As the human population continues to grow worldwide, our impact on the environment becomes greater and more pressing. World Environment Day, celebrated annually on June 5th, is an opportunity to come together and honour our planet and its natural resources. This day of action serves as a reminder that we all have a responsibility to protect the environment and make sure it remains healthy and intact for future generations. From small everyday changes to more involved activities, here are some ways you can celebrate World Environment Day.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reducing our consumption of single-use items can help minimise the amount of waste we produce and cut down its impact on the environment. When possible, reuse items such as jars or containers for storage or crafting projects at home. For items that you need to discard, recycle whenever possible. As far as our wardrobes are concerned, buying second hand or vintage clothes is a great way to reuse fabric and also means that less energy gets used on running clothes factories.
Be Organic and Sustainable
More and more foods, cleaning products, cosmetics and even clothes have organic varieties these days which can be purchased at supermarkets and High Street shops as well as from specialised shops online or locally. Of course, thinking locally but shopping locally is the most environmentally friendly option because it can cut down on delivery costs and is a great way to support individuals, families and groups in your local community. Remember, you can also grow your own organic vegetables in your back garden or even in plant pots on your balcony and save money on your weekly shop.
Read your Labels
Many people are used to reading labels on packaged foods to look at calories, fat content, sugar and other health-related data. Knowing where food products were sourced and whether they contain organic ingredients can also be useful, and foods such as chocolate, bananas and coffee often come in fair trade varieties. This means that the products were sourced or purchased from a place with fair conditions for workers, no human slavery and often from sustainable cooperatives.
Buy Planet-Friendly clothing
Also, when buying new clothes, looking at the labels before deciding what to purchase can guide you in making responsible informed planet-friendly decisions as a consumer. Buying basic long-lasting good quality clothing made from organic cotton, grown and managed sustainably not only supports green development and sustainability but can also make a huge difference to how your skin looks and feels. Adults and children with skin problems such as psoriasis, allergies or just plain old sensitive skin can really benefit from wearing organic cotton clothing.
Organic cotton also has a smaller environmental footprint than traditional cotton. The production of organic cotton uses fewer chemicals and less water, and it results in less soil erosion and air pollution. Additionally, organic cotton is harvested without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or other synthetic pesticides, which can have harmful effects on the environment and the human body. Adults and children with skin problems such as psoriasis, allergies or just plain old sensitive skin can really benefit from wearing organic cotton clothing.
Plant a Tree
Planting a tree is one of the most obvious things you can do to help the environment and it can also be a fun activity to do with friends or family to get out in the open air. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce oxygen, which helps to reduce air pollution. They also provide habitats for birds and other animals, protect watersheds, give shade, reduce soil erosion, and add beauty and shade to our landscapes.
Conserving and not wasting water is essential for preserving our planet's resources and protecting ecosystems. Taking shorter showers, turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, and investing in water-efficient appliances can help to reduce you and your family's daily water consumption. If you are able, consider installing a rainwater tank in your back yard or garden to collect and store rainwater for outdoor use.
Organise a Clean Up
Pick up litter from your local park or beach to help protect wildlife and prevent pollutants from entering our water systems and get some exercise at the same time. You could also organise a larger-scale clean-up with friends and family, or join an existing clean-up initiative. Some people like to link with a charitable cause to raise money by doing a sponsored rubbish pick-up and if you live near a beach you could pick up cigarette butts or rubbish that could harm fish or animals, or even snorkel or scuba dive to collect plastic and cans from the sea.
World Environment Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness in a fun way about environmental issues and encourage others to take action however big or small. Use social media to share facts and data, or start a conversation with friends and family about the importance of protecting our planet. You could also organise a clothes or book swap or a charity bring and buy sale at a school, workplace or in your street.
Support Sustainable Businesses
Whenever possible, support sustainable businesses that are committed to reducing their environmental impact. This may mean choosing companies that use renewable energy sources such as solar or wind, eliminate plastic packaging, or those who implement eco-friendly practices in the production of their products. Choosing where you buy your clothes and selecting natural fabrics such as organic cotton, produced using fair trade processes and conditions may seem like a small change but if everybody just started buying a few fair trade garments or articles a year the postie impact would be huge.
Do not Smoke
Smoking is not only bad for your lungs, heart and your health in general but the tobacco industry also encompasses many environmentally unfriendly aspects. From possible slave-labour on the fields and in factories to wasting water, plastic packaging and pollution.......cigarettes and cigars are definitely not environmentally friendly, so why not give up smoking or help someone you know give up for World Environment Day?
Take the time to learn more about environmental issues and how they affect us. Research innovative solutions and ways to reduce our impact on the environment at home, work and locally. There are plenty of resources available online that can really help you stay informed about climate change and other environmental topics.....and remember, even just a little change can make a surprising difference. No matter how you choose to celebrate World Environment Day, every action counts in protecting our planet for future generations.