Awareness Days

What in the World is World Environment Day?

Celebrate World Environment Day on June 05!

A Little History

World Environment Day was first established by the United Nations in 1972. It was created on the first day of the Stockholm Conference which is an international conference designed to encourage understanding of the human environment. The purpose of the conference was to determine proper guidelines for governments and organizations in regards to environmental sustainability.

This conference also led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme which determined the immediate action needed to gather global efforts that would promote sustainability and safeguard natural environments. Two years later, in 1974 the first World Environmental Day was held. The very first theme was “Only One Earth”. The celebrations have been held annually since 1974, but in 1987 the idea for rotating the hosting countries of these activities began.

World Environment Day

The Past Five Years

Over the last 5 years, there has been a significant increase in awareness of this day. More companies, councils, and communities are getting involved and doing what they can to clean up and maintain our environment. Below are the last 5 years themes and accomplishments

2015 – The theme this year was “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care”.  Italy was the host country. In Saudi Arabia 15 women recycled 2000 plastic bags to crochet a mural in support of the WED 2015. In India, Kadamb sapling was planted to raise awareness for the Environment.

World Environment Day 2016

2016 – The theme this year was “Go wild for life”. Angola was the host country. This year hundreds of thousands of seminars and global partnering happened in an effort to stop illegal wildlife trading.

2017 –  This year’s theme was “Connecting People to Nature – in the city and on the land, from the poles to the equator”. Canada was the host country. This year, people were encouraged to go out and connect with nature on a deeper level. Forest walks, hikes, gatherings at provincial parks were done to bring awareness to the human connection.

World Environment Day 2018

2018 – This year’s theme was “Beat Plastic Pollution”. The host nation was India. To promote sustainable products, India put into place a plan to eliminate all single-use plastic items by 2022.

2019 – This year’s theme was “Beat Air pollution”. The host country was China. This theme was chosen as it claims approximately 7 million lives annually. Miss Earth 2018 delivered her speech during World Environment Day with the theme “How to fight global warming”

2020 – This year’s theme is “Celebrate Biodiversity” and will be hosted in Columbia partnered with Germany. Columbia holds approximately 10% of the world’s biodiversity.

World Environment Day 2020

Spirited Soul has PDF printable awareness posters for World Environment Day and Biodiversity. Post them in your workspace, community centers, or share them on social media platforms to raise awareness!

What Is Biodiversity?

The Wikipedia definition of biodiversity is “the variability among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part.” In other words, it is the variety of life that is found on earth, and the communities each inhabit. More so, it’s the relationship between each individual community. Everything from plants, fungus to animals, and aquatic creatures.

This was the chosen theme due to the astounding amount of species going into extinction. The number is now over 1 million. Biodiversity is extremely important in order to boost ecosystems making them cleaner, more prosperous and capable of sustaining multiple species.

Biodiversity is a good indication of the state of an ecosystem. Clean ecosystems do important work for us such as giving clean air, providing good soil, and regulating the surrounding climate. A lack of biodiversity results in vulnerability to disease and pests, invasive species, and climate change.

Ways To Conserve Biodiversity

  1. Awareness – Humans can affect biodiversity by destroying habitats due to misusing land and polluting ecosystems. If we can educate each other on preserving biodiversity the human population will be able to sustain life on earth for much longer
  2. Government Legislation – Look to our political leaders to change legislation so there are policies in place to maintain the ecological integrity of the ecosystems species and genetic diversity, gain more wilderness preservation, and fund more scientific research.
  3. Habitat Restoration – Funding for causes and associations that are involved in restoration for fish and wildlife service refuges, National Parks, state parks, and/or tribal lands. Also, we want to protect certain ecosystems from invasive species and ensure proper fish passage in streams and rivers.
  4. Preservation Areas – These areas are clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated, and managed to achieve the long term conservation of nature. We need to ensure the total protection of places that contain species on the edge of extinction. It’s important that we preserve and allow ecosystems to thrive in a natural way.
  5. Purchase Sustainable Products – Sustainable products means the creation of goods and services using processes and systems that are: Non-polluting. Conserving of energy and natural resources. There are now a ton of brands that produce sustainable makeup, hygiene products, clothing, and everyday essentials like lightbulbs.

Other Ways To Celebrate World Environment Day

  1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
  2. Conserve Water
  3. Reduce or eliminate pesticides and chemical fertilizers
  4. Plant trees
  5. Reduce your consumption
  6. Restore habitats in your yard or in your community
  7. Carpool or use transit when you can
  8. Rainwater Harvesting
  9. Help clean the oceans
  10. Help keep the roads, parking lots, and parks litter-free.
  11. Save electricity
  12. Use reusable bags instead of plastic
  13. Try composting!
  14. Borrow instead of buying when you can
  15. Purchase locally sourced food
  16. Use a clothesline in place of your dryer on nice days
  17. Launder responsibly
  18. Turn the tap off in between brushing your teeth
  19. Choose to shower instead of bathe
  20. Invest in a travel mug
  21. Recycle your phone, computers and old batteries
  22. Try to donate items before tossing them out
  23. Go paperless!
  24. Use matches instead of lighters
  25. Garden manually (Example: Use a watering can instead of running the hose)

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