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Column: Earth Day — learning to reduce our impact

Hanbidge on Horticulture: Theme for 2022 is to Invest In Our Planet.
earth day 2022
Last year, Earth Day events were held in 192 countries and over 5.4 million people tuned in for Earth Day Live: Restore Our Earth.

Since 1970, April 22 has been considered Earth Day. The focus for Earth Day 2022 is to find the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families and our livelihoods. Read more on the official site of Earth Day at .

Earth Day was the brainchild of former Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the protests of the 1960s. It began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22, 1970 to maximize the largest number of students on university campuses. He hoped by raising the awareness of pollution, Earth Day would bring environmental causes into the national spotlight. By the early 1960s, Americans were becoming aware of the effects of pollution on the environment and Rachel Carson’s 1962 best seller Silent Spring raised the specter of the dangerous effects of pesticides. Rachel Carson was credited with inspiring the modern environmental movement that began in earnest 10 years later – and unfortunately she was not still with us to see that her environmental text had, in fact, changed the world.

The mission of Earth Day is to help people and organizations reduce their environmental impact. Over the years, this day has become the largest participatory environmental movement on the planet. As individuals, we have real power to use our voice and actions that together can create a movement that is inclusive, impactful and impossible to ignore. Last year, Earth Day events were held in 192 countries and over 5.4 million people tuned in for Earth Day Live: Restore Our Earth. Cleanups took place in 104 countries, cleaning up millions of pounds of trash.

However, when researching what was planned for this day in 2022, I did not find much that was published online that was happening in the areas that we call home. It could be there are many small events that are not shared online, or that this day is not promoted much in local neighbourhoods. The theme for 2022 is to Invest In Our Planet. One important thing to remember is that together, for everyone, everything and everyday (including April 22) we can make a difference to our personal and our global quality of life. It is our collective responsibility to help accelerate the transition into an equitable, prosperous green economy for all of us.

In 2020, I wrote an article on Earth Day that detailed how important it is to address climate change as it affects our vulnerability to disease. That climate change is making our seasons longer, giving viruses more time to mutate and our immune systems are becoming less robust. It is also a proven fact those living in more polluted areas are more affected by viral infections than those who live in less polluted areas.

Thus, our actions have consequences and our choices matter in every aspect of our lives. If what is important is our health, our loved ones, our communities and a future world, choices we make can threaten what is important to each and every one of us. Start with yourself, and your closest friends and family – taking small actions that help the world around us to become healthier. Encourage schools, clubs and organizations to promote activities that help improve the health of our environment close to home and far away. Build the awareness of what each one of us can do!

Happy Earth Day and may the sentiments on this day continue to be in the forefront every day of our future.

Hanbidge is the Lead Horticulturist with Orchid Horticulture. Find us at; by email at; on facebook @orchidhort and on instagram at #orchidhort.

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