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Earth Day: working together for change

Celebrated every April 22, Earth Day is the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide.

More than six million Canadians join billions of people in over 170 countries to stage events and projects to address local environmental issues. Nearly every school-aged child in Canada takes part in an Earth Day activity.

Environmental challenges abound as our daily actions pollute and degrade the fragile environment that humans and wildlife depend on to survive.

Earth Day Canadas campaign Give it up for Earth Day asks Canadians to make a commitment: I won't buy it, I won't watch TV, I won't use toxic cleaners, I won't eat meat. These small individual changes can add up to significant environmental benefits.

Similarly, the Earth Day Network that coordinates international Earth Day events and activities, asks individuals to post any and all "acts of green" that they choose to commit to.

At HSA, the union made a significant move this year to distribute our Annual Report in digital format. (Members wanting a paper copy can still request one.) This move will save many trees, the energy needed to process paper, and the fuel required for distribution. HSAs publications are always printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based ink.

We are located across from a SkyTrain station to encourage the use of public transit. And we have also made some small ... but significant ... changes to the way our office works: motion-sensor lights in the meeting rooms limit electrical use, and we offer filtered water instead of bottled.

What are you doing for Earth Day? How have you been working with your workplace team to reduce environmental impacts while maintaining safe, quality care?  Share your ideas at facebook.com/hsabc

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