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World Environment Day

Updated: Jun 5

World Environment Day—a global event dedicated to raising awareness and prompting action for the protection of our planet—comes around again on June 5th. The observance of this significant day was established by the United Nations in 1972 during the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. This conference was a pivotal moment in global environmental governance, a lot to set up here—stick with me, it was the first major international gathering focused on addressing environmental issues at a global scale.

A comic book style illustration of Gaia, the Earth goddess. Gaia is depicted as a nurturing and protective figure, intertwined with elements of nature such as trees and flowers. She has flowing hair made of leaves and vines, and her body seamlessly blends into the landscape, symbolizing her connection with the earth. The illustration is vibrant and clean, capturing the essence of harmony between humanity and nature.

The introductory celebration in 1973 facilitated decades of environmental advocacy and action with the theme “Only One Earth.” This year’s theme is “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience,” hosted by Saudi Arabia. The aim, as the name of the theme implies, is to draw attention to the critical need for restoring degraded land to combat desertification and droughts through sustainable land management and enhanced biodiversity to combat climate change.

This choice of theme is particularly apropos given the alarming statistic that up to 40% of the planet’s land is currently degraded, which directly impacts half of the global population as well as threatening nearly half of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

  • Locally, there are a few ways to get involved and observe World Environment Day: Contact local representatives to support policies and initiatives that protect the environment.

  • Make small changes like turning off lights when not in use, using energy-efficient appliances, and being mindful of water usage.

  • The Scioto SWCD also offers rain barrel kits for sale. These provide an excellent way to collect and store rainwater for your plants and promote sustainable gardening practices.

  • Plant native flowers for pollinators, milkweed seeds are available free of charge from the Scioto SWCD as well.

  • Start a compost or worm bin to reduce the waste that goes to landfill and improve the health of your soil.

  • Buy local and organic products from local farmers and businesses. Consider planning a trip to your local farmers’ market.

By taking these steps, we can begin to make a meaningful impact and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable future for our community and the Earth. For more ideas and information on how to observe World Environment Day, you can visit the official UN Environment Program website.



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