What is World Environment Day?
Every June 5th is World Environment Day. On this day, communities and individuals around the world work to increase awareness of the importance of conserving the environment, the positive global impact of environmental regulations and controls and engage in activities that serve to educate and improve their environment locally. It grew out of the efforts of leading environmentalists who recognized the need for there to be a coordinated global focus to begin to make conserving the environment and our natural resources a priority.
Similar to World Environment Day is Earth Day that is celebrated every year on the 22nd of April and Earth Hour that is celebrated every year on the last Saturday of the month of March from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. While Earth Day is an event that is celebrated every year on 22nd of April to gather support for protection of the environment, Earth hour is another event organized by WWF that encourages millions of people around the world to switch off their lights for one hour in order to show their commitment towards planet Earth.
Who Created World Environment Day?
The World Environment Day is a part of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) for creating awareness and action worldwide for the environment. UNEP is made up of elected committee members from various countries that work together to promote environmental issues through creating treaties and regulations for countries to sign that are based in environmental law, environmental health and environmental sustainability initiatives. The first World Environment Day was celebrated in 1973 and since then it has been hosted by a different city with a different theme. Today it is widely celebrated in more than 100 countries.
Environment Day is set aside not just as a public education effort, but it is also a way for conservationists and advocates for the environment to celebrate their hard work and successes over the year. It calls for action from people of different sections of the society to do something for the environment so that their collective efforts can have positive impact on the environment.
World Environment Day Activities
There are many different activities that you can do as a part of World Environment Day. Here are a few suggestions –
- Weed and fertilize public trees and gardens.
- Eat organic food. Make a meal that is made up of locally grown products.
- Collect trash in your community.
- Talk to your parents. Come out with a plan that could help you to save energy and reduce your monthly electricity bills.
- Plant a new plot in a community garden with different rows holding plants from different countries.
- Adopt a “sister” city or village and work with them to improve environmental health in both locations.
- Hold an educational forum about global environmental issues and invite in speakers.
- Write letters to the editor about World Environment Day and list areas of concern, and possible solutions, which can be addressed locally.
- Clean up litter on roads.
- Dispose hazardous waste like batteries, paint cans, old electronics in recycling centres as they could prove disastrous when disposed openly.
- Leave your car and drive bicycle.
- Learn how composting works. The organic waste that ends up in landfills can be a great source of nutrient for your plants that can help them grow and shine.
- Get out and into your local environment. Sponsor a walk or hike – studies have shown that the more people are involved in green spaces, the more green spaces and the environment become important to them.
- Start a “100 things” challenge group. This is the famous challenge to help you start living a minimalistic life style that allows you to fulfill the first of the three R’s in the waste hierarchy (reduce).
- Discuss with your friends and brainstorm ideas as to how can you reduce your carbon footprint and be environment friendly.
- Wear green clothes. Show to the world that you care for Mother Earth.
- Research more about the environment issues (air, water and land pollution) and come out with your own ideas to control them.
- Buy items made up from recycled products. Look out for recycle symbol on the packaged goods.
- Create beautiful handicrafts from recycled material and gift it to your friends or relatives.
- Make a commitment to yourself, like a New Years’ resolution, to do one thing differently to increase how you benefit the environment.
How do you get a World Environment Day started in your Community?
If there isn’t already an organized World Environment Day in your community it is easy to start one. The first place you should go is to your local community garden or farmer’s market; this is where you most likely will find supporters. From there you want to decide on what type of event that you want to use as your celebration of the day. Once you have the event in place, make sure you publicize it to your local media stations (including social media). Make sure that you –
- Have some educational material on hand to give out about the state of the world’s environment
- Be able to address problems and possible solutions for local environmental concerns
- Use electronic and digital methods for promotion as much as possible – don’t use paper flyers – that defeats the purpose of the day.
The best way to get connected with global groups and celebrations is to become a part of the United Nations Environmental Programs (UNEP). If you go to their website you find information about what they do and how to contact them to start creating a support group in your area.
Why is World Environment Day Important?
Without public awareness of the importance of the environment on a global scale, politics won’t pay attention to changing legislation to govern practices that may be hurting the environment. When you create a group for World Environment Day, you aren’t just making something for June 5th. This is a year round commitment to advocacy and action in your local area, and on a global scale to promote and encourage environmental responsibility and the conservation of natural resources. While the debate may still go on about alternate fuels and recycling, the fact remains that what we do have needs to be conserved and preserved to even allow us something to argue over.