Mark your calendars: Wednesday April 22, 2020 is the 50th annual Earth Day!

Physical distancing may impede us from gathering, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t celebrate the Earth at home, outside, or digitally! As always, Green Action Centre is your green living hub, ready to share ways in which YOU can show your support for our planet this Earth Day.

Manitoba Earth Week Online

Tune in April 20-24th for Manitoba Earth Week Online, hosted by Manitoba’s Climate Action Team

What to expect: Daily livestreaming of local environmental experts, sharing insight on a variety of environmental topics. You’ll be introduced to environmental organizations, issues, and actions that can be taken to build natural resiliency as a community. 

 The lineup:

Monday: The Future is Wild – Eric Reder, Wilderness Committee

Tuesday: Worms and Waste – Kristen Malec, Green Action Centre

Wednesday: Flattening the Climate Curve – Curt Hull, Climate Change Connection

Thursday: Deep Decarbonization – Sustainable Building Manitoba Lunch and Learn

Friday: Global Climate Strike – Manitoba Youth for Climate Action

Join us on a live Facebook stream at noon (CDT) each day from April 20-24.

Our Earth Day Actions

Our staff are all passionate about caring for the planet. While none of us are perfect, we’re always looking for ways to improve our sustainability game – one step at a time. We’ve compiled our green actions; what we’re currently working on to be more earth-friendly.

Tracy: Thinking local & being kind to the Earth

Though we know that Climate Change is the defining issue of our time, now we are experiencing a new global challenge with the reality of COVID-19.  

Combined, these extraordinary crises make it all the more apparent that we have no time to waste.  We need to build our resilience and look for sustainable choices close to home.  Support small local farmers, bakeries, clothing companies, and other local companies that make their own products and invest profits locally. This will help us build more self-sustaining communities – a huge positive step for the earth and a way we can use our dollars to vote for climate friendly living.

And while spending more time at home remember the simple things we can do to tread more lightly on the earth. Bake at home, start a victory garden, eat your leftovers, reuse glass containers, and hang your laundry out to dry!

Denae: Giving new life to old clothes – cloth face masks
Everyone has clothes in their closet that haven’t been worn in years – a gold-mine of fabric. With recommendations to wear a mask to help keep you and your neighbours safe, it’s a great opportunity to repurpose old threads. I made this mask out of an old cotton button-up! Tight-woven cotton fabrics are ideal for re-usable, washable masks. I’m making fitted masks, which have a pocket for a filter and a nose wire using a pipe cleaner. You can also make pleated masks (that can also be sewn by hand!). If you’re new to sewing, this is a great project to try. It’s simple and is designed for all skill-levels. Check out Youtube for help – that’s where I learned!

Josep: Re-evaluating waste and growing my own food

I’ve started repurpose egg cartons and eggshells as a planter to germinate tomato seeds. I am aware that all of us need to be proactive in our climate actions. I have no doubt that we have to link the extraction of resources to a green energy transition if we want a guaranteed and no greed future with healthy land, air and water. That’s a complex and effective challenge that requires education, creativity and innovation. Let’s do it here and now!

Beth: Making (or re-making) stuff instead of buying

I’ve been making my own eye glass cleaner for a few years, which also works well on mirrors. It takes 3 ingredients (mostly water), less than a minute to make, it’s way cheaper, and I can re-use the same spray bottle over and over. My next goal is trying to clean my oven in a no- or low-toxic way. It should be a good workout for the arms if nothing else. I’m also looking forward to getting back into the thrift stores (or maybe my own closet) to find some dresses that I could update or transform into something else. Check out my first re-fashion from a few years ago. (And if you want to try your own eye glass cleaner, it’s 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol, and a few drops of liquid dish detergent. Shake and spray!)

Chantel: Cleaning up the neighbourhood

As a kid, I remember being in a school play for Earth Day and it had a big impact on me. I started recycling and getting my family to recycle as well. As an adult, I try to do something new each year on Earth Day such as attending a talk on the environment, or participating in a community clean up. This year my family and I will go around our neighbourhood (while maintaining physical distancing protocols) and pick up waste, recyclables, and report bulky items for pick up by the City of Winnipeg.

Nicole: Tending to her worm friends (vermicomposting!)

At times like these, it is really nice to have some good company. My isolation buddies may not talk back, but they help to compost my food scraps! I have been vermicomposting for over a year now, as it is a great way to compost in a small apartment that doesn’t have a patio or backyard. For Earth Day, I will be treating my worm friends to some of their favourites foods, like melons! If you could use some more friends in your life, consider starting a worm bin.

Bonus: Kristen will be doing a live build-a-bin demo for Manitoba Earth Week Online on Tuesday April 21st!

Kristen: Supporting local food producers

I love knowing where my food comes from and knowing that it is being grown and/or raised in a way that’s environmentally friendly and sustainable. We sign up for a vegetable CSA share every year and receive organically grown vegetables starting in the spring all the way into the fall. It’s a great way to eat vegetables that you may not choose to eat otherwise. What we don’t get in our share, we try to visit farmer’s markets for. We purchase all of our meat (chicken, beef, pork, and lamb) from a small Manitoba farm and have also signed up for an egg share with those farmers in which we receive farm fresh, free run eggs every two weeks. It’s so satisfying supporting the local economy and small businesses, especially during this time.

Jane: Spreading the plant love

Since it’s too chilly to plant the balcony garden, I’ve been spending extra time tending to the one indoors. Caring for my houseplants has brought me much needed inner peace this past month, with the additional excitement of watching the speedy spring growth. Not only does greenery makes a place feel like home for me, but there are also proven benefits to plants, including air purification and stress reduction. Looking to share the plant love, I’ve been rooting cuttings to pot for friends and family for upcoming birthdays / little pick me ups. Nothing like a plant at your doorstep to brighten your day!

Mel: Using my bike for most trips

I started using my bike for a majority of my trips about 9 years ago, and then 4 years ago I started biking through the winter. I love it! Winnipeg has a long way to go to make this a practical choice for a majority of people, but if you can reduce your car dependency, I encourage you to try. It’s a huge time saver as I get plenty of exercise without having to go to the gym, and I save a ton of cash. When needed, I use transit or my Peg City Car Co-op membership. Not having to wake up early to shovel out your driveway and hope your car will start is a freedom all Winnipeggers should experience. You will never go back!

Sean: Learning to sew and upcycle clothes

I want to use my self-isolation time to learn my way around a sewing machine. I wear clothes every day, and can never find tank tops I like—it just makes sense to make some out of old t-shirts! Here I come, YouTubes.

Looking for more ideas? Check out these Earth Day Tips from Earth Day Network. Why not challenge yourself by committing to one (or several)? Big or small, these actions can have a lasting impact beyond Earth Day.

Earth Day at Home

Looking to deep dive into sustainability topics, but need a bit of direction? Earth Day Network has put together a guide on a variety of subjects, complete with resources, actionable items and tool kits.

Our recommendations: Ending Plastic Pollution & Food and Climate topics!