On Thursday June 5, the United Nations Environment Programme and other partner organizations will observe World Environment Day (WED), to encourage worldwide awareness and action for the environment. For WED 2014, in support of the UN designation of 2014 as the International Year of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), WED will adopt SIDS in the broader context of climate change as its theme for the event.
WED 2014 is being globally hosted by Barbados, a small Caribbean island leading the way in solar energy.
What is World Environment Day?
Over the years WED has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet.
Objectives of World Environment Day 2014
This year WED will help build momentum towards the Third International Conference on SIDS in September and encourage a greater understanding of the importance of SIDS and of the urgency to help protect the islands in the face of growing risks and vulnerabilities, particularly as a result of climate change. WED will be an excellent opportunity to raise a call for solidarity with the islands.
4 ways to do your part for the WED campaign:
– Power down: The global climate is changing. Carbon dioxide accounts for 85% of the increase in the Earth’s temperature in the past ten years. It is the single most prevalent and destructive greenhouse gas emitted by human activity. When you save energy—by switching to compact fluorescents, biking or walking, going hybrid or carpooling, you reduce fossil fuels — coal, oil and gas– the greatest source of human carbon dioxide output.
– Reduce your FOODprint: We throw away over 1/3 of all food that is produced — wasting precious land and water resources that have gone into its production. Food waste in landfills is one of the biggest contributors of the harmful gases that cause global warming. Reduce your FOODprint by managing your meals smartly, storing food, using leftovers, buying imperfect vegetables and encouraging supermarkets and restaurants to cut their food waste.
– Come together as communities: As businesses, organizations, schools and individuals we can connect our resources and skills to our passion for a more sustainable, resource efficient way of living. We can do it by being more informed and by doing business with companies that have demonstrated their commitment to these issues. We can plant more trees, grow more kitchen gardens.
– Purge plastics: It takes one minute to throw out a plastic bag you’ve used once. It takes less than that to down a bottle of water. They then end up in the garbage or the ocean where they live FOREVER– adding to landfills and killing marine life. So stock up on reusable bags on your shopping trips to the supermarket or high street and find alternative water sources to avoid plastic bottles. If you have to use plastic, make sure you reuse or recycle!