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Plenty of work to do, but still lots to be thankful for!

October 7, 2009

Toronto, ON  —  As Thanksgiving approaches and we gather with friends and family for the annual feast, we recognize in our lives that there are a number of things we can and should be thankful for. So for Thanksgiving 2009, let us gives thanks to:

* Keeping the environment top of mind  — in the 70s it was the energy crisis, save the whales and the anti-nuclear movement. Late 80s, acid rain the ozone layer and saving the rainforest. The 90s, `peak oil′, green technology and the Persian Gulf War. Flashpoints in history saw the environment become top of mind for people around the world only to fall off their radar. Today, even as the world recovers from a global economic crisis, lessening our impact on the environment remains top of mind around the world.

* Corporate Environmental Responsibility (CSR) focusing on environmental issues and opportunities  — major corporations no longer simply pull out their cheque books to support environmental causes and organizations. Now, they′re working with manufacturers, suppliers and retailers to produce and market products in a more environmentally-friendly manner. They′re working with building management to ensure regional facilities and offices are as energy efficient as possible. They′re engaging their own employees to help them reduce their impact at the office and at home through simple environmental action.

* Environmental education in every class, in every grade  — school boards, provincial governments and Ministries of Education are ushering in a new standard of environmental education across Canada. Governments are establishing a new policy framework and teachers are following their lead in making environmental education a top priority.

* Progress through Government  — while skeptics may doubt the UN Climate Change Conference can bring about real change in support of a healthier environment, here at home, governments are making progress. For example, the Government of Alberta program, One Simple Act is helping individuals lead a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, save energy, reduce waste and conserve water. In Ontario, the Green Energy Act could propel the province into a leadership role in renewable energy, reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emission, new job creation and enhancing community economic development for rural, remote and First Nations communities.

* The largest, most celebrated event worldwide  — we are also thankful to the 6 Million Canadians and virtually every school aged child in Canada who celebrate Earth Day. This is the essence and beginning of sustained environmental education and action.

"There is still plenty of work to be done, but it′s worth pausing to reflect on the state of the environmental movement today compared to where we were a few decades ago," said Jed Goldberg, President of Earth Day Canada. "The environment, alongside the economy and healthcare, are top of mind concerns for Canadians. We see this in the every day actions of friends and families, educational institutions, corporations and government. 30 years ago, the long term commitment and support for the environment wasn′t anywhere near where it is today. This is definitely something to give thanks for."

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.

For more information contact:
Keith Treffry
Communications Director
Earth Day Canada
Phone: 416.599.1991 x 107

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