Restorative action for Earth Day

The theme for Earth Day 2021 is “restore our Earth.” It’s that first word, “restore” that we want to draw from today. Restoration is not passive. It doesn’t come from the absence of harm, but rather from intentional action. In the face of a global crisis, that action must be on a global scale — all the way from the highest levels of organization to the response of us as individuals.

Illustration of Earth surrounded by scaffolding, with the caption "restoration is not passive"
Our motto at CHASI is “turning knowledge into action,” so we’ve curated this list of critical restorative actions to consider as we try to fight back against the climate emergency.

  • International: Set strict goals for emissions from all nations, and demand wealthy countries provide support to ensure every nation can achieve those goals.
  • Canadian government: Enact tighter regulations on industries that consider factors like environmental racism.
  • Large businesses: Rather than shifting responsibility for environmental action to consumers with tactics like “using recycling as a distraction” focus on addressing manufacturing emissions and planned obsolescence.
  • Municipal government: Plan cities to be more accessible by foot and bike, and provide more public transit options.
  • Small businesses: COVID-19 has showed us there are real advantages to allowing employees to work from home, at least part time. By making this an option, your workplace becomes not only more accessible for employees, but it cuts down on commuting.
  • Communities: Consider the possibility of a community garden to share with your neighbours, which can help you eat locally, support those in need of fresh food, and build strong bonds with your community.
  • Individuals: Choose one of the groups above and advocate to them. Get involved and loud about issues, talk to people about what they can do, and tell those in power what they need to do. Whether your activism is reaching out to politicians, investing in green energy or businesses that support it, or raising awareness amongst the public, there are forms of environmental activism for people from any background and with all skill sets.

There’s no how-to guide on restoring our Earth, but we hope that these suggestions can be a starting point that helps you turn your knowledge into action.

This illustration by Celina Koops is part of CHASI’s ongoing series acknowledging some of the significant annual observances that align with our core values. To learn more and see the other illustrations in this series, please visit our observances page