'Many species, one planet, one future’ was the theme for this year’s UN World
Environment Day (WED), which was celebrated last Saturday 5th June and it echoed
the urgent call to conserve the diversity of life on our planet. Read on to see what went on to mark the day.
Rwanda was chosen this year’s global host for WED, where over 30,000 people
took part in the celebrations in the Volcanoes National Park. Schoolchildren and
villagers across Rwanda will receive solar power and more than $85,000 will go
to gorilla conservation as part of the lasting legacy of World Environment Day
As this year is International Year of Biodiversity (IYB), this was very much
the focus of WED too. The IYB aims to raise awareness about the importance of
biodiversity, communicate the human costs of its ongoing loss and get people
involved in efforts to conserve and use our natural resources in a sustainable
manner, for our own sake and that of generations to come. The UN Environment
Programme (UNEP) suggested an ‘Easily
Green Your Daily Routine’, which was posted on their website as actions to
adopt so that we can do our bit to protect the planet, as a WED commitment,
especially in this international year of biodiversity. I know the WED day is
passed, but I thought the actions suggested by UNEP are actions we should all be
adopting anyway and any day, hence this blog.
As stated by UNEP, going green is not as difficult as we might think. One
thing they suggested we should all get into the habit of doing is to turn off
the tap while shaving or brushing your teeth to save water and the energy used
to heat that water. This is not the first time I came across this
suggestion/tip, which made me wonder ‘do people actually leave the tap running
while brushing their teeth?' Why? There are altogether 30 top tips to incorporate into our lives to live a more green lifestyle. These include obvious things like insulating your water heater and switching off appliances when you leave the house to save energy, but also more radical measures, such as avoiding driving altogether and going vegan once a week. And one for my daughter 'when you are feeling at your laziest, don’t throw clean clothes in the
hamper to avoid hanging them up! Unnecessary washing wastes energy.
Another, more general suggestion, which
requires a bit of effort, but might be fun and fulfilling, is to plant a tree
and help achieve UNEP’s Billion Tree Campaign target of planting seven billion
trees – one for every person on the planet – by the end of this year. Three
billion are planted so far. Since June is the month when trees can be planted on
every continent in the world, now seems to be the time to start!
searched the CABI database using the terms environment and biodiversity which returned over 6600
Image credit: unep.org