World Environment Day: What, Why, How Can I Help?
There has always been “only one Earth”, as was reinforced in 1972 at the United Nations (UN) Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm. However, this phrase has become increasingly important over the last 50 years.
The concept of World Environment Day was put forth by the UN at that Conference 51 years ago and on June 5, 1973, the inaugural World Environment Day was celebrated around the world.
At the 1972 Conference in Stockholm, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was created to become “the leading global authority on the environment”.
Ever since its establishment, the UNEP has instilled the same values that we now celebrate each June 5. Their mission: “to inspire, inform, and enable nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.” As we commemorate 50 years of World Environment Day in 2023, WolfPeak reflects on what it all means and how every entity can contribute to the cause.
What is World Environment Day?
The day was established to engage a global community to restore our natural environment in the face of worsening climate change.
People from more than 150 countries have become involved in various activities to highlight the issue, with the aim to make it relevant every day instead of once a year.
In the past ten years alone, the day has led to many exciting initiatives on a global level.
These have included Sweden’s pledge to stop issuing new licences for coal, oil and gas extraction; China launched its Air Quality Improvement Report; 6000 people collected 90 tonnes of plastic from a beach in Mumbai; and the Angolan government promised to curb their ivory trade.
Make sure to check out the history of World EnvironmentDay to learn about all of the other tangible changes that have taken place on June 5 each year.
Each year since 2012 has had its own hashtag to accompany a unifying theme. These have included #ThinkEatSave (2013), #ConsumeWithCare (2015) and #GenerationRestoration (2021).
In 2023, the theme of the Day will be Solutions to Plastic Pollution with the hashtag, #BeatPlasticPollution.
If you’re at all engaged with the environmental sector, you’ve likely heard all of the statistics before.
More than 400 million tonnes of plastic are produced every year, according to the United Nations, half of which is designed for single-use and only 10 per cent is recycled.
Measure it in whatever you like – 2,200 Eiffel Towers; 66,000 elephants; 285,000 Toyota Corollas – it’s a lot of plastic waste.
The thing about single-use plastic is it doesn’t disappear when it disappears from our lives. The only three results for it are disintegration into microplastics that damage our waterways, food systems and air quality; being burnt into harmful gases; or overrunning our landfills and destroying local habitats.
The cumulative effect of these outcomes is a significant increase in global temperatures, which must be reduced as soon as possible to avoid catastrophic natural disasters.
As the UN is constantly stressing, human civilisation requires urgent action to save itself from the worst of these effects. World Environment Day is just one action that continues to have a positive impact on our global cause.
How Can You Help?
Like you, WolfPeak is passionate about developing the built world in a way that has a positive impact on the environment.
This cannot be done with negligence or greed, but rather, with an honest dedication to restoring the health of our natural world.
This June 5, on World Environment Day, there are all kinds of actions that will allow you to say you played a small part in saving humanity.
- Whether you manufacture each pen and parcel or simply bulk order them, you have an opportunity to remove plastic from the world’s supply chain.
Design the waste out of your processes, products and production lines, in consultation with experts who know the best technology for doing so.
- Commit to any number of global actions that eliminate plastics and enter the circular economy.
- Call out businesses that continue to use single-use plastics. Use social media, word-of-mouth, or contact the company directly – whatever it takes for them to listen.
- Do the same towards governments and petition for laws against single-use plastic to be legislated.
- Share solutions to waste reduction as you discover them – a solution shared is a problem reduced.
- Donate and volunteer for organisations with clear and actionable goals for plastic reduction.
- Listen to constituents as they call for plastic reduction laws.
- Commit to global actions against single-use plastic and impose regulations to restrict their use.
- Invest in reliable recycling and waste management infrastructure.
- Redirect funding from fossil fuels into renewable energy and waste management funds.
This is by far an exhaustive list of actions that can be taken on and around World Environment Day. To learn more about what you can do on any given day, get in touch with WolfPeak.
We’re an expert environmental consulting company with a team that speaks your language and feels your passion for cleaning up the Earth.
From the whole team at WolfPeak, happy World Environment Day 2023.