Earth Day Every Day: Celebrating Earth Day’s Impact on Climate Advocacy

|  Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Earth Day Every Day: Celebrating Earth Day’s Impact on Climate Advocacy

Amid the looming threat of climate change, Earth Day serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for collective action to protect and preserve our delicate ecosystems.

Around the world, we witness the effects of climate change on our agricultural systems in the form of droughts and water shortages, unpredictable rain patterns, and erratic weather events such as increased flooding and wildfires.

Earth Day is a pivotal moment for reflection, action, and unity in the face of climate change. It prompts us to recognize our interconnectedness with nature and underscores the importance of preserving the planet for both present and future generations.

Furthermore, Earth Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the many individuals and communities worldwide who are dedicating their lives to climate action. Despite facing adversity, they are helping to make the planet a healthier place for us to live, grow, and thrive.


SCHOOL RECYCLING CLUBS HELP CHILDREN ADVOCATE

Recycling is essential for conserving resources, reducing waste, and protecting the environment. Teaching children to recycle not only instills eco-friendly habits but also empowers them to become stewards of the planet, contributing to a more sustainable and resilient future.

Through our local Bolivian partner, SCSJ, children have the opportunity to join an environment-focused club at school, where they learn the benefits of recycling and environmental preservation.

a little girl smiling while cutting into a pop bottle

Ruth demonstrates how using recycled pop bottles can benefit the environment by reducing waste, and innovating a fun way to plant seeds.

Ruth is just one of dozens of youth who see firsthand the importance of keeping the planet healthy through measures like recycling and ecology.

We need to take care of the environment and realize that we can do many things with all papers or bottles like recycle them. Recycling is good for the environment because many people throw their trash in places like the water and it’s not good for the environment or animals,” Ruth tells us.

Lessons in the environmental club focus on the detrimental effects of climate change, the importance of recycling and composting, and creating crafts that help boost ecology, like pop bottle gardens. Ruth and her friends particularly love to make these gardens, which involves repurposing empty 2-litre pop bottles, cleaning them out, and planting seedlings inside, effectively creating mini greenhouses. Once the plants reach a suitable size, they are transferred to the school garden and tended to by the students.

Ruth’s eco-activism extends beyond the classroom and into her home as she teaches her family the importance of sorting waste and has implemented a recycling bin in her home. “In the center, we are constantly strengthening and raising awareness about caring for the environment as the children are seeing the climate changes that our planet is experiencing,” Sonia, one of the teachers at Ruth’s school tells us.

She continues, “We work with recycling, we work especially with recycling plastic bottles. We made pots to plant seeds and create vertical gardens and in this way, children and teenagers can take care of these plants. As well, we sort food waste at the school to generate composters and these can serve as organic fertilizer which are distributed to the gardens that we have in the centre.”

The goal is to have the children use the composted soil to plant the seedlings they grow in the pop bottles, allowing them to see the tangible benefits of climate activism, and benefit from consuming and harvesting their own foods.

Watch below a video of Ruth creating one of these pop bottle greenhouses.


Involving children like Ruth in environmental activism not only helps address environmental challenges but nurtures their personal development, empowers them to make a difference, and cultivates a sense of stewardship towards the planet.

INDIGENOUS CLIMATE-RESISTANT SEEDS PROMOTE SUSTAINABILITY

Amina, a resilient mother in Northern Ghana, is proud to raise her family where her roots run deep. Unfortunately, the community she loves is not immune to the effects of climate change. Rising temperatures, erratic rainfall, and extreme weather have led to soil infertility and weed infestations that devastate her crop yields. And with rising inflation making farm inputs like fertilizer, weed control, and farming equipment extremely expensive, farmers like Amina struggle to care for their crops. Despite these challenges, Amina never gave up.

a woman sits in front of her home with harvested food

With Indigenous climate-resilient seeds, Amina's yields have more than doubled compared to previous years.

Supported by CFTC donors through our local partner, RAINS, crucial farming inputs like climate-resistant seeds and fertilizers, and climate-adaptive agricultural training, were provided to Amina, and she was able to emerge as an agent of change.

I have seen a massive improvement in my crops this year compared to the previous years. With the support I received, I was able to scale the yield from less than two bowls to five bowls,” Amina says. The Indigenous seeds she planted are resistant to droughts and pests and do not require the same level of fertilization as non-Indigenous seeds. This is immensely beneficial to farmers in combatting the crop devastation that climate change brings.

The crops cultivated by Amina and other local farms include maize and legumes like soya, groundnut, beans, Bambara beans, and okra. More importantly, some of these Indigenous crops have been revived in this area after previous decimation.

Amina's family has undergone a remarkable transformation thanks to her leadership and the support of donors. Now, she effortlessly grows her farming business, covers school fees, purchases new clothes for her family, and ensures her children are well-fed.

Utilizing Indigenous and climate-resistant seeds presents a sustainable and adaptable strategy for agriculture amidst climate change. By harnessing the resilience and diversity of these crops, farmers like Amina can build climate-resilient food systems that ensure food security, protect natural resources, help conserve water, and preserve cultural heritage for future generations.


BIOGAS AS A MEANS TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GASSES

a man stands next to organic fertilizer harvested from manure

Getu shows off the organic fertilizer made from cow dung, which reduces the use of synthetic fertilizer and is healthier for the environment.

Climate change impacts our community immensely by disrupting the summer and winter seasons - in winter, there are higher temperatures than normal, and when it is summer there is heavy rain,” Mrs. Almaz, a local Ethiopian farmer tells us. Her community sees the negative influence that rising temperatures have on her farm with slow-growing crops, poor yields, and erratic rains. In fact, last season’s heavy rain caused a food shortage.

Getu, a community model farmer and REFLECT circle leader, initiated discussions with his group on strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change. One innovative solution they explored was the use of manure to generate biogas, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Biogas minimizes air pollution, and helps mitigate the effects of climate change,” he explains. “The biogas replaces chopping trees for wood; charcoal is minimized, so greenhouse gas is reduced.”

Moreover, this innovative method brings additional benefits such as reducing the workload on women in the community, minimizing the use of synthetic fertilizers, and providing sustainable light sources. Eyasu, an eleven-year-old student, shares how this new resource is changing his home life. “This gas is important because we live in a really rural area. My mom cooks on the stovetop now, and I have enough light at night to do my homework. It’s very nice,” he explains.

a little boy smiles for the camera in front of trees

Because of the biogas, Eyasu's family has enough light and cooking gas to make a big difference in his rural home.

This progressive technique, especially in rural areas, offers a win-win solution for communities by providing a sustainable solution to manage organic waste, utilizing a clean energy source instead of relying on fossil fuels, and addressing climate change with measures to reduce greenhouse gasses. Community members like Getu and Mrs. Almaz can harness the biogas to create resilience-building opportunities in the face of climate variability.


EARTH DAY EVERY DAY

Now more than ever, Earth Day serves as a critical reminder of the pressing need to address climate change and its multiple impacts on ecosystems, communities, and future generations.

In response to escalating climate crises, communities worldwide are embracing innovative solutions to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. From renewable energy technologies to recycling initiatives, these innovations are reshaping how we adapt to and combat climate change.

Across Canada and around the world, our partner communities are pioneering climate-smart agriculture practices and implementing effective water management strategies to promote resilience and community development. And, an increasing number of young people are actively engaged in these efforts, creating a whole new generation of climate activists who enact meaningful change.

Earth Day has added importance in facing the effects of climate change, serving as a rallying cry for collective action, innovation, and youth engagement. By harnessing the power of community-led solutions, we can confront the climate crisis with resolve and resilience, preserving the planet for today and tomorrow.