Our 350.org team just got this great update from some friends up in Vancouver. Check out what they're planning for Earth Day and start thinking about how you can use this year's event to jumpstart the movement for climate justice in your community.

We are lucky. We go to a high school in Vancouver, Canada that has adopted strategies for zero waste and we have our very own community garden that we are really proud of.

But many people around the world, young and old, are not so lucky. Already more people live in refugee camps in Pakistan alone as live in our province of British Columbia. Millions of people worldwide are being driven from their homes because of climate change. In fact Save the Children says climate change is the biggest threat facing the world's children today!

In Vancouver we participated in the International Day for Climate Action in 2010 and we have held conferences on climate change and the tar sands the last two years. We are sick of waiting for our political leaders to do the right thing, so we have now formed a group called Youth For Climate Justice Now (Y4CJN) and we are hosting a big Earth Day parade this Friday, April 22 in our home town.

This will be the biggest youth-led Earth Day event Vancouver has ever seen! We feel the need to recapture the roots of Earth Day, and demonstrate that the youth of today want change now. We plan to empower youth and inspire our peers, while reaching out to our families and the wider community. This event will demonstrate the urgency that is needed with climate change and climate justice, and it will also be loads of fun — full of entertainment, stilt walkers, jugglers, cool costumes, and other cool, funky stuff!

We are bringing back the spirit of 1970 when Earth Day started, we are focused on action.

We are recycling the two-finger peace sign as the symbol for our event to talk about living in peace with the earth. Also we want people to think about the importance of not letting the earth heat up by 2 degrees Celsius. We want to draw attention to two things we can do in BC to help stop the planet from running a dangerous fever. Just like when you get sick and a fever throws your whole system out of whack that is already what is starting to happen on our sick planet.This has been an effective way to talk about climate change which can be a difficult topic to understand.

We have a petition focusing on two things people can do to help reduce our dependance on oil because really it's that addiction that is making the planet sick. We want to reduce supply by banning tar sands crude oil tankers from our coast, and we want to reduce demand by shifting from building highways to expanding public transit and passenger rail in our region and around the world.

On Earth Day in Vancouver we are inviting people to imagine what the world would be like if things did change for the better. We hope to create a legacy by making this event an annual celebration of hope, inspiration, empowerment and awareness. If you live in the metro Vancouver area come out on Friday, April 22, 2011, beginning 11a.m. at Commercial-Broadway Skytrain Station, with the festival running until 3p.m. at Britannia field. Join us in the festivities!

No matter where you live on the planet, we are all in this together. We hope you have a great Earth Day celebration in your home town and if you want to check out our event you can watch a video live stream at http://EarthDayParade.ca.
 

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