There’s something different about Earth Day this year…

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Earth Day feels different this year, doesn’t it?

Here at Conserver House, April 22 is an annual cause for celebration. It’s always encouraging to see people from different walks of life reflecting on the wonders of our natural environment, and focusing on what they can do to keep it beautiful.

But this year, there’s even more to it.

It’s not only the 25th anniversary of Earth Day Canada, our national partner for this year’s country-wide #CleanYourCommute campaign. It’s also the year people, companies and organizations from across the globe are stepping up to make real changes in their own lives.

There’s a reason why hashtags like #YearOfClimateAction, #ActOnClimate, and #ClimateChangeIsReal are trending on social media. It’s because we’re not the only ones who feel the tide shifting.

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Last Friday, CEOs from 43 companies – responsible for raising $1.2 trillion of revenue in 2014 – signed an open letter calling for governments to take ‘bold action’ in the lead-up to the United Nations climate summit in Paris this December.

Meanwhile, nine leading healthcare institutions from across the world kicked off the 2020 Challenge, a global campaign to get hospitals and health centres reducing their carbon footprint.

The Vatican is upping the stakes, too, with the Pope announcing a conference on climate change later this month where leading researchers and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will focus on the moral imperative of acting on climate protection.

And rest assured, leaders are watching, and listening, as all this unfolds. In Canada, our premiers signed a declaration following the Quebec Summit on Climate Change (which was prefaced by the largest climate-themed march in Canada’s history) where they committed to a low-carbon economy by 2050 and pledged to curb greenhouse gas emissions by investing in renewable energy and looking at putting a price on carbon pollution.

We're with you!

A boy and his father attend the #ActOnClimate march in Quebec City on April 11, 2015

The Global Fossil Fuel Divestment campaign continues to go strong, the Pulitzer Prize-winning UK newspaper The Guardian became the first mainstream media force to kick deniers to the curb and embrace climate-friendly solutions with a powerful new series, and a new report from the G7 group of countries – not the usual suspects when it comes to tough climate talk – acknowledged that unchecked climate change is dangerous and that actions to mitigate its impact must be included in states’ foreign policy.

There is something different about Earth Day this year, and that something is momentum.

Let’s keep it going in our own lives.

For the next 30 days, challenge yourself with Earth Day Canada’s #CleanYourCommute campaign, asking Canadians to embrace active or green transportation between now and May 22 (and once you start, you might just find you keep going with it!).

For an even longer haul, take up the #EarthDayEveryDay challenge, a five-year campaign to help people lower their carbon footprint by 20 per cent by 2020, in line with global emission reduction targets.

So when you celebrate April 22 this year, know that you’re joining a movement that’s connecting people all over the world who want to live healthy and prosperous lives on a beautiful and thriving planet. Know this, feel good, and keep going.

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Part of our Renewable Solutions NB Project