World Environment Day is celebrated annually on 5 June and is the United Nations' principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment. First held in 1974, it has been a platform for raising awareness on environmental issue such as marine pollution, human overpopulation, global warming, sustainable consumption and wildlife crime. World Environment Day is a global platform for public outreach, with participation from over 143 countries annually. Each year, the program has provided a theme and forum for businesses, non government organizations, communities, governments and celebrities to advocate environmental causes. Each year there is a host country, this year that honour falls to Sweden. https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/
This year the theme is “Only One Earth” and this is the message from the UN:
Only one Earth
In the universe are billions of galaxies,
In our galaxy are billions of planets,
But there is #OnlyOneEarth.
Let’s take care of it.
Earth faces a triple planetary emergency:
The climate is heating up too quickly for people and nature to adapt;
Habitat loss and other pressures mean an estimated 1 million species are threatened with extinction;
Pollution continues to poison our air, land and water.The way out of this dilemma is to transform our economies and societies to make them inclusive, fair and more connected with nature. We must shift from harming the planet to healing it. The good news is the solutions and the technology exist and are increasingly affordable. #OnlyOneEarth calls for collective, transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet.
The UN have produced a practical guide on how to help, this can be found here: https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/get-involved/practical-guide the guide includes ideas on building sustainability into every level of society, be that Governments, businesses, public services or as individuals.
Bertling as a business is making major strides to becoming a more sustainable business and we’re encouraging our business partners and clients to join us in that effort. Alongside this, we, as individuals, can make some simple changes to our lifestyle to make a difference to the environment.
With the world’s population set to touch 9 billion by 2050, demand for food is rising rapidly, adding to the pressure on Earth’s natural resources. We can all help reduce the negative impacts with small changes in how we buy and consume food.
- BALANCE YOUR DIET – A balanced diet is one that provides energy and nutrients from several different food groups. Reduce foods that need more natural resources, especially water, to produce (meat uses more than plants or pulses), or fruits and vegetables that aren’t in season or are imported over long distances.
- USE ALL YOUR FOOD – Buy only the food you need an use it all up – if you toss it, you are throwing away your own money! Store food carefully to stop if from spoiling and compost any scraps and leftovers.
- GROW YOUR OWN – Growing your own food not only saves you money. It also reduces the transport, packaging and waste of food. Nurturing the plants in your yard or on your balcony can even improve your mental well-being.
Consumer choices are vital in shifting to a circular and sustainable economy. Buying products and services with a low environmental footprint – and only buying items that you really need and can share with others – boosts green businesses while shrinking polluters. It’s a way to invest in a better future.
- BEYOND BUYING – Think about what you really need and cut back the amount of stuff that you buy – and throw away. Choose items that are made to last and that can then be recycled or repurposed. Maybe you can find what you need second hand.
- CHOOSE NATURAL – Buy products that support ecosystems and local communities, such as sustainable wood.
- FASHION SLOW DOWN – Buy fewer and better clothes that you still like even when they show their age. Stay away from fast fashion that mass produces at the cost of the environment and labour standards in poorer countries.
- DITCH DISPOSABLES – Refuse everyday products that cannot be reused, such as plastic cups and cutlery, plastic and paper bags, batteries and sanitary products. There is nearly always a sustainable alternative! You could take the Clean Seas pledge to reduce your plastic footprint. https://www.cleanseas.org/take-action
Personal transport is a huge contributor to the climate crisis. Travel by cars that use petrol and diesel and by airplane are responsible for much of the transport sector’s greenhouse gas emissions, especially in high-income countries. And fossil fuel transport is a big source of the air pollutants that kill millions of people prematurely every year.
- KEEP ACTIVE – Do more walking or cycling 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.
- SHARE YOUR RIDE – If walking or cycling isn’t practical, opt for public and shared transport instead of driving. Hook up with family, friends and colleagues to share a ride – and the cost – of any car travel.
- DITCH THE FLIGHTS – Explore nearby holiday destinations, your local ecosystems or how far you can go by train, bus and bike.
- GO CLEANER – Swap to environmentally friendlier options like electric vehicles and cleaner fuels, and reduce your overall kilometre-count, for instance by limiting weekend trips to local areas. Holiday close to home and avoid air travel.
How we spend our free time hugely influences our impacts on the environment. Outings and vacations can involve long, polluting – and stressful – journeys. The facilities we use and the activities we take part in also have vastly different profiles in terms of the resources they consume. Put your energy into experiences that bring you into harmony with the planet.
- ENJOY THE JOURNEY – Staying local for outings and holidays can reduce your carbon footprint, save you money and allow you to travel more slowly, without the stress of long journeys. If you do go the distance, do it less often but stay longer.
- LEARN HOW TO HEAL NATURE – Spend time on organic farms or join an ecosystem restoration camp during your trip.
- STAY CURIOUS – Embrace a life of constant learning, adventure, and curiosity, and keep an open mind. There are many sustainable ways to live a good life, so find out what makes sense for you and put into action!
- CHOOSE EXPERIENCES – Consider spending more time and resources on experiences that add value to your life without leaving a heavy environmental footprint. It could be cultural events, team sports, a course to learn new skills, or volunteering for an ecosystem restoration initiative.
If you choose to adopt one of the suggestions above you can log your activity on the World Environment Day website, you can view some of the initiatives others have participated in to get some ideas. Please feel free to share what you’re doing with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.