April 17, 2003, VANCOUVER - April 22 is Earth Day and The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) believes that while no one can do everything, everyone can do something to reduce their daily impact on animals and nature.


"Because at the rate we’re going, the only other alternative is to start packing our bags and begin looking for another planet after we’re done wrecking this one," says Al Hickey, HSC Western Regional Director. "Earth Day is all about taking meaningful action to save us from ourselves. We need plants, animals and nature. The world does not need six billion people, something we tend to forget," says Hickey.

Michael O’Sullivan, HSC Executive Director, agrees that little things, which may seem insignificant, add up to substantial accomplishments. "With more than 6 billion people in the world, small acts make a big difference," says O’Sullivan. "For example, there would be considerably less plastic pollution if more people started using fountain pens. Fountain pens generate little or no garbage, even the ink bottle is recyclable," says O’Sullivan. "Compare this to several billion people each using (and loosing) plastic, disposable pens and you get an idea of how a simple act can help the environment."

To encourage coffee drinkers to do their part in helping to preserve the environment, The Humane Society of Canada has made reusable hemp coffee filters available in their Online Adventure Store.

"These hemp filters can eliminate the need for the bleached, disposable, paper coffee filters," says O’Sullivan. These coffee filters cost only $5 and are available at the HSC Online Adventure Store or by calling, toll-free, 1-800-641-KIND (5463).

There are many other easy ways to make a significant contribution to the health of the planet.

Reducing your energy needs, organizing park and beach cleanups, planting native trees and shrubs are all easy ways to spend Earth Day.

"While Earth Day is an important reminder that we all need to do more to preserve the environment and make the Earth a healthier place to live, this special day needs to become a lifestyle that we maintain 365 days a year," says O’Sullivan.

To help people make Earth Day a part of their lives The Humane Society of Canada has put together a list of ideas:

20 Simple Ways to Help the Environment

  1. Clean up any garbage around your property.
  2. Organize a community clean up where garbage is safely collected and disposed of properly.
  3. Plant native trees, bushes, shrubs and flowers.
  4. Always practice the 3Rs - reduce, reuse, recycle.
  5. Use environmentally friendly, cruelty-free products. Hemp is a good eco-product used to make clothes, paper, food and many other products. Water and vinegar is a safe, effective all-purpose cleaner.
  6. Wildlife-proof your house (or cottage) so conflicts with wild animals are avoided.
  7. Stop using pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides and other harmful chemicals. There are lots of safe, humane, "green" alternatives.
  8. Reduce your use of electricity and other forms of energy, change your incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient flourescent ones.
  9. Reduce your water use.
  10. Plant an organic vegetable garden. Growing organic vegetables is good for your family and the environment. Conserve rainwater for use in your garden.
  11. Use scrap paper. Junk mail can be used for shopping lists, reminder notes etc.
  12. Donate to and/or volunteer with an organization that helps to protect animals and the environment.
  13. Allow part of your property to revert to a more natural state so that it can be enjoyed by wildlife.
  14. Encourage natural insect control, like bats and insect-eating birds, to your yard by putting up bat boxes and planting trees, bushes and flowers that attract birds.
  15. Choose products that are the least harmful to the environment and which contain the least amount of packaging. For example, switch to organic coffee that has been harvested and roasted in an environmentally friendly manner.
  16. When possible, walk, jog or bicycle instead of driving. Consider public transportation or car-pooling as an alternative to driving alone.
  17. Write your political representatives about environmental issues (i.e. global warming) and encourage others to do the same.
  18. Provide your children with quality books about nature and inform your children’s teachers about these books and other similar reference materials in case they want to include them in class discussions.
  19. Use stores that sell environmentally friendly, cruelty-free products and avoid those that don’t - and inform the stores’ managers of your conscientious decision.
  20. If you go on vacation try to support countries which promote ecotourism and make sure that you participate in activities that have little impact on the environment.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our educational campaigns that protect animals and the environment please make a donation here. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty and violence, we don’t give up. Ever.