April 22 is commonly celebrated as Earth Day in many countries.

Its origin dates back to 1970 with the efforts of Senator Gaylord Nelson and a dedicated team who engaged more than 20 million people in environmental events across the United States.

In 1991, Earth Day Canada was created. Today, Earth Day is used to promote year-round action.


Earth is a big place, its midsection (circumference) measuring about 40,074 km. If you were to drive this distance, it would be like going from Halifax to Sydney (about 400 km) each day for 100 days. To lighten your footprint, perhaps you could walk it. This would take 13,335 days at a rate of 30 km day, or approximately 37 years.

Walk and swim I should say, as 70 per cent of the Earth is water and much of the time you would be in a boat or swimming.

Beyond its mass, Earth's atmosphere extends out 10,000 km. Beyond the atmosphere is one crucial thing that all life on Earth is supported by — the sun. The sun drives our climate, weather and the process of photosynthesis that converts light energy into food and oxygen.

We have made significant impacts on the planet and its surrounding atmosphere through the double effect of our population -- currently about 6,772,655,616 -- and our activity. The World Watch Institute has been reporting on ecological trends for a number of years through publications such as State of the World. Ecological health, for the most part, is in a negative spiral, though there are a few success stories in pollution reduction. Earth Day is a day to take stock of the state of the Earth and how we can use our collective and individual action to shift unhealthy impacts and trends.

Check out the Earth Day Canada Foundation home page for activities in your area. For example there is a walk in the morning at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax.

Increase your understanding of local and international ecological trends. One quick introduction would be to take part on June 5th and 6th, in the Bioblitz to be run in the Blue Mountain — Birch Cove Lake area behind Bayer’s Lake Industrial Park.

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