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Earth Day April 22: EnviroAction Contest!

On April 22, millions of people in over 160 countries will celebrate Earth Day, an event designed to promote a clean and healthy environment.

Here at Local 79, we’ve been doing our best in this last year to limit our environmental impact. We’ve retrofitted washrooms to decrease water usage, automated lights to conserve energy, and reduced paper usage significantly by ramping up electronic communication.

This year, we’ll work even harder, while urging the City of Toronto, Bridgepoint Hospital and Toronto Community Housing to do reduce their environmental footprint.

In celebration of this year’s Earth Day, all CUPE members who are (or have children who are) students, are invited to participate in an Earth Day poster/media & art contest (all entries must be received by 5:00 p.m., June 1, 2012). The EnviroAction Contest is coordinated by CUPE’s National Environment Committee, which recommends measures, programs and campaigns to the national union to ensure that environmental issues remain a priority for CUPE.

EARTH DAY POSTER CONTEST

Local 79 members with kids from kindergarten to grade six may contact Tor Sandberg at 416-977-1629 ext. 509 or email tsandberg@cupelocal79.org to request an Earth Day poster contest package.

EARTH DAY MEDIA & ART CONTEST

Local 79 members who are students, or kids of Local 79 members who are in grade seven and up, are encouraged to submit whatever media or art form they want (draw or paint a poster; make a computer graphic; make a short film clip; write poetry or an enviro essay). Just make sure your work shows what the earth does for you and what you can do for the earth. Submit your media or art work by email to enviro@cupe.ca.

Take a look at the Enviro Facts, Actions, and Solutions that CUPE’s National Environment Committee has put together for this year’s Earth Day:

Enviro facts for Earth Day

Climate Change

  • 2010 was the warmest year on record, with temperatures 3°C higher than average.
  • All around the world, increased floods, heat waves, droughts and more intense storms are linked to climate change.
  • World governments still don’t have a plan to stop climate change.

Air quality

Pollutants in our air from transportation, industrial, agricultural and other sources harm human health, environmental quality and all life.

Waste/Overconsumption

Too much waste and too much consumption (buying stuff we don’t really need) add to green-house gases that cause climate change, and are linked to air, water and soil contamination.

Water

Bottled water causes serious environmental harm. Less that 50% of bottled water containers are recycled in Canada. Each year, 17 million barrels of oil are used in the United States to make 31.2 billion litres of bottled water.

Action and Solutions!

  • Take action in your community to drive environmental change at all levels of government and society.
  • Change the way you get to school, work and around town by walking, biking or taking public transportation.
  • Drink only tap water.
  • Buy Local.
  • Grow your own fruits and vegetables.
  • Cut your waste. Recycle whatever can be recycled. Compost at home, school and work.
  • Form workplace environment committees where workers offer solutions to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce waste and make other good changes.
  • Audit your workplace to see where it can be made greener.
  • Call for a green economy and society where jobs can be quality union jobs that reduce our harmful impact on the environment.
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