Earth Day 2022

Kathleen Ko, Health Promoter – Earth Day seed exchange event

Every year, SRCHC celebrates Earth Day, which helps people connect with the living earth and each other. Human beings, and all living things, depend on clean air, water, and soil to stay healthy.

Historically, people living in South Riverdale have been exposed to toxins in the air and the soil from the pollution that was generated by some of the area’s industries. Although some industries are still generating air pollution, today, that kind of pollution mostly comes from cars and trucks.

This issue has brought people together to advocate for change—from demanding soil clean-ups to promoting alternatives to driving (such as transit, walking, and cycling). Because Earth Day is every day, really.

Over the years, people in South Riverdale have worked closely with elected representatives, industry, and government to clean up polluting industries and to promote bicycle lanes and safer streets. They have also worked to raise awareness about everyday exposure to toxins in the home. It’s important to remember and celebrate this work so that others can learn and take action when needed.

This year, SRCHC was not able to host our usual Earth Day outdoor fair—with information tables, music, performances, and most importantly, food and socializing—at our building at 955 Queen Street East. We did host a few smaller events, though, including bike repair “pop-ups” at Eastview Community Centre, at SRCHC, and in our Harmony Hall, where we also hosted a seed exchange giveaway with refreshments of tea and cookies.

This year’s theme is “Invest in Our Planet.” SRCHC is working to reduce greenhouse gasses (mitigation) and to provide some relief from extreme weather (adaptation). We all need to take action where we can. Generally, higher-income earners create more greenhouse gasses because they have a larger carbon footprint, and thus carry more responsibility for climate change. On average, Canadians are the second highest carbon emitters on the planet, per capita. So we can all advocate for solutions.