Friday 5th of June 2015, is World Environment Day 2015. This is a day when we should dream together, as a planet, of a healthier future and develop intiatives, share ideas and implement real plans to help secure our futures.
Whether it is via local initiatives, or city-scale projects, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) are encouraging everybody across the world to dream together and share their thoughts via social media outlets using #7BillionDreams, #WED2015, #WorldEnvironmentDay and #just1thing.
The UNEP Goodwill Ambassadors have this year assembled a "Dream Team" with the aim of widespread, global encouragement of individuals and groups to share their dreams of a healthier planet, and for them to make realistic pledges on how to achieve these targets.
These pledges are specifically focussed on ensuring that the environmental Sustainable Development Goals of UNEP, which focuses on consumables and waste which we use and produce, are supported.
Leading up to today, celebrities from across the world discussed their own dreams and thoughts, including some of the following:
Overconsumption of food is detrimental to our health and the environment. Land degradation, declining soil fertility, unsustainable water use, overfishing and marine environment degradation are all lessening the ability of the natural resource base to supply food.
#WorldEnvironmentDay is less than three weeks away. What's #just1thing that you can do on #WED2015 to fight overconsumption and food waste?
Leonardo DiCaprio - Actor and Film Producer
My dream is to see a major reform in our food systems so that food waste turns to food prosperity and no child ever goes to bed without a nutritious meal. #7BillionDreams
I will try to reduce my food waste by 50% through better planning, storage and reuse. I will also source more imperfect vegetables, products that are seasonal and available from my area.
Gisele Bündchen - Fashion Model
I dream of a world where all people, whether living in the cities or rural communities, have access to clean drinking water and that we all start thinking smart about the way we use the limited resources we have for a healthier planet and happier people.
Yaya Touré - Professional Footballer
My dream is to see an end to the demand for illegal wildlife products that is decimating many of the world’s most beloved species like elephants, rhinos, turtles, pangolins and tigers.
I will encourage all of my peers, fans and social groups to avoid buying any products that are contributing to the illegal wildlife trade and to pass it on!"
Li Bingbing - Actress and Singer
Today's celebrations follow on from a significant announcement from UNEP yesterday that increased energy efficiency in countries can reduce energy demands by 50-80% and a further 60-80% improvement in water and energy efficiency will be commercially viable in a number of sectors including agriculture, construction, industry, hospitality and transport.
The way to achieve these increases in efficiency have been outlined in a new handbook from UNEP entitled "Sustainable Consumption and Production: A Handbook for Policy Makers" which is to be launched today.
Data from the handbook suggests that our current practices of unsustainable production and consumption are at an alarming level, and via the integration of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns into national development planning and implementation, risks to the environment can be severely reduced and services and goods can be more easily and cheaply produced in a far more efficient manner.
UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, "The last century has witnessed a rapid transformation of our relationship with the natural world, with the escalating use of natural resources leading to environmental degradation. We are now operating at about 40 per cent above the earth’s budget. If world population and consumption rates continue according to business as usual, annual global resource extraction could triple from 2000 levels to 140 billion tons by 2050"
See his message below:
Achim Steiner's Message on WED 2015
Video credit: YouTube / UNEP
WED - Posters
A number of posters have been designed which describe simple ways individuals can collectively make a massive difference in the reduction of global consumption and wastage:
World Environment Day 2015 - #7BillionDreams
250 grams of carbon emissions can be saved when biking to work instead of driving
Incandescent light bulbs can reduce your energy consumption by 75%
Telecommuting can drastically reduce carbon emissions
Carbon emissions can be reduced by simply eating vegetarian once a week
Reduction in plastic food storage can help save animals from ingesting dangerous chemicals
Fixing a leaky pipe can prevent gallons of water from being wasted
Tonnes of e-waste is discarded every year, help the environment by recycling your old mobile devices
Using refillable water bottles instead of plastic ones saves a lot of water
The next time you jump on a plane somewhere, use an e-ticket instead of printed boarded pass - this saves paper and processing costs
Glass and Aluminium can be recycled easily and effectively
So make sure today you have a look at all of the above posters, read about the various local and widespread initiatives taking place that you could get involved with, and if there is #just1thing you can do to help the planet, then go out and do it!
Teaser - World Environment Day 2015 Official Video
Video credit: UNEP / YouTube
Share your views and thoughts today using the following hashtags: #7BillionDreams, #WED2015, #WorldEnvironmentDay and #just1thing.
World Environment Day 2015 Around the Web