The world is currently united in the fight against a pandemic, one that can only been likened to the 1912 Spanish Flu Pandemic that killed thousands the world over. But despite that, even with most countries on lockdown, the environment seems to have taken advantage of this break; with nature seemingly reclaiming its space. The environment is getting to breathe and cleanse itself as it should, without the interruption of human activities. This is important, because just like any other thing, the environment too needs some down time.
Sometimes, human beings take things for granted, especially the things we get freely from the environment; the air we breathe, the water we drink, the sun rays that hit our skins every day and provide energy for our power plants, the food we consume daily that is grown in the earth; that is why it is important to pause, even amidst a worrying pandemic, and respect nature to understand its value. World Environment Day is celebrated every year on the June 5, to help remind mankind not to take nature for granted.
We need to learn the signs that the environment needs a break, understand these signs and act purposely. World Environment Day is one of the biggest events organized by the United Nations, in a bid to create awareness in communities about the importance of taking care of the environment. It was first designed in 1972; on the first day of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.
The theme for this year’s World Environment Day is ‘Biodiversity,’ because human beings are part of the ecosystem and we cannot continue living in isolation. Biodiversity is responsible for the survival of all living things, big or small, on land, air and in water. It is important to note that every living thing is connected to another living thing, and together form a network of diverse forms of life on the planet.
According to United Nations, “The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises, and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment.”
5 Ways We Can Protect Our Environment
World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5, but is different in 2020 because of the ongoing pandemic. Almost everywhere in the world people are confined in their homes due to a lockdown prompted by COVID-19, but this is not going to stop the world from celebrating a cherished aspect; the environment. This year’s celebrations are going to be confined to online seminars and activities; instead of going out into the field to plant seedlings, countries will conduct online activities that are likely to promote environmental health, care, protection and awareness.
The UN said in a statement that this year’s theme is a concern that is both urgent and existential. “Recent events, from bushfires in Brazil, the United States, and Australia to locust infestations across East Africa – and now, a global disease pandemic – demonstrate the interdependence of humans and the webs of life, in which they exist.”
Massive industrialization, urbanization, extraction of mineral resources are some of the factors that have played havoc with our environment and caused huge damage to it. Below are 5 ways we can contribute to the care and protection of our environment, to make it regain its almost lost glory!
Plant More Trees
This is almost natural, as we hear about it every day. We hear about the importance of planting trees and the rule, ‘Cut one plant two,’ but do we ever adhere to that rule? Trees don’t just purify the air, but also helps in climate control. There has been a recent increase in greenhouse gases and trees help in maintaining the air quality by emitting oxygen. Trees are also habitat for wildlife; home for 80% terrestrial biodiversity of the world.
More Harvesting of Rain Water
Water is a precious resource that we sometimes take for granted until it becomes limited. Most of the time we have carelessly used it until it has created a huge water crisis. We need to take water seriously and avoid the day when a city’s taps run dry and people stand in long, unending queues to collect a daily quota of water. We should take advantage of the free rain water and do a lot of harvesting. Making arrangements to harvest the water in our homes will ensure we have a constant supply of this liquid gold.
Normalize Public Transport
Much as having a personal car is a luxury that most of us cannot live without, it is time we normalized public transport. More cars on the road lead to an increased air pollution. We should therefore adopt the frequent use of public transport and shun private commute as much as we can, for our own interest. If we want to start contributing more to the health of our environment, then we should use public transport more, and reduce the number of cars on the road.
Avoid Use of Plastic
Plastic is part of our life alright, but it is also a major source of pollution to our environment. If we must use plastic, then we should go for those that we can re-use and avoid the single-use ones – those that we must dispose of after one use. Single-use plastics are responsible for choked drains, pollution of underwater table that causes severe damage to marine life. To protect our environment, we need to shun plastic and replace them with eco-friendly carry bags for our daily use.
Adopt Alternative Sources of Energy
Most of the time the electricity we use in our industries and at home are manufactured by burning of coal, which emits greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) into the atmosphere, causing pollution. Another source of pollution is use of petroleum products for transportation purposes. To protect our environment, we must reduce these harmful gases by adopting alternative sources of energy like solar, wind and geothermal energy because they are environment friendly and they do not deplete.
Due to the change in our lifestyle, the condition of our environment is fast deteriorating. Technology has made our life easy and comfortable alright, but it has also contributed to the fast paced negative impacts the environment is facing. This World Environment Day, let us celebrate diversity and appreciate that every living thing on the planet is important for the co-existence of another living thing. Taking care of our environment should therefore be our priority!