Although everyday should really be Earth Day, we celebrate it only once a year – on April 22 – and have been for the past 51 years. The theme of Earth Day 2021 is Restore our Earth and the focus is on finding climate change solutions are centred around and benefit those who are most disproportionately affected by climate change and environmental degradation. Don’t know why we need an Earth Day or who is disproportionately affected by Climate Change, then read on. Earth Day started in 1970 as a day for college teach ins which it was thought would mobilize student energy to address the growing awareness of the issues of the deteriorating environment and growing air and water pollution in the US. Twenty million Americans turned out for the first Earth Day to take part in events, protests and demonstrations lead by those concerned by the impact that industrialization and the deteriorating environment were having on human health. Not such humble beginnings for what is now thought to be the largest secular day of observance around the world. Earth Day went Global in 1990. The truth is I didn’t know that when I was among the many who attended the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro and the NGO Forum.  We had such hope then that the Earth Summit , the largest environmental conference ever held, attended by 172 countries, more than 100 heads of State and over 30,000 world citizens would lead to real and lasting change in our relationship to the planet, our use of resources, waste management and our notions of development. To be fair, the Earth Summit did lead to the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; Agenda 21; the Convention on Biological Diversity; and Principles of Forest Management which covered almost every aspect of sustainable development and required a host of nations to commit to becoming more sustainable. While many nations made commitments at the 92 Earth Summit, in the almost 30 years since then most have failed to properly implement the commitments they made in 1992 and the impact is felt most often on those that are the poorest and most marginalized around the world. Indigenous communities, black communities and communities of colour are often in some of the most polluted environment in the US and Canada and many parts of the world. Climate change is increasingly a threat to the health and well-being for everyone but we see  marginalized communities suffering under higher burdens of illness caused by increasing air, water and toxics pollution with higher rates of asthma, diabetes, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Now is the time to take action. Change can only happen if we all work together to build a better more sustainable future and restore our planet Earth for future generations. This year April 20-22 you can join leaders from around the world working to prevent further environmental destruction and promote sustainable development.  Tune in to Restore Our Earth 2021 at  Want to know what events are happening in your local area, find one at or you can rent a Beautiful Zen AirBnB in Bancroft and go help your dojo mates Ece and Ivan to build a sustainable home. The options are endless. Just do Something to Restore Our Earth! by Senpai M. Ann Phillips.