Eco-anxiety main focus of this year’s Earth Day

Apr 18, 2022 | Headlines, News

Preparations are underway for this year’s Earth Day on April 22 and the 2022 campaign is called “Call in sick for Earth Day.”

The general theme is “Remedy Together” and it explores eco-anxiety, a phenomenon that Valérie Mallamo, Executive Director of Earth Day Canada, said is becoming more common and visible among young people.

“Millions of people around the world experience the consequences of feeling helpless toward environmental doom. Yet most often they don’t know there is a word explaining their condition and what to do about it,” she told Humber News.

The campaign is encouraging people to join the movement by registering on its website and using #remedytogether on social media. The participants will receive a symbolic proof of declaration of eco-anxiety.

“Earth Day Canada aims to put the focus on how we can remedy together our eco-anxiety, primarily by gathering around positive collective actions for the Earth and reconnecting with our power to act,” Mallamo said.

Earth Day gathers millions of people together around the world to raise awareness and fight climate change every April 22.

The first ​​Earth Day was celebrated on 22 April 1970, and it has become one of the largest environmental movements on the planet, being celebrated in more than 130 countries around the world.

“Earth Day is a great opportunity to take action for the environment and should serve as a springboard to continue mobilizing the rest of the year,” said Mallamo.

Earth Day Canada is an organization created to help people and other organizations reduce their environmental impact.

Lindsay Walker, the Associate Director of Humber Sustainability, said that we should be thinking and caring about the earth every day, but she added that can be hard with people’s busy lives so Earth Day can be a good reminder.

“It is still important to always have something that we all can be thinking of it at the same time and sort of realigning ourselves with what support,” she told Humber News.

“It’s a great moment to reflect and remember where we live, what’s important, and why we need to take care of where we live,” Walker said.

Walker said most people know what they can do to fight climate change, and they can list a number of ways, but the important thing is to find what’s going to prompt them to take action.

“We can work to stay connected to the earth,” she said.

“So go outside, go for a walk, open the window and take a few deep breaths. Slow down maybe a little bit, because I think when you feel connected to your spaces, your community, your environment, then you’re able to think about what you can do to help,” Walker said.

“We definitely have a bunch of virtual events or social media posts, and information and ways for you to get involved. So, if you feel inspired, we can be a place to find out what you can do,” she said.

One of the biggest actions Humber Sustainability took this year is its reusable container program on both campuses of Humber College.

“You can get your food in a reusable container, and that’s an exchange program. So when you’re done with the container, you return it and get a card that you put in your wallet,” Walker said.

“So then we eliminate the single-use container that you only use for 15 minutes at your lunch and then throw out and it goes to the landfills, that’s not recyclable,” she added.

Kathryn Harrison, a Political Science professor at the University of British Columbia told Humber News there are several things people can do.

“Learn about the issue, talk about it with friends and family,” she said.

And be mindful of the politics of climate change and the environment, she said.

“Ask political candidates and representatives tough questions, and vote only for candidates who are committed to meaningful action on climate.”

Harrison said there are ways for everyone to |be more eco-friendly on a daily basis – like taking public transit, eating plant-based diets and replacing gas cooking and heating in homes.