Tuesday, June 5, 2012

World Environment Day

June 5 is World Environment Day. According to the United Nations Environment Program, World Environment Day celebration began in 1972 and has grown to become the one of the main vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.

The program is designed to help "personalize environmental issues and enable everyone to realize not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development."

It is also a day for people "from all walks of life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future generations."

Whatever your beliefs regarding the health - or lack of - the environment, we can all agree that we should care for it. Each in their way can do something, anything, to make a difference. The UNEP offers several suggestions, and I have pulled from it those we can do today, with little to no planning:

Adopt a ‘green’ way of life
Art made of recycled materials
Bicycle parades/races
Calculate your carbon footprint
Dedicate your blog to World Environment Day on 5 June (done!)
Donate to an environmental cause
Excursions to nature sites
Exhibitions (drawings, posters, photos, paintings)
Give a gift membership of an environmental organization
Join an environmental group
Keep your neighborhood clean
Kick-start an environmental campaign
Kick the CO2 habit!
Know your rights
Lobby local authorities to adopt sound environmental policies
March for the environment
Never litter
Offset your emissions
Organic farming/cooking
Parades (even just a small one on your street with only you and your kids)
Performances (plays, songs, poetry)
Plant a tree
Plastic bags: avoid them!
Puppet shows for children with an environmental message
Rainwater harvesting
Reduce, re-use, recycle
Rehabilitate natural habitats
Replace your light-bulbs with energy saving ones
Save paper
Sort trash, separating recyclable materials into different containers
Switch off stand-by TV and computer
Use sustainable modes of transportation (walking, jogging, cycling, skating, carpool)
Visits to botanical gardens and national parks
Volunteer for organizations such as Clean Up the World
Waste less!
Write plays, poems, songs
Write letters to civic leaders, members of parliament, government and newspapers

These don't have to be big or elaborate activities. Doing them in your home, with your kids, will go a long way. Invite your friends and your kids friends over and make a day of appreciating and respecting nature.

Just do something. Like Margaret Mead said, "A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

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