"What a wonderful world it would be if only we'd give it a chance," Louis Armstrong suggests in the spoken introduction to his 1970 release of "What a Wonderful World." It seems that singing about green trees and beautiful skies (in a world that doesn't always seem so rosy) earned "ol' Pops" some criticism from the glass-half-empty crowd. But as he points out to those who question the relevance of his message: "It ain't the world that’s so bad, but what we’re doin’ to it."
Armstrong's words express feelings that must have been in the air that year, when some 20 million people came together to raise awareness about environmental pollution on April 22, 1970: the first Earth Day. Since that time, this annual event has grown into the world's largest environmental celebration with one billion participants — including six million Canadians — according to Earth Day Canada.
So, for all you Canadians celebrating Earth Day this April 22, here's a list of jazzed-up tips and recommendations to help look after our wonderful world.
"Guess I'll Hang my Tears Out to Dry” featuring Diana Krall — Of all household appliances, the clothes dryer is second only to the refrigerator in energy consumption. Earth Day Canada suggests that “air drying can save $85 in energy costs per year and help reduce your impact on the environment.”
"Blues in my Shower" featuring Nat King Cole — Earth Day Canada estimates that “a typical five-minute shower uses 100 litres of water.” You can reduce that to about 35 litres by using a low-flow showerhead.
“All That Meat and No Potatoes?” featuring Fats Waller — Raising livestock for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy and water. Earth Day Canada recommends you try scaling back your meat consumption and try some of the many meat alternatives available.
“A Tree Thing” featuring Christine Jensen — A single tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in one year, which is “equal to the amount of car emissions produced if a car was driven 17,600 kilometres,” according to Earth Day Canada.
“You’re Driving Me Crazy” featuring Chet Baker — Earth Day Canada reports that in this country, drivers spend between five and 10 minutes idling in their cars every day. If you’re going to be stopped for more than 10 seconds, they recommend you turn off the ignition.
Do you have any tunes to add to our eco tips list? Please add them in the comments section.
Earth Day comes to Canada (CBC Digital Archives)
Serenading Earth Day: The most memorable pro-environment songs (CBC News)
J is for Jazz: A is for Armstrong (CBC Music)
on Apr 20, 2012