How to Celebrate World Environment Day

World Environment Day is a yearly event held to raise global awareness of the need to take positive environmental action. Known as WED for short, it is run by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and is really a climax of environmental activities being undertaken all year round by UNEP and other organizations and individuals around the world. Being a part of the celebrations gives you an opportunity to share your ideas and activities for making our world cleaner, greener, and brighter.


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    Visit the World Environment Day website. Spend some time having a look around at the information provided there to see what's of most interest to you. The site is at: Some of the things you might be interested in doing through this site include:
    • Registering an activity that you, your school, business, or workplace, or your community group are doing for WED. The great thing about registering your activity is that you can inspire others who learn about what you're doing.
    • Read "Tree-a-Day" for 2011. This daily changing page about a tree will introduce you to different trees around the world and gives you details about the importance of the tree to us, the environment, and its surrounding habitat. You can also learn about "Forest Facts" under one of the tabs offered on the site.[1]
    • Take a moment to check out the latest news added to the site regularly.
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    Find out what the WED environmental theme is internationally for the year you're celebrating WED. For example, in 2011, it is the International Year of the Forest, hence a front page focus on forests and trees on the site. If the theme inspires you, consider planning your celebratory event around the theme. If you have another environmental theme that you're really into, that's okay too!
    • Also check out which country is the host country for WED for the year. For example, in 2011, India is the host country for WED. If you live in the host country, expect extra exciting activities to be planned!
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    Check out the activities that are already planned in your area, region, or country. You might like to join in what has been planned, or even help out if you're early enough to become a part of the volunteers for the event. Use the internet to search for WED events near you.
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    Consider holding your own WED event. If you don't mind a little planning and effort, why not hold your own event for WED? You could enthuse your neighborhood street, your friends, your local community, your school, a group of businesses, or the media to become involved too. Some ideas for your own event include:
    • Arts and crafts exhibitions with a WED theme/focus
    • A film festival focused on eco-issues
    • Ceremonies; you could even tie in celebrities offering awards to local members of the community who have done great environmental acts or who have inspired many to take positive environmental actions
    • Competitions – you could make lots of different eco-themed competitions, from painting competitions to online eco-poetry.
    • Concerts – this can be a cool way to get lots of people together in the spirit of WED
    • Demonstration activities
    • Drama and poetry
    • Environmental education and awareness-raising
    • Flash mobs
    • Information kits
    • Online and social media activities
    • Publicity and media coverage
    • Sports activities
    • Other ideas you think would work really well.
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    Make today that you choose to adopt an eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle. Do an inventory of your energy usage, your consuming habits, and your reliance on unsustainable products and make a list of ways you intend to curb your unsustainable activities and habits and replace them with sustainable ones. Set yourself a timeline to meet, with harder changes coming at the end of the timeline.
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    From today, start reading the labels of origin and manufacture of your goods. Are they certified as sustainable (for example, all forest products with the FSC logo are logged using sustainable forestry practices), are they organic (for example, organic cotton clothing causes much less environmental damage than conventional cotton-growing methods), are they sustainably obtained (such as with obtaining fish), are they locally made (less travel miles), are they Fair Trade (ethically produced), etc. There are lots of things a label can tell you if you choose to read it. Also, if you don't find what you're looking, email or post a message on Facebook to the company, retailer, or manufacturer responsible. Facebook is a great method because lots of other people will check out your question and be waiting for the answer!
    • Be aware of the fact that some labels and practices compete with others. That is part and parcel of being in a complicated human system. You need to make an informed choice, not simply argue that since one label cancels out another that the game's up and you simply can't be bothered trying; that's a total cop-out and changes nothing! For example, Fair Trade retailers know they have the conundrum of supplying far-shipped products but they are doing their best to ensure that the supply chain is fair, ethical, and as ecologically considerate as possible and they continue to rework their approaches to take new technology and possibilities into account. Don't shoot down the people who are trying to make improvements; instead, get involved and help them!
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    Take public transportation today. Make a choice to take it more often than you do already. On the other hand, if you already take it often, get your bike out for the weekend, or walk. Or, spend time gently persuading a car-lover of the benefits of catching the bus now and then!
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    Get involved in a conservation, restoration, or local eco-community project. Today is a great day to sign up and get involved with people who are doing rather than talking or reading.
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    Visit your garden space and plan what to do with it. Things you can do that will make the most of your garden include:
    • Compost your scraps. Use this compost to boost the garden's production.
    • Create a part of it that is edible, and plant seasonal crops. For those of you with merely a balcony or a tiny plot, you can still grow food such as a potato in a bag and small sprout gardens in your windowsill. Or join a community gardening project.
    • Grow herbs and spices that add flavor to your food, look beautiful in the garden and that also have medicinal, beauty, healing, spiritual, and other usages. Borrow a book from the library to learn more about herb and spice use.
    • Encourage beneficial and friendly wildlife to your garden through careful planting and shelter creation.
    • Learn to make your own garden sprays using items that are toxic to bugs and mildew but not to people and pets!
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    If you're not already into the refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, habit, choose today to slip into it and make it a part of your daily life. All that clutter has to go somewhere, so make a choice not to bring in into the house to begin with and if it has to leave, make good choices about where it's going to end up!
    • Think about borrowing, sharing, donating, time-sharing, etc., instead of buying for keeps. Or pass it on after you've read/used/watched/worn/enjoyed it.
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    Learn more. There are many activities you can do to live in harmony with the environment and to benefit it. The choice of how you go about this is really up to you, provided the end result is a lessening of your personal impact on the planet. Learning the ways in which you can make changes to your lifestyle, improve your home's energy efficiency, be more mindful of the resources you use personally, and demanding more of the products and services you use by telling retailers and manufacturers what you want in the way of greening their output are all important ways to be truly involved. And more than this, take time to help others to learn from you.

Things You'll Need

  • Learning materials
  • Activities to join in or nurture
  • Online research access

Sources and Citations

Article Info

Categories: Environmental Awareness | Holidays and Traditions