Back to articles Earth Day Canada offers activities to kick start healthier habits for Earth Day 2012

Categories: Health & Wellness

Simple, good-for-you actions that everyone can do for the environment
This April, Earth Day Canada challenges everyone to do something that's good for people and the planet. To help, they've launched two campaigns to get everyone involved (running now until the end of April) and have offered up top ten actions people can start doing right now and all year-round.

'We know that beyond air, food and water quality, the types of products we use on a daily basis, as well as how much time we spend exercising outdoors can have substantial effects on our health and the environment', says Jed Goldberg, President of Earth Day Canada. 'These actions help people learn more about the environmental and health impacts of the decisions they make and encourage them to adopt behaviours that will improve the health of their families and communities'.

For kids, classrooms and schools, the kid-friendly campaign Act for the Planet, with prizing from Sony Canada, offers step-by-step guides with fun and easy actions like

  • Creating window decals to prevent bird crashes
  • Making planters to clean inside air
  • Bringing their own water bottle
  • Making something new out of something old.

For youth, adults, families and businesses, the Take It Up for Earth Day campaign challenges the rest of us to take up one (or more) of these pro-environmental behaviors

  • Eat and prepare plant-based foods at home
  • Drink tap water and get water wise
  • Care: Detox your personal care routine
  • Move: Activate your lifestyle with outdoor, unplugged activities.

In addition to taking up new healthy habits with others through the campaigns, Earth Day Canada recommends these top ten easy actions that are better for the health of the environment.

1. Smart Shopping

  • Buy what you need, not what you want
  • Rent and borrow 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 showerheads
  • Weather-strip windows and doors

3. Transportation Alternatives

  • Walk, cycle, car pool and use public transportation
  • Reduce idling and maintain correct tire pressure when driving
  • Try car sharing programs or renting instead of owning

4. Food Choices

  • Choose local and organic foods that are in season
  • Support local food producers
  • Eat less meat

5. Cleaning Clothes

  • Wash full loads in cold water
  • Hang to air dry

6. Heating and cooling

  • Set your air conditioner to 24C or 25C in the summer
  • Set your furnace to 19C or 20C in the winter
  • 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
  • Take harmful materials like chemicals, batteries, electronics, etc. to local hazardous waste depots or recyclers.

Join thousands of Canadians who've already made pledges to make healthier choices for people and the environment. Visit to register and for more ideas about how people can reduce their impact on the environment.

About Earth Day Canada

Earth Day Canada (EDC), a national environmental charity founded in 1990, provides Canadians with the practical knowledge and tools they need to lessen their impact on the environment. In 2004 it was recognized as the top environmental education organization in North America, for its innovative year-round programs and educational resources, by the Washington-based North American Association for Environmental Education, the world's largest association of environmental educators. In 2008 it was chosen as Canada's "Outstanding Non-profit Organization" by the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication. EDC regularly partners with thousands of organizations in all parts of Canada.