Held annually on June 5th since 1973, World Environment Day is the United Nations designated day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. This year, the 2022 World Environment Day campaign #OnlyOneEarth calls for collective, transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet. Although, you might be wondering, what is World Environment Day doing to encourage transformative action and what you can do on an individual level to help our planet?
Raising Awareness Through Action
We are facing an environmental emergency with respect to the fact that the climate is heating up too quickly for people and nature to adapt, habitat loss means that species are threatened with extinction, and pollution continues to poison our ecosystems. To help contribute to the protection of the environment, check out five ways you can make a difference through action in honor of World Environment Day.
1. Buy Deforestation-Free Products
Ask your supermarket or department store to carry deforestation-free products. Deforestation is a primary source of greenhouse gases. Let them know that you want to purchase products that don’t contribute to deforestation, whether you’re shopping for food or furniture. The world needs to work together to focus on ecosystem restoration and sustainable development, which means replanting and reducing the pressure on forests so that trees re-grow naturally.
2. Avoid Single-Use Plastics
This includes items such as water bottles, shampoo bottles, milk bottles, freezer bags, ice cream containers, bags, trays, containers, food packaging film, potato chip bags, microwave dishes, ice cream tubs, bottle caps, single-use face masks, protective packaging, and hot drink cups. Of the seven billion tons of plastic waste generated globally so far, less than 10 per cent has been recycled. Encourage worldwide awareness of the harm that microplastics cause to our natural aquatic resources, to our soil, and to our atmosphere.
3. Stay Active by Walking or Biking
Do more walking or biking to cut vehicle pollution and road congestion while getting some fresh air and boosting your fitness. The more people use cycle lanes and sidewalks, the more governments will need to re-design infrastructure to focus less on cars. We’ll rely less on fossil fuels, which contribute to global warming.
4. Explore Nearby Destinations
Rethink your summer vacation. Do you need to take a flight for vacation to enjoy some downtime? Consider lowering your carbon footprint by exploring nearby holiday destinations or finding fishing spots close to home.
5. Use Efficient Heating and Cooling
Use efficient heating and cooling systems to save the planet and reduce the cost with lower bills. Changing your daily habits can also make a big difference, so turn the thermostat up or down a degree and ditch or add a layer of clothing.
Since you have the answer to the question, “What is World Environment Day?” and know about some of the dangers that our ecosystems face, now is the time to take action for the protection of our planet.