“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”
– Robert Swan, Author
What is World Environment Day?
Focused at home in your local community, nationally, or globally, World Environment Day is a day for global citizens to do something to take care of the Earth.
Why Should I Get Involved?
You have the opportunity to share your ideas and activities for making our world cleaner, brighter, and greener– one action at a time! Each year on June 5th, World Environment Day is organized around a specific theme that highlights a particular environmental concern. For 2018, World Environment Day is focused on the issue of plastic pollution. Plastic pollution in our water is killing marine species, polluting beaches, and poisoning human diets. According to the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, on average 60-95% of worldwide marine litter is composed of plastic. These plastics take 450-1,000 years to degrade, yet the plastic material never fully breaks down and it leaves in its toxic wake, micro-plastics. These micro-plastics end up in the stomachs of our marine life and subsequently in the stomachs of humans as we consume seafood and other meat poisoned with plastic pollution.
What Can I Do?
“Raise your voice, not the sea level!” — Message from World Environment Day
- For World Environment Day, go out to your local community either solo or with an organized group and pick up trash that may be littering streets, parks, or other landscapes. While picking up this waste, you and your fellow volunteers can take an extra step to ensure the proper materials are being recycled. Recycling is easy and recycled materials help reduce the amount of garbage in landfills, waterways, and the stomachs of animals! Just check with your local recycling center to see what materials they may accept.
- Bring re-usable bags when you are shopping. Many think to take their own bags to the grocery store, but think about taking your own bags to the mall or as you run normal errands to any store! Many retailers like Ikea, Adidas, Whole Foods, and most recently Disney have eliminated the use of plastic bags as well!
- Re-purpose plastic arts and crafts in an exhibit that focuses on sustainability. For example, convert plastic drinking bottles into planter’s for herbs and flowers, just cut a rectangular hole in the side of the bottle, fill with soil, and add your plant or seeds.
- Ditch the single use plastic water bottles. Travel with your own reusable water bottle, there are water sources everywhere that you can use to fill up your bottle. It can even help you save money at airports where a bottle of water can be expensive!
- Utilize reusable or compostable cutlery (you can easily order on Amazon!), and compostable and sustainable food wrap instead of plastic versions. Keep a set of silverware in your desk or purse!
- Educate yourself on misconceptions about recycling! Not all plastics can be recycled through your local provider and not everything that says biodegradable is a better alternative.