Every year, World Environment Days rolls around on June 5.
To date, it's the biggest international day for the environment and it's led by the United Nations Environment Programme so, needless to say, it's legit. Held annually since 1974, the day acts as a reminder, to individuals and businesses who are well on their sustainability journey or those at the very start, that we can all be making little changes in our day to day to protect the planet in a big way.
Celebrating World Environment Day in 2022 serves as a pretty historic milestone, marking 50 years since the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. It's widely acknowledged as the very first international meeting to embrace and protect good ol' Mother Nature. The conference itself kicked off in Stockholm and triggered a knock-on effect of the formation of global environment ministries, agencies and agreements that would actively pave the way for more sustainable living.
Every year, there's an overwhelming presentation of information to help you act effectively to protect the environment, so we thought we'd round up the best things you can do this World Environment Day that will really make a difference.
Read on for the best things you can do this World Environment Day.
If your Google search yielded results far too overwhelming, head on over to the official World Environment Day website and get yourself across the basics, like this year’s theme is #OnlyOneEarth. The 2022 theme highlights that climate change, nature and biodiversity loss, and pollution and waste is all evidence that Earth is in a “code red”. The way out of this dilemma is to transform our economies and societies to make them inclusive, fair, and more connected with nature, to shift from harming the planet to healing it. #OnlyOneEarth calls for collective, transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet.
Support Surfers For Climate
Surfers For Climate is less of a grassroots movement you need to get get around and more of sea-roots movement dedicated to mobilising and empowereing surfers for continuous and positive climate action. The Aussie-based registered charity is dedicated to turning the tide on climate change in a big way—they're big on bold inclusion, recognising the true locals (by honouring and learning from First Nations connection to Country and culture), you can find out more here.
Plant Some Native Flora For The Bees
You’ve heard it all before, but bees play a big part in keeping the world’s wheels turning. Their numbers are dwindling drastically across the globe which can be partly attributed to their habitats being destroyed. If you’ve got the space, start planting some native flora and let our fuzzy little mates get to work.
Shop Sustainable Fashion
We've said it before and we'll say it again—small changes can equal a huge impact so do your big by shopping sustainably. And yes, that goes for fashion too. Get familiar with our favourite sustainable fashion brands and consider borrowing your next 'special occasion' outfit rather than buying with Australia's best fashion rental sites.
Learn How To Go Plastic Free
This one won’t happen overnight, but you can begin your journey to becoming a plastic-free citizen of the world right now. Simple things like using reusable containers when shopping is a great start, just as supporting sustainable grocery stores or getting your weekly food shop from a local farmers market. You can also get a sizeable head start on your anti-plastic quest with this go-to guide, which covers off strategies that’ll reduce your impact through everyday life.
On Ya Bike, Mate
We all know it, but those exhaust fumes really are no good for the environment. Every time you drive, your car is spitting out carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases up and into the atmosphere. There will of course be times where taking to the wheel is necessary, but consider taking the pushbike out for a spin when possible.
In case you forgot, going for a ride is also a helluva lot of fun. Check out our favourite trails around Australia.
Grow Your Own Produce
Get out your green thumb and give your garden some love. A trip to your local nursery should have you on the right track. No garden? No worries. Start lessening excessive consumption at a local level and get yourself to a community garden and start tending to your crops. Community gardens exist in and around most major cities in Australia and New Zealand; just give your council a bell to find out where they are or take a look at Melbourne’s, Gold Coast’s and Auckland’s community gardens right now.
Donate To The Australian Wildlife Conservancy
Show the Australian Wildlife Conservancy that you care. This year’s World Environment Day also serves as a timely reminder that our native fauna needs our help more than ever—donate here.
Give Your Bathroom An Eco-Friendly Overhaul
Health and beauty products can be harmful to not only yourself, but the environment too. Swap out those facemasks and fragrances for their eco-friendly counterparts and you’ll feel better about yourself in more ways than one. While you're at it, ditch your regular shampoo for these zero waste beauty bars. Trust us, they smell amazing.
Reduce Your Meat Intake
Did you know that food accounts for 10-30% of a household's carbon footprint, so making easy decisions about alternatives can make a big difference to that overall number. Up your knowledge with these awesome vegan docos and try whipping up one of these tasty meaty recipes turned vegan.
Get Behind This Torres Strait Islander-Led Climate Action Campaign
Our Islands Our Home is a campaign demanding more climate justice from the government for the Torres Strait Islands. So far, the Australian Federal Government has refused invitations from Traditional Owners to visit and see the impacts of climate change so, get signing and share this petition far and wide.
Contact The Government
On that note, best to think of this one as a friendly follow up email. Contact our government and remind them it’s important we stick to our environmental targets, like reducing our emissions by 26% to 28% by 2030.
Start composting your relevant waste at home and you’ll be lessening your contribution to landfill, and therefore reducing those nasty methane emissions. You can also use it to feed your garden and native flora you planted earlier for the bees—what a cycle, right? Check out this amazing new, national compost network. Not into composting? Here are some great alternatives.
Check out other ways you can make a difference over at our Sustainability section.