Let’s get inspired for #EarthDay2015


On a blustery fall afternoon in my first year, I sat down in a large lecture hall for Environmental Studies 200. At the time, I had no idea that this one university course would lead me to pursue a career in the environment. With Earth Day approaching on April 22nd, I want to share a few things I have learned from my experience in working towards positive environmental change.

studentHow students can create positive change

When I hear about global issues, I often feel overwhelmed and powerless to tackle them but, along the way, I have met some amazing people who keep me inspired.

I want to work through two barriers that come from the publication, The Dragons of Inaction by Dr. Robert Gifford, a professor at UVic . I don’t have all the answers, but I hope to provide a few insights from my experience.

Barrier #1: We think we can’t make a difference.

Students can make a difference: The amazing thing is that students are in an incredibly unique position to make change. We can join student clubs, start our own club or participate in research. There are resources such as environment focused grants for students and many events on campus to support skill building and knowledge of environmental issues.

Barrier #2 Students are busy people! We have to juggle academics, friends, family and part time jobs. We want to contribute, but it’s hard to make the time.

How we contribute will be different for everyone: There are many ways to take action. I have peers who volunteer for ecological restoration initiatives, shop at local farmers markets, participate in protests, start their own gardens or do a bit of everything. I found that once I started getting involved and making changes in my life, actions like volunteering enriched my university experience, rather than detracting from it.

To learn more about Dr. Gifford’s work in environmental psychology, check out the Times Colonist article University of Victoria professor urges Earth Day action.

Call to Action for #EarthDay2015

I hope to provide a few ideas and inspiration to get you started. Consider this your #EarthDay2015 toolkit! Here are my top tips for inspiration and taking action. If anyone is interested in a more extensive post on actions, please comment below and I can definitely make that happen :).

1. Get inspired: Watch and share the Story of Solutions by the Story of Stuff Project.

2. Make change at home: Check out the Queen of Green, a sustainable lifestyle blog through the David Suzuki Foundation with great tips, recipes and ideas.

3. Volunteer on campus: Check out the list of environment focused clubs and hear from students about why they got involved at UVic:

What are your thoughts on Earth Day? What other ways can students get involved?

PS. I have an upcoming blog on Green Careers; stay tuned!

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8 Responses

  1. Lindsay says:

    This is so great, Miranda! A very important topic, and very timely too. I love how you’ve used concrete examples to show how change is possible.

  2. Dorothy says:

    Great post, Miranda! Do you know of any events happening in Victoria to celebrate Earth Day this week?

    • Miranda says:

      Thanks Dorothy! Great question – here’s some info on an awesome upcoming event this weekend:

      Creatively United is holding their annual festival Saturday April 25th and Sunday April 26th. The event includes food, live music, short films and documentaries, and art making. I’ve heard so many awesome things about this festival and I can’t wait to check it out this weekend :).


  3. Gillian Cornwall says:

    This is wonderful, Miranda. thank you for the post and your love of our Mother Earth! Wonderful drawings too. Perfect week for UVic’s own Mike Irvine to have done his Master’s in Education thesis defense in support of live, underwater ocean education from 20 feet down in the deep blue sea!

    • Miranda says:

      Hi Gillian! So glad you like the post and the drawings! Thank you for sharing Mike Irvine’s thesis. What an inspiration!

  4. Miranda Harvey says:

    This is awesome, Miranda (and “Hello!” to you, too). I would just like to add that another way students can take action is to VOTE VOTE VOTE! With a federal election coming soon, we have one of the greatest opportunities to shape our future on our doorstep. Let’s put that power into the hands of the younger generations who have the most to lose and the most to gain!

    • Miranda says:

      A fellow Miranda! Thanks for visiting my blog! 🙂

      Very well put! I agree 100%, voting is so important. This is a great addition to the actions we can take.

      Happy Earth Day!