World Environment Day 2018
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World Environment Day 2018

Today is World Environment Day 2018. This is one of the most important global celebrations that focuses on protecting and saving our planet. This year’s host country is India, with many events centred in New Delhi and Mumbai. Meanwhile, the principle theme for the 2018 event is Beat Plastic Pollution. World Environment Day 2018 brings together millions of people around the world who are passionate about the environment. It is a way to recognize the climate change issues that we are facing. At the same time, it is a day to raise awareness and promote meaningful actions for a healthier planet Earth.

History of World Environment Day

Environmental protection is not a new topic. While it gained major public recognition in the 90s, global leaders held the first conference on environmental issues in 1972. The Conference on Human Environment opened on June 5th in Stockholm, Sweden. To commemorate this important event, the United Nations Assembly established June 5th as World Environment Day starting the following year. Since then, it has been an important day to raise awareness on environmental issues and to promote meaningful action in the hopes of preventing climate change.

Each year, the United Nations establishes a central theme for World Environment Day. Topics range widely, but always focus on the most relevant issues at the time. For example in 2015, the central theme was “Seven Billion People. One Planet. Consume with Care.” This was the theme focused on in order to encourage a reduction in global consumption. Other main themes have included “I’m With nature” in 2017, “Raise Your Voice, Not the Sea Level” in 2014, and “Green Economy: Does it Include You” in 2013.

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Why Is World Environment Day 2018 Important?

Scientists have been warning the public for years: man-made climate change is threatening our environment. Today, we are seeing the undeniable signs of this. Ice caps are melting, natural disasters are becoming stronger, and the weather is becoming less and less predictable. However, a lot of the actions that people need to take in order to stop climate change are inconvenient. They interfere with our economy and the quality of life that we are used to. Many companies don’t want to make less money by being greener. Plenty of consumers are unwilling to change their habits to protect the environment.

But the more we raise awareness on the issue, the more people are taking steps to protect our Earth. Not-for-profit organizations around the world are working to fight climate change. Many individuals are taking small steps to reduce their environmental footprint. On World Environment Day 2018, we can all come together and promote meaningful action on environmental issues. It is a day to celebrate our planet and to raise awareness on how we need to protect it.

Raising Awareness on World Environment

Most people have heard of climate change. However, if it’s not affecting us directly, we often don’t take steps to prevent it. As such, it is important to share evidence-based information with the public on just how complex and urgent the environmental situation is. It is also essential to push for policy at all levels that will protect our environment. After all, governments can have a strong impact on promoting greener economies. For example, the European Union is starting to roll out its strategy to reduce single-use plastics.

At the same time, raising awareness also means offering solutions. There is a lot that every individual and community can do to protect our environment. We can draw on inspiration from others to come up with innovative solutions. World Environment Day allows for all these awareness-raising activities through the international platforms that it generates.

Beat Plastic Pollution

According to UN Environment, we produce 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. More than half of all plastic ends up in landfills or in the natural environment. Since it takes decades if not centuries to decompose, this is simply not sustainable. It can also be dangerous – for us and for other species. Plastic threatens marine life. For example, turtles can get tangled in it and die, while whales and birds accidentally consume plastic. Other species may eat fish and plankton poisoned by plastic micro-particles. In fact, so can humans – plastic has even been found in tap water. Additionally, plastic can contribute to flooding, as well as mosquito breeding and thus disease transmission. For these reasons, the United Nations chose Beat Plastic Pollution as the central theme for World Environment Day 2018. It is a way to encourage each of us to take action and reduce the use of plastic.

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Be Part of the Change

We can all take an active part in protecting our environment. This year, we owe it to ourselves to reduce plastic pollution. There are plenty of easy steps that we can take to do this. For example, using less single-use plastics in our everyday life. Some solutions include refusing plastic straws and replacing them with reusable metal ones. You can bring your own bags and containers to stores to avoid plastic bags. As communities, we can pressure suppliers to reduce the use of plastic packaging by opting for their competition.

On World Environment Day itself, there are also plenty of opportunities to  . The official website has thousands of registered events around the world. It is easy to find one near you and to participate. Alternatively, create and register your own World Environment Day Event. You can even use the official Event Toolkit for planning, awareness, and social media.

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