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EDITORIAL: Doing our part south of the Fraser
Earth Day, now in its 44th year, has once again arrived. April 22 marks a worldwide effort that encourages us all to be kinder and gentler to Mother Earth.
According to earthday.org, more than a billion people in 190 countries will engage in some kind of environmentally friendly action today – whether it be cleaning up the community, planting a tree, or lobbying for change at the political level.
The theme for Earth Day 2014 is Green Cities, and the website has this to say: “With smart investments in sustainable technology, forward-thinking public policy and an educated and active public, we can transform our cities and forge a sustainable future.”
We think the City of Surrey hits the target.
City policies that dictate new development must incorporate “green” design and/or technology has resulted in Surrey being lauded for its environmentally sustainable projects. These include: a new biofuel facility that will turn food waste into fuel for the city’s fleet of garbage trucks; District Energy systems that use thermal energy from the ground to provide heating and cooling for neighbourhoods; and electric car charging stations that make Surrey a part of the “green highway” which stretches along the West Coast from Washington State to California.
As for an educated and active public, Surrey ticks that box as well.
Citizens are vocal about protecting the natural beauty of Surrey, and passionately speak out against tree clearcuts, destruction of wildlife habitat, pollution, and any development proposal that does not consider and implement sound ecological practices.
And our youth are arguably among the most environmentally aware on the planet, donating countless volunteer hours to everything from local stream stewardship programs to global climate change awareness.
Could there be improvements? Of course. But on the whole, Surrey is a city that’s leading the way in the country when it comes to green policies and projects.
In short, it’s clear we care deeply about the health of our air, land and water, and aspire to set the standard for others to emulate.
Happy Earth Day, Surrey. Thanks for the admirable efforts.