Charitable Choices: David Steele of Earthsave Canada

At the heart of EarthSave’s mission is the belief that small changes in personal habits can lead to significant positive impacts on the environment. The organization strives to create a supportive community where individuals can share knowledge, exchange ideas, and collectively work towards a greener and more compassionate lifestyle. We spoke to David Steele, Ph.D., retired molecular biologist from the Faculty of Medicine at UBC, and President and Executive Director of Earthsave Canada, to find out more about their mission.

Earthsave Canada

Describe your charity/non-profit/volunteer work in a few sentences.

Earthsave Canada advocates for a move to plant-based diets for the good of the environment, animals and our health. We produce educational materials, host online educational presentations, and present to schools and other institutions in person. We also publish a regular blog on our website, publish op-eds in newspapers and magazines across Canada (we’ll have one in Maclean’s Magazine later this spring), and attend events in Vancouver and Toronto, such as the Wellness Show, Planted Expo and the Outdoor Show. We publish regularly on social media; we use our Facebook page, e.g., as a running newsletter from which people can get daily updates of relevant articles and information from across the world. We have a large following there and reach ~400,000 people each month by
that avenue. We also ally with other organizations, notably the Plant-based Cities Movement and the Coalition for a Sustainable Food Transition, in working to increase the adoption of environmentally responsible diets in our country.

What problem does it aim to solve?

A large-scale move towards plant-based diets would take a significant bite out of global warming and dramatically reduce the rate of biodiversity loss on our planet. Animal agriculture is the primary driver of biodiversity loss on our planet. People can learn much about this from articles on our blog.

When did you start/join it?

Earthsave Canada was founded in 1989 and became incorporated as a registered charity in 1992. I personally became involved with Earthsave Canada in early 2004, joining the board of directors in June of that year.

What made you want to get involved?

I had a long interest in the environmental effects of our food choices and, once I discovered Earthsave Canada existed, quickly joined the organization.

What was the situation like when you started? How has it changed since?

When I joined Earthsave Canada, plant-based diets were not high on the public’s radar. That has changed much for the better in the intervening years.

What more needs to be done?

It is very important to educate the public about the outsized effects of their diets on our environment, on animals and even on our health. The word is getting out, but it is still difficult to reach people. Further, we need to work very hard to convince people of the importance of making dietary changes for the long-term viability of so much of our ecosphere.

How can our readers help?

People can volunteer with us, mostly to help us with events. Donations to help our organization would also be greatly appreciated.

Do you have any events coming up?

We will be at the Outdoor Show in early March, and Planted Expo, both in Vancouver and Toronto, later in the spring.

Where can we follow you?

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Mastodon

PAY IT FORWARD: What is an awesome local charity that you love?

One charity we particularly like here is the Vancouver Humane Society. They do great work.


About Emilea Semancik 124 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: