greenlivingtips.com/blogs/369/Earth-Day-2009.html)

4 comments:

the.frig said...

great list, although you forgot something. When it comes to being respectful to the environment we must remember to sing tloud and proud the song that was written for our glorious Earth.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8muMo0fw_M

Wayne said...

thefrig, thanks for the comment. Personally, I find Jackson's song,a good effort to try and convince members of our species that we have to change our thinking about how we live our daily lives. The problem I have with the song is that Jackson does does not present any solutions to problems which humans have caused on the planet,within the song he wrote.

Anonymous said...

i couldn't agree more wayne. Where are you from? In Ontario, the Power workers union has come up with a new plan for future energy infrastructure in the province. What do you think about it?
http://www.abetterenergyplan.ca

Wayne said...

Hi Anonymous thanks for your comment and link.I live in Alberta, and was a power worker at one point in my life :). Your union has come up with a very comprehensive and interestng plan. I am not sold on nuclear and clean coal. Concerns exist regarding the economic viability of clean cola technologies and the timeframe of delivery:(see:(a)http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/oct/30/fossilfuels-carbonemissions),

(b)http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/cost-of-coal.pdf

(c)http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/ccs/
and

(d)http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/07/02/carbon-capture-storage.html

Nuclear power generation does emit relatively low amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2). The emissions of green house gases and therefore the contribution of nuclear power plants to global warming is therefore relatively little.However, the problem of radioactive waste is still an unsolved one. The waste from nuclear energy is extremely dangerous and it has to be carefully looked after for several thousand years (10'000 years according to United States Environmental Protection Agency standards).Despite a generally high security standard, accidents can still happen. It is technically impossible to build a plant with 100% security. A small probability of failure will always last. The consequences of an accident would be absolutely devastating both for human being as for the nature.The energy source for nuclear energy is Uranium. Uranium is a scarce resource, its supply is estimated to last only for the next 30 to 60 years depending on the actual demand. source:http://timeforchange.org/pros-and-cons-of-nuclear-power-and-sustainability

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.