What is World Environment Day?

Mark your calendars, World Environment Day is tomorrow, June 5th! Established by the United Nations in 1974, every June 5th since has been dedicated to a global celebration of our planet, focused on encouraging awareness and action for its well being. People from communities around the world join together to share their experiences, challenges, and solutions with each other.

World Environment Day was created on the first day of the first-ever UN conference, which focused on how humans interact with our planet. The day is also the largest of its kind, recognized by over 150 countries and millions of people around the globe.

Every year a different country “hosts” the global event, think the Olympics. This year Pakistan has been passed the baton and will become the global host. 

The hosting country is responsible for providing a central platform to discuss goals for a healthier and happier planet. In addition to Pakistan’s host this year, the country plans to increase forest cover and restore mangroves over the next 5 years as a part of their “10 billion Tree Tsunami” campaign.

brown tree branch on water

What is this year’s theme?

A different theme of stewardship is observed every year. The theme of World Environment Day for 2021 is: Ecosystem Restoration.

Why ecosystem restoration?

From forests, to coral reefs, to the arctic, we can see the negative effects we have on ecosystems health and biodiversity. Ecosystems around the world are in danger, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be revived. Without an initiative towards the restoration of our Earth’s ecosystems, they are in danger of being permanently affected or even destroyed. 

This year’s World Environment Day kicks off the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration, which is a global mission set on reviving billions of hectares of land, from rural farmlands to the ocean’s depths. 

Ecosystem restoration means not just preventing further damage, but reversing it as well. It’s a huge step towards restoring the beautiful ecosystems we have on Earth, and providing a better environment for future generations.

While this mission is a huge global undertaking, that doesn’t mean small steps aren’t important. One of the main focuses of the day is to promote healthier and more sustainable lifestyles within our daily lives. Ecosystem restoration can take many different forms, whether it’s planting trees, cleaning beaches, or changing our diets, every action counts.

aerial photo of body of water

Why is World Environment Day so important?

Reconnecting with nature

It’s hard to see just how much natural systems help our own well-being. We depend on nature, we’re a part of it. The day is a great opportunity to make sure you get out and enjoy what our Planet Home has to offer. Bonus, this year June 5th falls on a Saturday! Hike a national park, hit the beach, or simply spend a moment to think about how nature affects you.

Raising awareness

Many people today understand the importance of our need to Eat, Make, Move, and Live better. However many people haven’t had the chance to learn about how to do it effectively. World Environment Day provides the opportunity to raise awareness about our planet’s issues, and share solutions with others. Planet Home is committed to providing an interactive and community-driven resource for these solutions. 

Encouraging action

Sometimes we all need a little reminder of what’s important. Just like any other awareness driven holiday, World Environment Day serves as a day to band together towards the greater good. Participants of the day are encouraged to use #GenerationRestoration to show off the awesome things they’re doing for the planet this Saturday.

man in white shirt holding bottled water

What can we do on World Environment Day?

Recycle

It might seem like a simple tip, but you would be surprised how much more we can recycle than we think. Many grocery stores offer free recycling of plastic bags, a common household item many are forced to throw away due to local recycling policies. Have an old smartphone? Many companies such as Apple offer free recycling services, you can even get discounts on your next purchase should you choose to opt in.

Plant a tree

A surprisingly fun and rewarding World Environment Day activity is to plant a tree. Grab some friends or take on the challenge yourself! You’ll feel great afterwards and so will the Earth. Trees help clean the air we breathe, absorb carbon from the atmosphere, and provide habitats for many different species. It’s a no-brainer.

person in black and white shorts holding white plastic bottle
Volunteer

Anyone can volunteer should they choose. Volunteering is one of the most impactful things you can do for your community. Use World Environment Day as an opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. Volunteer at a local animal shelter, a beach clean-up, or whatever speaks to you.

At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is we take more steps forward than back. Make sure to share your World Environment Day experience with the world using #GenerationRestoration!