Happy WED2010! Wondering what WED stands for? June 5th is the day United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Celebrates the World Environment Day – WED! It has been observed on 5th June since 1972, WED is one of the principal mediums through which the UN motivates worldwide awareness of the environment and encourages political attention and action.
Why is the Environment on the front page these days? It is not about just the oil spill, or deforestation, or climate change alone… it is about all of these and more, it about the quality of life on our planet, it is about taking small steps and making a difference. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says “Although individual decisions may seem small in the face of global threats and trends, when billions of people join forces in common purpose, we can make a tremendous difference.”
It is estimated that we share the world with around 5 million plus species of which only around 2 million have been identified. It is also estimated that around 35 species go extinct every day just in the rainforests. Why is there such a rapid deterioration around us? Winters are colder, summers warmer, droughts and floods abound and other natural disasters too…
Scientists have found that in Earth’s history before the Industrial Revolution, Earth’s climate changed due to natural cause’s not related to human activity. These natural causes are still in play today, but their influence is too small or they occur too slowly to explain the rapid warming seen in recent decades. So for something that we have contributed to in creating is it not our responsibility to make amends?
So this WED day take your own small step, does not matter how small you think it is, it will make a difference.
A list of things one can incorporate in everyday life easily:
- Plant a tree! Help achieve UNEP’s Billion Tree Campaign target of planting seven billion trees – one for every person on the planet! Let us start one by one…
- Use cold water for washing clothes and a laundry line with air drying helps too!
- In Summer leaving the windows open is a good way to get some fresh air and also help with your carbon footprint by not using the A/C. When you really feel the need to switch on the A/C use a fan with it to spread the cold air around more effectively.
- When cooking match the size of your pan to the heating element and use a lid, lowers energy wastage.
- Don’t throw your jeans into the hamper after a day’s use unless it is really dirty, lesser times you use the laundry the more efficient your use of water!
- For washing use eco-friendly products, helps the environment and if you have the space plant a tree J
- Plants are the best air purifiers, add to the beauty of your room and also help to clean the air! Green at its best!
- Turn off all unnecessary lights and remove idle chargers plugged in to the sockets when not in use, will save you up to 25% on your power usage.
- All PC’s Laptops, Printers etc have a power saver option (look for the Energy star) and turn them off at the end of the day!
- While printing (if you really need to print it out) print on both sides; it helps save trees!
- You are a coffee drinker like I am? Take your favorite mug to work, that way you won’t be using non-biodegradable cups. What a way to be Green!
- If you get stuck in traffic a lot, consider turning off your engine if you will be idling for long periods of time.
- Did you know cruise control on straight roads is fuel efficient!
- Keep a few cloth tote bags in your car for use whenever you want to buy something.
- Go vegan once a week at least, producing meat releases loads of greenhouse gases.
- Using an electric or hand razor with replaceable blades is GREEN, avoid disposable ones as it adds to landfills.
- It would seem like the most normal thing to do, but many of us forget that we can save water in simple ways like not letting the tap run while shaving, washing your face, or brushing your teeth you can save up to 200 gallons of water a month.
- Drinking tap water when safe is a better choice than bottled water and those plastic water bottles.
- Making green food choices also has global consequences. Buying local means supporting the local economy and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions required to get food from its origin to your plate.
- Buy things you need not want. Reducing consumption be it of oil or anything else helps in reducing our carbon footprint.
The Earth is like a large breathing and feeling living-being, every small step each of us takes good or not affects one and all. I truly believe we are all connected to each other and to the earth, so what I do every day has to be thoughtful so as to not hurt another.
I start my day by remembering this Native American saying (well it is the first thing I see every day :)) “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
Remember the 3R’s Reduce, Reuse and Recycle! Every Day is Earth Day! Have a Green WED 2010 day!! Live Green! and yeah Don’t forget to plant the TREE 🙂