Each year, the world comes together to highlight and promote awareness around environmental issues. This year, World Environment Day falls on Saturday, 5 June 2021.
This article will focus on what World Environment Day is, why it matters, and how you can get involved this year.
What is World Environment Day?
World Environment Day happens each year to raise environmental awareness and acts as a day to encourage people around the globe to take action.
The day started in 1974 with the slogan “Only One Earth” and was organised by the United Nations. Each year, the day is held in a different country and focuses on a specific theme. From the beginning, the day is framed as the “people’s day” for doing something to help the environment.
Although big changes to environmental policies may take longer, this day is the opportunity for people to do something as small as litter picking.
World Environment Day focuses on embracing smaller and less-developed nations while tackling bigger topics, such as global warming and wildlife crime.
Why does World Environment Day matter?
World Environment Day is a day that allows everyone to understand environmental issues and how we can make changes to help.
As mentioned, some environmental changes, such as government policies, will take a while, but there are always things people can do to help in the meantime.
Our environment is at risk from pollution, climate change, and environmental disasters. In its own words, World Environment Day acts as a day to “reimagine, recreate and restore” our world and make peace with nature.
What is the theme of World Environment Day 2021?
This year, World Environment Day is being held in Pakistan and calls for urgent action to revive damaged ecosystems.
Ecosystems are the grounding for human well-being; however, the resources they provide us are used in ways that prevent us from having a sustainable future.
For example, over 4.7 million hectares of forest (an area larger than Denmark) is lost each year. That’s the same as one football pitch every three seconds.
Although these facts are scary, all is not lost. Ecosystem restoration is happening globally, which means land is repaired so that people can have access to clean water, food and jobs.
How can I get involved in World Environment Day?
Restoring ecosystems is a huge task that will take decades, if not centuries, of work. That said, there are small actions people can take every day to help the process.
Below are some ways you can get involved in World Environment Day.
Plant a tree
Trees make the earth livable and provide us with clean air. Alongside this, they store carbon which moderates our climate and acts as a defence against climate change.
Cleaning up litter
There is a litter and plastic pollution problem throughout the world. If you can, clear up some litter. Even if you spend as little as five minutes picking some rubbish from your garden or street, it will make a difference.
Attend virtual events
Word Environment Day has a wide range of virtual gatherings, social discussions, and games available for anyone to take part.
As of right now, there are 1,089 events around the world to celebrate World Environment Day 2021, and you can take part in any you want!
Spread the word
Social media is a great way to raise awareness about World Environment Day. This year, the hashtag “#GenerationRestoration” is being used to document how people are making peace with nature.
Whether you want to share a photo of your garden or create short videos about the environment, this hashtag will help it spread to others who are celebrating the day.
Alongside social media, there many online resources that can be printed out and used in your workplace.