COLUMN: Why Earth Week still matters

I have always felt compelled to take action when it comes to conservation-related initiatives

It’s been a busy week of earth-friendly events for Summerland residents with more to come during the weekend.

Summerland’s week long celebration represents one of Canada’s largest Earth Week events.

The challenges facing our society require action and participating in Earth Week is a positive step towards our commitment of reducing community greenhouse gas emissions in Summerland.

When I organized the first Earth Day Celebration back in 2007, I never imaged how big the event would grow.

Someone recently asked what drives me to continue as an Earth Day organizer year after year.

Strangely it’s not something I can answer easily as I have always felt compelled to take action when it comes to conservation-related initiatives.

There are so many benefits, socially and for the community.

We all want a safe and healthy environment in which to live. By working together, we have a better chance of making this goal a reality.

This past weekend I was extremely fortunate to attend a lecture given by Dr. Jane Goodall, and her words resonated very strongly with me.

“I do believe in the possibility of a world where we can live in harmony with nature. But only if every one of us does our part to make that world a reality. So that when you look back over your journey, your life, you can truly say, I did make a difference.”

I believe one of the most important things we should do is demonstrate to youth that the actions taken on Earth Day should be part of our decision-making process every day.

It’s been incredibly heart warming to see some of the same families return to our event year after year, but equally rewarding to see new faces. I contacted a parent who has attended several Earth Day Celebrations with her daughters and asked her what inspires her to participate.

“I want my kids to be outside and appreciate what nature has to offer. It makes them excited about being outside,” stated Janine Jell. “It’s important and we will continue to participate each year.”

Jell added that the family re-visits the planting sites to watch the trees and shrubs grow, and the children are seeing that they are having a positive impact.

Today’s youngest citizens are the ones who stand to lose (or gain) the most by the actions that we take this Earth Day.

For further information on all Earth Week events, go to: www.summerland.ca/earthweek or visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SummerlandEarthweek

Lisa Scott is the organizer of Summerland’s annual Earth Day celebration.

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