Friday, April 15, 2011

Meet the Founder of Earth Day Canada

my husband...
Nigel Seale
Founder of Earth Day Canada

Yes, my husband was the founder of Earth Day Canada.  He even trademarked the name "Earth Day Canada" and the logo.

The first national Earth Day Canada occurred in 1990.  Nigel started organizing it in 1988 and it took 2 long years to make it happen.  About 3 million Canadians are estimated to have celebrated.  Nigel says, of all the Earth Day operations and events he has organized, it is of this one he is most proud.

You can read about Earth Day on Wikipedia.  Nigel has spoken to me about Denis Hayes (an Earth Day visionary) and meeting him.   It was Dennis who suggested to Nigel that he take over the Earth Day International events after 1990.  

Nigel was the global chairman of Earth Day in 1991 and 1992.

In 1990, there were 141 countries organizing to celebrate Earth Day.  It was the first global Earth Day to take place.  Within those countries were thousands of groups of people creating celebrations in their communities.

Travelling the World
After that, Nigel travelled around the world raising awareness, communicating with big businesses and corporations and helping small community organizations prepare for Earth Day celebrations.  By the time he left his position as chairman, the International Earth Day organization had brought Russia and China on board and the number of participating countries had grown to over 160!

One of my favorite stories
Nigel negotiated with McDonald's in the days when McDonald's still used styrofoam.  He convinced them to use 100% post-consumer recycled paper with vegetable dyes in their tray liners.  It was a huge accomplishment at the time.

At the time Nigel received criticism from some environmental organizations.  They accused him of  partnering with "the enemy".  Nigel says he wanted to connect with the uninitiated and that small steps were the way to make big changes.  I think he was brave and amazing!

Nigel was invited to the United Nations to meet with leaders there.  He also met celebrities, rock stars and many wealthy and influential business leaders.  He spoke to huge audiences, small audiences, children in schools, accepted a variety of service awards and gave TV and other media interviews. 

If you can imagine...
all of this was achieved in the days before email, skype or wide-spread computer/cell phone availability.  

It was organized in person, eyeball-to-eyeball, by fax, by telephone and old-fashioned snail mail.   Extraordinary networking!

As Earth Day approaches the conversation at our house turns to wonder and acknowledgment as I watch Nigel notice how truly global Earth Day has become in the last 20 years.

We notice that Earth Day has a growing importance.  We notice how it is used and acknowledged in business and advertizing, in our schools, in the way everyday people like you and I make choices about the way we will use the Earth's resources.   Earth Day has inspired musicians, artists and creators to celebrate.
"Make every day Earth Day!"(Nigel Seale)

Do you know many people who have literally made the world a better place...on a global scale?  I don't.  I've read about remarkable things people have done and seen shows on TV about remarkable things people have done.

Nigel is the only person I know personally who created a national and global event.  He had a hand in inspiring the world to celebrate itself!

Today at Make Me Musical it's an early celebration!  
Next Friday, April 22, is not only a religious holiday (Good Friday) it is Earth Day.  How do you celebrate Earth Day?

My blog post today and my "Love the Bugs" arrangement for children is my way of paying tribute to Nigel for literally making the world a better place.

Thanks, Nigel!

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