June 5th is World Environment Day (WED) – an annual event promoted by the United Nations to raise awareness of environmental issues. Although the theme of this year’s WED is small island developing states around the world that are particularly vulnerable to climate change, natural disasters and rising seas, WED serves the broader purpose of encouraging positive action on a global scale.
So what can you do personally and/or professionally to commemorate World Environment Day? Plenty. For example, you can:
- Hold your own WED event at your place of business. Ideas include: arts and crafts exhibitions with a WED theme; a group discussion of eco-issues or workplace green practices; environmental education and awareness-raising sessions; or distribution information kits to employees.
- Choose to adopt an eco-friendly, sustainable lifestyle or workplace policy. Do an inventory of your personal or your business’ energy usage and its reliance on unsustainable products and compile a list of ways you intend to replace these activities and habits with sustainable ones. Also, set deadlines to meet these changes.
- Get into the habit of reading the labels of origin and manufacture of your goods. Make sure they are certified as sustainable, are organic, are sustainably obtain, are locally made, and are Fair Trade. If any of them fall short of your standards, post your concern to the responsible company, retailer, or manufacturer via Facebook so that others will see your question and await the answer.
- Commute to work on WED via public transportation. Or, if you prefer, bike to work.
- Become involved in a local conservation, restoration or eco-community organization. One such organization in South Florida is EcoArt. For more information, click here.
And that’s just for starters. There are many more ways to observe World Environment Day on June 5th – and all year round. In fact, the United Nations Environment programme (UNEP) has created The World Environment Day Alphabet: 80 Ways to Celebrate. To access this free list, simply click here.