June 01, 2021
Held annually on June 5, World Environment Day looks to galvanize public support to help protect our planet.
“Every action matters" is one of the mottos of World Environment Day. And it's never been more true. Our individual actions matter when it comes to restoring our planet's ecosystems, and each of us have important parts to play.
Observed on June 5, World Environment Day brings together businesses, world governments and citizens to help address urgent environmental issues.
World Environment Day, which started in 1974, asks Earth's inhabitants to think differently about how they consume, cultivate more sustainable practices and develop greener models. The ultimate goal is to foster a “Generation Restoration" that moves toward a greener future.
This year's World Environment Day will begin the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which seeks to “prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of ecosystems on every continent and in every ocean."
Here are five ways to observe World Environment Day:
Create Your Own Local Event
Can you galvanize a group of volunteers to pick up trash on the side of the road, or on the beach? Are you able to volunteer for an existing site restoration effort? Can you get a local business to sponsor the "greening" of a public space? How about organizing a group to plant indigenous species or make compost?
These may seem like small actions, but they can really add up. Learn about these ideas and more in the Ecosystem Restoration Playbook: A Practical Guide to Healing the Planet.
Sharing Is Caring
Raise your voice by sharing content from World Environment Day's social channels, including its partner UN Environment Program. You can follow, like and share content from the UN Environment Program's social channels here: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
Be sure to use the hashtag #GenerationRestoration and #WorldEnvironmentDay to amplify the movement. You might even get featured on the UN Decade on Ecosystem's Restoration's social media wall.
Not sure what to share? You can use the UN Decade's visual resources on your site and social media channels or print your own designs. Be sure to publish photos and updates on the actions you're taking. You may inspire others!
Make Good Choices
It's important to remember that the goods and services you consume can really make a difference. Choosing a brand that produces its goods in a sustainable way is an important first step. You can also reduce your consumer footprint by buying used items instead of new ones, and following the “reuse, recycle, refuse" principle when deciding whether to purchase something new.
Being mindful about the food you eat can also make an impact. Some great first steps might include eating less meat and dairy and reducing the amount of food waste. Buying food locally — including from farmers' markets — further reduces the effects of transportation and packaging.
You don't have to go far to deepen your knowledge of environmental issues — you can do so from the comfort of your couch.
Try watching documentaries like Our Planet or Mission Blue on Netflix to learn more about the challenges facing our planet and how you can help. (Remember, you can access your Netflix subscription from your Contour 2 receiver. From there, you can use the Cox Voice Remote to search the programming available through On Demand from Cox, Netflix, or other streaming services.)
Or if you want to get inspired to reduce our overall consumption, check out No Impact Man on YouTube. Other documentaries that are worth a watch include Before the Flood, Tomorrow and The Human Element.
Get Involved with Local, National Groups
There are so many ways to get involved with environmental and conservation organizations, from volunteering your time to making a donation.
Through The James M. Cox Foundation, the Cox-affiliated foundation, Cox proudly supports Ducks Unlimited, which focuses on wetlands and waterfowl conservation. There are also a number of additional organizations doing groundbreaking conservation work, including The Trust for Public Land, which helps protect land for parks, community gardens and conservation, and the Ocean Conservancy, which helps develop science-backed methods to protect the oceans and their wildlife.
Remember, no action is too small when it comes to lifting up this important issue.