During Earth Week (April 19 to 24), we celebrated the national launch of our book club by helping Canadians start book swaps from coast to coast. Our book club encourages people to gather in their communities and online to discuss important sustainability issues.

Photo: Engaging with the public

(Credit: Linda Mackie)

The Foundation works to increase public awareness and remove barriers that prevent people from keeping our planet healthy. By developing resources that enable individuals to make sustainable changes in their lives, workplaces, and communities, we are helping create a "new normal" for Canada — where sustainability is the way we live rather than an issue just for industry or government. These tools are designed for varying levels of engagement, from simple daily lifestyle tips to leadership opportunities in communities across Canada.

Foundation helps employees go green at work

According to recent studies, sustainability in the workplace has now entered the mainstream. By providing online and offline tools and resources, the David Suzuki at Work project is playing a leading role in helping employees become green champions at the office. More than 5,000 people have downloaded the David Suzuki at Work toolkit for their workplaces. Using an interactive, online tracking tool designed by Good Energy, we connected with more than 600 people to improve their sustainable practices in the workplace. Meanwhile, we developed a workplace sustainability program in partnership with the Co-operators that has engaged 7,000 Co-operators employees and agents across Canada.

In the spring, we also helped launch local events called Green Cafés that help connect employees from different companies who want to go green at work. They are organized by David Suzuki Ambassadors — volunteers who facilitate office sustainability workshops that help businesses reduce energy consumption, trim waste, travel smarter, and build their bottom line in the process. Green Café participants have included employees from Walmart, Ernst & Young, Electronic Arts, TD Bank, SAP, Deloitte & Touche, Bullfrog Power, and Soya World.

Queen of Green shares tips on everyday sustainable living

Helping Canadians go green in their kitchens and living rooms means connecting to their personal values. David Suzuki's Queen of Green — also known as Lindsay Coulter — uses her expertise and easy-to-understand tips to help Canadians take steps towards a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. Voted one of Canadian Living's best 25 blogs of the year, the Queen of Green blog offers practical advice on making smart energy choices, using efficient transportation, building Earth-friendly infrastructure, and being mindful of the products, food, and water we use.

The Queen of Green has also developed resources that help connect public audiences to our science work. Her wallet-sized shopper's guide lists a "dirty dozen" chemicals to avoid when shopping for cosmetics, while the eco-label guide helps people decode the labels and claims found on everyday products. She also helped develop B.C.'s Sustainability at Home toolkit — a one-stop resource for sustainable decision-making in the home.

Thousands contribute to Playlist for the Planet

David Suzuki was right when he said an anthem can help bring public support for the environment to its rightful place. With support from CBC Radio 3, the Playlist for the Planet song contest had more than 600 submissions from artists across the country. And more than 10,000 people cast a ballot to choose their favourites for Canada's first collection of eco-anthems, which will be released by Universal Music in 2011. Eleven finalists were chosen, one from each province and one from the territories.

"The ability songs have to rally emotions and actions is nothing short of extraordinary," David Suzuki says.

The revolution is happening online

Throughout its history, the Foundation has invited a range of public audiences to participate in our work. As technology has evolved, hundreds of supporters have become thousands through our online community. We now have websites and social media platforms in both French and English. In just one year, the Foundation's number of Facebook fans more than doubled to nearly 100,000. We also had more than 18,000 tweets on our Twitter feed this year — a 60 per cent increase over the previous year.

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