“In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous.” – Aristotle
Today is World Environment Day, which is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. World Environment Day activities rightly take place all year round, but the climax is on the 5th of June every year, involving people all around the world. The celebration of World Environment Day began in 1972 and since then has grown to become the one of the main ways that the UN stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.
Through World Environment Day, the UN Environment Programme is able to personalise environmental issues and enable everyone to realise not only their responsibility, but also their power to become agents for change in support of sustainable and equitable development. This day is also a day for people from all walks of life to come together to ensure a cleaner, greener and brighter outlook for themselves and future generations.
Everyone can become involved in celebrating World Environment Day: Organise a clean-up in your home, workplace, neighbourhood or community; stop using plastic bags and get your community to do the same; plant a tree or better yet organise a collective tree planting effort; walk to work or use public transport instead of driving; start a recycling drive; reduce your carbon footprint; grow your own vegetables and fruit; use solar power and other renewable energy sources; conserve water, and lots more. Your local council can provide you with a host of other idea around green living, conservation and sustainability.
The 2012 theme for World Environment Day is Green Economy, into which everyone can contribute, not just politicians and economists. A Green Economy is one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. It can be thought of as an economy, which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.
A Green Economy is one whose growth in income and employment is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services. These investments need to be catalysed and supported by targeted special government budget-driven initiatives, legal and policy reforms and regulatory changes. Citizens can also contribute to this by lobbying politicians, joining action groups and supporting industries that prescribe to Green Economy ideals.
Oh, and perhaps the least you could do today is hug a tree!