British Columbia

Earth Day parade marches through East Vancouver

The Earth Day event held in Vancouver was organized by students from Windermere Secondary School.

'We need more action to tackle climate change' says Grade 10 participant

Earth Day parade on Commercial Drive in Vancouver on Saturday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Youth were front and centre during the Earth Day Parade and Festival in Vancouver on Saturday.

Earth Day falls on Monday, but the proceeding weekend is filled with events that draw attention to environmental stewardship.

Beginning at Commercial Drive and Broadway, the large, sign-waving crowd snaked north to Grandview Park. The message from participants: not enough is being done to fight climate change.

This year's Earth Day parade was the ninth to be held on Commercial Drive. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

"This is a way to demonstrate how we love our Earth so much and how we need more action to tackle climate change ... to save our environment," said Matthew Huang, a Grade 10 student at Windermere Secondary School.

Saturday's parade marks the ninth year Windermere's Youth for Climate Justice Now organization has held the event. Huang said he and his fellow students were instrumental in setting up this year's festivities.

An Earth Day parade marcher dressed as a jellyfish. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

"As youth, people view us as lazy. But ... we do not just want to sit down and watch our planet fade away in front of our eyes," said Huang.

Huang said he's been inspired by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has been described as a role model for student activism.

"She's encouraging youth to stand up ... She's encouraging us to do it too."

Marchers at the Vancouver parade said they were inspired by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish student and climate activist. She is shown here at protesting in Germany. (Michael Kappeler/The Associated Press)

Windermere student Kimberly Chan, 15, another event organizer, stressed that individuals can fight climate change on personal levels.

"Creating less carbon emissions and eating less red meat will also help in a big way," said Chan.

Julia Paler, 17, attends Sullivan Heights Secondary in Surrey, and came to Vancouver to participate.

"We heard what Windermere was doing, and we wanted to go give our support to them," said Paler, holding a sign which reads "What I Stand 4 Is What I Stand On."

With files from Cory Correia