It’s Earth Month – Give your planet a hug!

April is a great time of year. It heralds the true beginning of spring with longer days, warm sunshine and soaking rains that wash away the winter blahs. Signs of love are everywhere, from the birds gathering nesting material to the young folk, holding hands in the park.

Perhaps the best part of April is that it heralds Earth Month, a time to think about all of the environmental challenges we are facing and to take positive action to create a sustainable future for us and all the creatures sharing this small planet we call home.

Unfortunately, a growing number of our friends, neighbours and loved-ones now believe that protecting the environment is not a primary concern. Gallup, the polling company, has been tracking public opinion on the environment for the past four decades. The percentage of respondents believing that the environment should be given priority even at the risk of curbing economic growth has declined from 70% in 1990 to 52% in 2023. And that includes a 13 point decline just since 2019!

Graph showing changes in public opinion about the environment.

The pandemic with its inflationary effect, combined with a housing affordability crisis, are two of the major factors contributing to this change in attitudes. But that doesn’t explain why almost 40% of Canadians believe that the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated. That despite the fact that the science still points to a dire future while the evidence mounts that the effects of climate change are happening more rapidly than the models predict. At a time when all the facts indicate we should be doing more to protect the environment, public opinion is pushing us to do less.

solar eclipse

Witnessing last Monday’s solar eclipse it’s hard not to be emotionally impacted by the beauty, complexity and synchronicity of the cosmos and be both exhilarated and humbled by our place in it. Which highlights the poignancy of our current relationship with Mother Earth and the realization that, while future generations may view rare full eclipses, ours may be the last generation to experience an eclipse while surrounded by the richness of nature as it now exists. That is, unless we start now to change course.

Environmental decline is not inevitable and preventing that decline need not involve economic collapse or huge personal sacrifice. Like paying insurance premiums, it may mean we have to pay a little more now to save a whole lot in the near future. We just need the will to change our behaviour in subtle ways and the determination to demand better from our civic and industrial leaders.

So this Earth Month, take action to demonstrate your concern about the environment. Below is a list of environmental events that you can participate in. Register and attend at least one. Call your MP, MPP or City Councillor and tell them you want them to prioritize the environment in their decisions.

Consider the environment in your day-to-day activities from now on. Pledge to drive your car less, buy a smaller model or go electric. Did you know that almost half of Brampton’s carbon emissions comes from personal automobiles? Better still, walk your kids to school and walk or ride a bike for shorter destination trips.

Pledge to separate your garbage and use the green bin. Did you know that 30% of waste going to landfill is kitchen scraps and other organic material? That produces a lot of greenhouse gas as it breaks down in an uncontrolled way.

Buy only what you need and will use. Buy quality rather than quantity. Buy gifts for others that they need and will use. Buy used, repaired and recycled products when possible. Invest in experiences rather than things.

Finally, try to be “attached” to the things and people in your life because you will likely keep them longer. Hug yourself, hug a tree, hug a loved one. Then spread your arms wide and give Mother Earth a big hug too because she deserves it, Happy Earth Month!

City of Brampton Earth Month Activities
Earth Day 2024 Environmental Celebration and Grow Green Ceremony at Gore Meadow Community Centre & Library – April 20
Tree planting, Tree giveaway, Community Clean Up Events, and more…
CVC Earth Day Tree Planting
David Suzuki Foundation Butterflies in My Back Yard!
Environmental DefenceYours to Protect Weekend
Some Earth Month Activities for You to Participate in
David Laing presenting at Eco-Sphere conference April 2024
David Laing presenting at Eco-Sphere Conference April 2024
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BEA Logo

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