World Environment Day is celebrated on 5 June every year, and is one of the principal vehicles of the United Nations to promote worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Since 1974, it has been a flagship day for raising awareness on emerging environmental issues with different themes annually. Over the years, World Environment Day has grown to become a global platform for environmental public outreach with participation by millions of people from over 100 countries.
This year’s theme is biodiversity – a concern that is both urgent and existential. The emergence of COVID-19 demonstrates the interdependence of humans and nature. By upsetting the delicate balance of nature, we have created ideal conditions for pathogens to spread. This global disease pandemic is nature’s way of sending us a message.
Did you know?
In the last 50 years, the human population has doubled, the global economy has nearly quadrupled, and the global trade has increased by tenfold.
It would take 1.6 Earths to meet the demands that humans make of nature each year. This crisis is expected to worsen, as the human population is predicted to use the equivalent of 2 Earths by 2050.
What can you do?
Here are 5 small changes that you can incorporate into your daily life to reduce carbon footprint. Go ahead and give one (or all) a try!
1. Say no to plastic straws. Remove it from your consumption entirely, or if you really need one, use reusable options like steel or silicone straws.
2. Donate. Consider donating your secondhand items (clothes, books, furniture, electronics, toys, etc.) which are in mint condition to charity instead of throwing them in the trash.
3. Use reusable bags when doing grocery shopping. Many global and local problems are caused by plastic bags, including environmental damage, climate change, pollution, damage to wildlife, and even human health due to ingestion of chemical compounds found in plastic bags!
4. Use energy-efficient LED lights. They are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lighting such as fluorescent and incandescent lights with longer lifespan. Aside from its environmental advantages, your monthly electricity bills will be reduced as well!
5. Ditch plastic bottles. According to The Guardian, a million plastic bottles are sold every minute and the number is predicted to jump another 20% by 2021.
A gentle reminder – we are intimately interconnected with nature. If we do not take care of nature, we would not be able to take care of ourselves. World Environment Day is the opportunity for each of us to realise our vital roles in caring for Earth. Let’s take this day to commemorate the importance of living sustainably – by doing more with less – to ensure a future for our dreams to be realised.
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