World Environment Day: Avoiding plastic from our children’s recipes

By: Mearaj-ud-din Malik-SFS (Regional Director, Department of Social Forestry, Kashmir)

World Environment Day is widely celebrated across the world every year on 5th of June. This day is led by the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), where almost 150 countries give their contributions by inspiring their people to protect the environment. The history of this day stretches back to 1972 when the UN assembly decided to put emphasis on the protective measures for nature and the environment. So, since 1974, World Environment Day has been observed with great honor and dedication across the globe. The day is celebrated every year globally mainly with the aim to encourage everyone to do their part to protect the environment.
Every year government institutions, social organizations, and educational platforms collaborate to raise awareness about this day and celebrate it with new annual themes. The issues highlighted on this special day mainly include water scarcity, global warming, pollution, and protection to preserve wildlife.
Word Environment Day is dedicated to highlighting the importance of the world environment to prevent the continuation of harmful activities in our ecosystem. It is highly essential to make ourselves aware of our environment’s vulnerability and how we should take adequate measures to keep the environment healthy. Our surroundings and environment have a direct impact on our lives. This day is observed to acknowledge environmental damage and finding out ways of reversing it.
World Environment Day 2023
The year 2023 will mark the 50th edition of World Environment Day, which will be celebrated under the theme “Solutions to Plastic Pollution’’. Every year, the United Nations announces a new World Environment Day theme. The celebratory events such as seminars and conferences all revolve around the chosen theme of the year. World Environment Day theme 2023 is “Solutions to Plastic Pollution”. Along with the theme, the hashtag #BeatPlasticPollution will be used. The year 2023 will mark the 50th edition of World Environment Day and it will be celebrated in Ivory Coast, with the Netherlands as partners. This year’s theme focuses on encouraging people to give up on the usage of plastic and identify it as the source of environmental degradation. World Environment Day is celebrated in a new host country every year. Every year, the United Nations chooses a host country for World Environment Day celebrations.

World Environment Day Significance
The Earth is the only home to mankind. Environment Day aims to emphasize this simple statement with the aim of encouraging more and more people to work towards environmental conservation. World Environment Day is a significant event because: –
It raises awareness about the many ways in which our environment is getting degraded.
This day encourages people and leaders to think of appropriate solutions for environmental preservation.
World Environment Day is the perfect opportunity to reflect on our actions and decide to live life more sustainably.
World Environment Day 2023; some desirable activities and ways to celebrate it
A lot of activities are planned on Environment Day every year. Here are some of the ways in which we can celebrate this day.
Attending the annual conference in the host country designated by the United Nations.
Encouraging the use of sustainable products and discouraging plastic usage.
On World Environment Day, people host events and educate one another about the need for environmental protection.
People also participate in Environment Day activities virtually by joining the official social media campaign.
World Environment Day can be celebrated on both collective and individual platforms by taking adequate initiatives. In order to give our valuable contributions to protecting our environment and opt for a healthier lifestyle, here are some of the suggestions:
Reduce,Reuse and Recycle
To reduce the wastage of paper and plastic, recycling is the best technique. We can make environment day posters to aware the community of the importance of recycling. Instead of wasting material, specific locations should be made for recyclable items. At such places, people can take their items and can reuse them after recycling. Thus, the wastage of paper and plastic bags can be reduced with the help of transformative policies.
Prefer Carpooling or Bike Ride
The emission of carbon dioxide is constantly rising in our environment, causing air pollution. To prevent the unwanted emission of harmful gases, it is advisable to consider using bicycles to reach our schools or offices. Through bike rides, we can not only protect the environment from harmful gases but can also improve your physical health.
Furthermore, carpooling is another great idea to avoid unnecessary vehicles in the city. If a bunch of people is going to a similar place, they can use a single car instead of taking out numerous vehicles.

Adopt Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
Many experts have pointed out the beneficial importance of an eco-friendly lifestyle. We can take small steps in adopting an eco-friendly lifestyle, such as consuming less energy to prevent the emission of harmful gases. We should be careful and considerable in the food consumption by shedding light on the food wastage. Through social media, we can share tips with people to avoid food wastage at individual levels. Moreover, you can shift to renewable energy for electricity and can invest in solar energy. We can conduct monthly donations of the food and cloth to the needy ones within our community.
Prefer Public Transportation
Another great way to avoid the excessive usage of vehicles in the city that are polluting the air is by using public transportation. Government should play its role in introducing comfortable and secure public transportation to the people so that individuals along with their families can travel with it.
Plant More Trees
Trees and plants are the major sources of providing oxygen to human beings. Greenery also fights air pollution, and as a result, we can sustain an eco-friendly life. Planting trees at our homes, schools, and workplaces and also motivate others in participating in plantation drives. Educational and professional institutions should hold volunteer drives for planting trees so that citizens can give their maximum contribution.
Moreover, every individual must take care of the existing plants, trees, and gardens around him so that he or she can help the natural life to nourish completely.
Try Paperless Work
To avoid the unwanted wastage of paper, you can opt for eBooks and can read them online on various platforms. For example, we can use the tool UPDF – PDF editor to read documents and books in an enhanced user interface without the usage of paper. Also, paperless work can also prevent the cutting down of trees so that greenery would be preserved in our environment.
It is moral duty of every individual to save and protect environment for sustaining life on planet Earth. The causes of environmental degradation are mainly human disturbances and greed-based interventions.
There are main three types of environmental degradation namely water degradation, land degradation, and air degradation. This impacts the global climate and living conditions to a great extent. The environmental degradation has adverse impact on humans, plants, animals and micro – organisms.
Human activities that cause severe damage to the environment mainly include overconsumption, exponential population growth, overexploitation, pollution, and deforestation. A healthy ecosystem provides clean water; purify air, maintain soil, regulate the climate, recycle nutrients and provide good food. Biodiversity is the key indicator of the health of an ecosystem. The Environment is an important segment that enables the growth of all life and biotic components on Earth. It’s our responsibility to protect the environment for all the species for the near future.
The use of plastic and plastic based products must be banned at every level to protect earth as from turning into a barren and infertile commodity as without fertile soil, the human sustenance cum existence on this globe is quite impossible

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