The community of Okotoks is coming together today (April 22) to celebrate Earth Day!

Okotoks strives toward sustainability, and Earth Day is a great day to focus on how to keep our environment clean, and sustainable and how to solve pollution issues. The town has put together a day full of activities for families to take part in.

Environment and Sustainability Specialist with the Town, Jinny Tofflemire sees it as a great way for families to learn how to cut their individual carbon footprint. 

"We like to say every day is Earth Day in Okotoks, but we're going to kick it up a notch to actually celebrate Earth Day. So today at the Environmental Education Center, which is down at the town operations building, we are having a celebration."

This event also falls at the end of the week coinciding with their 'Nature Fridays' Program. Teaching residents about local initiatives, tips on connecting with nature, and the different ways you can make an impact on our community and, of course, the planet.

The event will include crafts starting at 10:15 a.m. Presentations on climate change on a local level as well as what's happened over the last couple hundred years. Questions and answer time with the town's Energy and Climate specialists as well as a special reading time with Mayor Thorn. 

If you can't make it to the event there are still plenty of things you can do to celebrate Earth Day in the Foothills, says Tofflemire

"There's lots of little things that we can do to just make the earth, you know, a little bit of a greener place. Maybe you want to take your bike to the grocery store and you know just little choices that we can make every day. Maybe pick up litter that’s in your yard or sign up for the community clean-up in a few weeks."

She also mentions even though today is earth day, people should not stop these habits tomorrow. Work them into everyday activities and habits. 

The Okotoks Community Cleanup is set for May 7th. Details can be found on the town's website.

Some other simple ways to celebrate Earth Day are:

-Buy only things you need, not things you want. Check second-hand stores!
-Use LED lights and weatherstrip windows and doors.
-For winter heating keep the thermostat set to 19 or 20 degrees Celcius, and in the summer to 24 or 25 degrees Celsius.
-Ride a bike or walk instead of driving.
-When driving, turn car off instead of idling, and make sure tires are at correct pressure.
-Buy local vegetables and fruit, eat only what is currently in season. Reduce meat consumption.
-Make homemade cleaners using vinegar, baking soda and water, or purchase natural cleaners.
-Wash clothes in cold water and hang to dry.
-Donate usable items instead of throwing them away.
-Dispose of batteries and electronics by dropping them off at hazardous waste depots or recyclers.