Earth Day 2020

Friday, April 24, 2020 - By: Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20 - Writing from Duncan, BC

As Captain of the Brentwood Environmental Action Team (BEAT), I have been anticipating and planning for Brentwood’s Earth Week for months. In just one week, centered around Earth Day, we had planned to hold our annual “Pizza on Patel” energy saving contest, organize local clean ups, host guest speakers, run fun events including hikes, bonfires, and prep in the park, have a planting event in the school garden, take pledges, show movies, and enjoy 100 km dinners. Needless to say, none of these plans were able to take place as planned. But an empty campus and strictly virtual connection has not stopped Brentwood, nor could it diminish Earth Day.

Our Brentwood community has been celebrating Earth Week in their own ways, with staff members and students alike partaking in activities to protect and celebrate the environment. From going for hikes and bike rides in the forest with their families, to planting vegetables and flowers, to picking up garbage like Brenna LK, Alex ‘21 in the photo above, the inability to be on campus during this time simply spread Brentwood’s Earth Week initiatives all over the globe.

Monday kicked off the first day of our modified Earth Week, and was focused on education about environmental calls to action on the West Coast of BC that aim to protect the ocean and forests that Brentwood is lucky enough to be situated by. Through videos created by various conservation groups, the BEAT encouraged the Brentwood community to learn about harmful herring fisheries, regenerative agriculture practices, the proposed logging of the last stands of Western Red Cedar forests on Vancouver Island, the continuous issue of abandoned commercial fishing gear along the coast, and the threat of entanglement that it poses to whales and other sea life.

Tuesday offered Brentwood the opportunity to take action virtually on some of the issues illuminated on Monday, by signing online petitions and sending emails to local members of parliament.

Wednesday April 22nd was the date of the 50th annual international Earth Day. The theme of Earth Day 2020 was Climate Action, and the Earth Day Organization hosted many events throughout the day. These included “24 Hours of Action” where a new action item was introduced every hour, and Earth Day Live, a continuous live stream featuring influential artists, scientists and speakers, all dedicated to the same cause: protecting this beautiful planet we call home. To learn more about the events on Earth Day, visit www.earthday.org.

At Brentwood, we held a special BEAT meeting, featuring a special guest speaker, Brentwood alumna Katie Lin. She works as a multimedia content producer, focusing on social justice and environmental conservation. She has worked for organizations documenting human rights and conservation stories all over the world, including in Malawi, India, Peru, and Canada. After working as a passionate journalist documenting social justice campaigns, she shifted her focus to environmental conservation, and began working with Greenpeace Canada. Currently, she is the Deputy Director and a story lead at Sealegacy, an ocean conservation organization that brings some of the world’s leading content creators and storytellers together to tell the untold stories of our oceans.

On Earth Day, Katie generously gave some of her time to talk to the BEAT about her journey in environmental conservation, and concluded by encouraging us all to use “Whatever skills you have, it doesn't really matter, use them, because healthy oceans and abundant ecosystems benefit us all”.  So as the sun sets on Earth Day 2020, I encourage everyone to reflect on how your choices and actions impact this Earth, and, most importantly, take a moment to appreciate the planet that we all call home. Happy Earth Day everyone!

Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20



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