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BOMA NEWS - MONDAY APRIL 22nd, 2024

Earth Day 2024 - Planet vs Plastic

By: Jaiden Padda

From swapping out plastic for paper straws to embracing reusable checkout bags, Canadians are diving headfirst into eco-friendly alternatives. With this year’s Earth Day theme shining a spotlight on our plastic consumption, it’s all about celebrating the positive steps we’re taking to protect our planet and create a greener, cleaner future! Every April 22nd, Earth Day marks a global call to action for preserving and sustaining our planet for generations to come. Earth Day originated in the United States in 1970, sparked by growing concerns about pollution, environmental degradation, and the impacts of industrialization on the natural world. Regardless of one’s stance on sustainability, this day unites people of all backgrounds in a collective effort to protect our shared environment.

The 2024 Earth Day campaign theme, ‘Planet vs Plastics,’ starkly contrasts global plastic production with recycling rates. Canada’s Single-Use Plastics Prohibition Regulations (SUPPR) are pivotal in the nation’s push to combat pollution, aiming for zero plastic waste by 2030 while curbing greenhouse gas emissions. These regulations signify a proactive step towards fostering sustainable practices and safeguarding the environment for future generations. As plastics suffocate our oceans and invade even the most remote corners of our planet, this year’s Earth Day focus on combating this threat couldn’t be more urgent. Single use plastic regulations not only demonstrate Canada’s determination to address plastic pollution but also inspire global action to tackle this pressing environmental crisis. To reduce plastic consumption on an individual level, people can opt for reusable alternatives such as water bottles, bags, and containers, and support businesses that prioritize eco-friendly packaging. By rallying behind initiatives like these, we can pave the way for a cleaner, healthier planet for all.

While organizations often engage in Earth Day events every April, their dedication to environmental responsibility should transcend a single day. By adopting year-round sustainable practices—such as energy conservation and waste reduction—they can authentically uphold the values they promote and inspire lasting change. Utilizing sustainable and smart building certifications, available through programs like BOMA BEST, enables them to integrate energy-efficient design, sustainable materials, and eco-friendly technologies into their buildings. Beyond Earth Day, these certifications provide organizations with long-term benefits, including reduced operating costs, enhanced property value, and improved occupant health and well-being. Additionally, they offer frameworks for continual monitoring and improvement, ensuring sustained environmental impact reduction throughout the building’s lifecycle. By investing in green building certifications, organizations not only demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship but also position themselves for success in the evolving landscape of sustainable business practices.

In the face of escalating plastic pollution, Earth Day serves as a powerful reminder of our collective responsibility to protect and preserve our planet. By implementing sustainable practices, supporting legislation like SUPPR, and making conscious choices in our daily lives, we hold the power to turn the tide against plastic waste. Together, let’s commit to a future where our planet thrives, free from the chokehold of plastic pollution, for generations to come.