What is World Environment Day? (WED) was established by the UN General Assembly and is commemorated every year June 5th, and is part of the United Nations Environmental Program.
The day’s agenda is to:
- Give a human face to environmental issues;
- Empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development;
- Promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues;
- Advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.
The theme for WED 2009 is “ Your Planet Needs You-UNite to Combat Climate Change.” It reflects the urgency for nations to agree on a new deal at the crucial climate convention meeting in Copenhagen some 180 days later in the year, and the links with overcoming poverty and improved management of forests.
What can you do to celebrate and support?
1. Ban the Bag
The Greenhouse Neutral Foundation and its many friends and allies all around the world on Saturday September 26 2009 will call for the world to BAN THE BAG. Our vision will be that by the turn of the clock at midnight on December 31st 2010 they will be BANNED forever globally. The STOPlasticBags campaign will demand government action, Company and business commitment and consumer support to eradicate what has become a profligate plague of our current times. For more information on the campaign and to sign the global petition to STOPlasticBags please visit the Foundations web site blog page
2. Routine your Green
Make your WED commitment today. But don’t stop at today and don’t stop here. Try to incorporate all of these into your life as a matter of routine. Get others to do so the same. And get involved! AT HOME…
- It would seem to go without saying, but many of us forget that we can save water in simple ways like not letting the tap run while shaving, washing your face, or brushing your teeth.
- Insulating your water heater will help save valuable energy, and you can go the extra mile by installing showerheads with a low flow in your bathrooms for bathing purposes to help save water. You can also put a timer on your heaters to save power.
- Using an electric razor or hand razor with replaceable blades instead of disposable razors goes a long way to cutting back on waste. And plant a tree.
- Use towels for drying your face and hands instead of tissues that are used and thrown away. Also, hang your towels to dry so that they can be reused several times. You are after all clean when you use them!
- Juice or yogurt lovers can do their bit by buying juice in concentrates and yogurt in reusable containers instead of single serving packages.
A highlight of this year’s World Environment Day is the launch of the Climate Heroes which supports individuals who are undertaking exceptional personal feats, high-profile expeditions, and other acts of environmental activism to demonstrate their commitment and to raise awareness for one simple idea: Your planet needs You! Their projects focus on environmental “hot topics” like CO2 output, finding smart solutions to beat waste and tree planting.
UNEP collaborates with these Climate Heroes to help inspire and motivate people to unite to combat climate change. Through their acts, and the attention they generate, they give voice to individuals and organizations across the globe that care about the state of our planet and want to see real change and real commitment.
Ultimately, the Climate Heroes call on each of us to do what we can: from adopting the simplest habits like turning off running water when we are brushing our teeth, to organizing a public or workplace event for World Environment Day or taking a stand and participating in the Seal the Deal! on-line petition. And all of their missions invite participation from those of us who want to get involved and act more.
4. Learn your Environmental ABC’s
Adopt a ‘green’ way of life
Art made of recycled materials
Auctions to benefit an environmental project
Award presentations for environmental competitions
Broadcast of public service announcements (TV and Radio)
Buy a fuel-efficient car
Calculate your carbon footprint
Competitions (banner, drawing, essay, painting, poster, poetry)
Conferences on the environment
5. Keep up the good fight, and alter the eco!