Today, April 22, 2015, marks the 45th anniversary of Earth Day. More than one billion people in 192 countries now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.

At the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, we believe that every day is Earth Day and strive to make positive environmental impacts for both the land and sea with everything we do.

We’ve got a few things of our own to celebrate this year including the 10 year anniversary of our Ocean Wise™ sustainable seafood program with over 600 partner restaurants across Canada and counting.

Our Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup Program, presented by Loblaw Companies Limited, has helped to collect over one million kilograms of litter from Canadian shorelines over the past 21 years and we’re looking to make 2015 bigger and better than ever.

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup in partnership with WWF Canada has been keeping shorelines clean for over 20 years.

Day to day at the Aquarium we’re also working to help educate our guests and promote sustainability in a number of ways, some of which include: providing water bottle refill stations (22,000 water bottles filled and counting), supplying compostable packaging for our food products, eliminating plastic straws and lids, and using rainwater in our low flush toilets. Our Aquaquest building is LEED Gold certified, the first LEED Gold building for a zoo or aquarium anywhere in the world and we actively divert waste from the landfill through recycling and composting programs.

Green mangagement at the Vancouver Aquarium

Everything you find in our Cafe is recyclable or compostable.

To celebrate Earth Day we’ll be putting on a few extra green events, including a presentation by the Climateers for families at 12:15 p.m. in our Teck Engagement Gallery, information booths with staff from Ocean Wise and our Shoreline Cleanup Program, and our Café will be providing some special Earth Day snacks. The sea otters will also be joining in the Earth Day celebrations with special ice treats from our animal care team around 11:30 am this morning.

Sea otters at the Vancouver Aquarium

Sea Otter Elfin enjoying an Earth Day inspired ice treat.

If you haven’t already, you can sign up to take the Earth Day Every Day challenge on www.earthday2015.ca, to take actionable steps year round to make a difference for the planet. Looking to join in a community event? Sign up for a shoreline cleanup in your neighbourhood.

Whether you’re looking to reduce plastic consumption in your life or reduce your carbon footprint, small actions have a big impact on our planet. Let us know what actions you’re going to take this year towards a sustainable planet in the comments below!

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