Earth Day is this Thursday, April 22, the annual even to celebrate our shared planet. What began forty years ago by the American Senator Gaylord Nelson as a teaching mechanism on the imoprtance of environmental stewardship.

With Earth Day quickly approaching, we’ve complied a quick guide on where to go and what to do in Ottawa this Thursday (from Apt 613, full post here.)

The EnviroCentre is a non-profit organization that works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by delivering energy-efficient goods and services. The Center will host an Sustainable Transportation Fair from 11am to 2pm on April 22. Participants will learn about sustainable transportation options – including car sharing, cycling and even air travel – as well as workplace program. There will also be free refreshments as well as a chance to will $300 in VIA Rail travel, Shell gas for carpooling and a cycling package.

If you like a little shopping with your environmental activism, head on down to one of the two Ten Thousand Villages locations (1174 Bank Street and 371 Richmond Road) for their Earth Day Fundraiser for Ecology Ottawa. On Thursday April 22nd, the store will donate 10% of sales toEcology Ottawa. Volunteers from the City Hall lobby group will be on hand to discuss Ecology Ottawa’s work in making Ottawa the environmental capital of Canada.

On Saturday, April 24, Earth Day Ottawa and the Museum of Nature (240 McLeod St) are wrapping up Earth Week with a mini-Folk Fest. Ankle biters rule from 11am to 1pm with a kids concert featuring Keith Shackleton, Michel-André Vallières and No Name in Sight. From 1:30 to 4:00pm adults will be serenaded by the dulcet tones of local folk musicians Kate and Hollis, John Hanson, Kristine St. Pierre and Missy Burgess. Aside from the music, there will be free cookies, an awards show and an ecological kiosks exhibition.

The Ottawa Eco-Stewardship Fair, a celebration of  green living ideas, products & services, is also taking place this Saturday from 10am to 5pm at the RA Center (2451 Riverside Drive). The fair will feature over 100 local businesses, non-profit organisations and governments, all showcasing environmental and sustainable products and services. In addition, there will be a chance to sample some of the best in local wine and beer, while enjoying the unique and creative pieces by area eco-artists. New this year is a Bicycle Festival with bike safety and repair demonstrations. There’s also food involved:  local chef Jacqueline Jolliffe of the Red Apron will be giving a demonstration, while RA Centre Chef Darcy Ryman will be preparing a 100 Mile Lunch.

The Ottawa Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society is organizing a guided hike in the Forêt-la-Blanche Ecological Reserve. The reserve was established in 2003 to protect a great diversity of plant life representative of the Outaouais region.  The hike will last about 2 hours, and will be suitable for all ages and skill levels. Please bring all necessary gear (such as your camera!). There is a discounted admission fee, $4 per person, for all of those attending the CPAWS hike. To learn more about the Forêt-la-Blanche, click here.  If you are interested in carpooling, please email John McDonnell:

As a part of the Ottawa International Writer’s Festival, a discussion on Sustainable Capitalism/The Big Idea: Locavore. The topic is How Canadians Are Changing the Way We Eat with Sarah Elton, hosted at the Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street.  Tickets are $15 General admission or  $10 Students/seniors. (More information here.)

Foodies,100-milers, urbanites, farmers, gardeners and chefs across Canada are creating a new local food order that has the potential to fight climate change and feed us all. Sarah Elton, the food columnist for CBC Radio’s Here & Now, lays out a blueprint for a local food revolution. Join us for an insider’s look at the burgeoning local food movement taking place in Canadian cities, farms and shops that is changing both the way we eat and the way we think about food.

Know of any other Earth Day celebrations around Ottawa that shouldn’t be missed? Leave the details in the  comment or drop me a line (

Happy Earth Day!

-Jessie W.