World Environment Day ( WED ) falls on the 5th of June every year, and it is the United Nation’s principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment. First held in 1974, it has been a flagship campaign for raising awareness on emerging environmental issues. Since then, WED has grown to become a global platform for public outreach, and is widely celebrated across the globe annually. It is the biggest annual event for positive environmental action.

World Environment Day is a day of everyone around the world to take ownership of their environment and to actively engage in the protection of our earth. Each year, WED has a new theme that major corporations, communities, NGOs, governments and celebrities worldwide adopt to advocate environmental causes.

For almost five decades now, World Environment Day has been raising awareness, supporting action and driving change.
Above all, World Environment Day is the “people’s day” for doing something to take care of the earth. Everyone is free to choose.

Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2018 is “Beating Plastic Pollution”.

Every World Environment Day has a different global host country where the official celebrations take place. The focus on the host country helps highlight the environmental challenges it faces, and supports the effort to address them. This year’s host is India.

Plastic has been a major pollutant of our water bodies, harming marine life and posing a serious threat to human health. Though a large part of the population is dependent on plastic for daily routine activities, major part of it ends up in choking the environment and clogging the drains, because of improper disposal. Plastic, being non-biodegradable can persist in the environment for thousands of years and thereby, posing a serious concern for the health of the society as well as the balance of our environment. Keeping this in mind, government, NGOs and various other organisations are always in search of alternatives to tackle this huge problem.

World Environment Day -Here are a few Green Tips that will help you contribute to the cause:

1. Green your daily routine! Say no to plastic bags when you shop. Use cloth bags instead and reuse them each time you shop.

2. Conserve energy! Turn off the lights to brighten your environment. It will also lower your utility bills and help avoid peak demands on utility plants.

3. Park the car! Walk, bike or use mass transit whenever you can. Vehicle traffic is a major contributor to smog.

4. Use rainwater for your indoor plants – they love it, and you’ll save water at the same time.

5. Painting your house? Use a latex paint. Oil-based paints release hydrocarbon fumes.

6. Don’t keep the water running while brushing your teeth. You will save as much as 11 litres every time.

7. Green your office! Print double-sided, turn off monitors, start an office recycling program.

8. Use a bucket when you wash the car, instead of the hose. Letting the water run, while you work costs money and wastes water. Use the hose only to rinse.

9. Use rechargeable batteries. Many batteries contain metals that are better kept out of landfills.

10. Don’t water the sidewalk – it won’t grow. Set your sprinkler to keep the water on the lawn.

11. Install faucet aerators. You can cut your water usage by upto 6%.

12. Use less fertilizer on your lawn. When it rains, excess fertilizer runs off into storm sewers and pollutes streams.

13. Host a World Environment Day celebration. Clean up your neighborhood.

14. Mobilize your friends to celebrate World Environment Day! Use , Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, SMS, text, email – it doesn’t matter how, just get the word out!

15. Plant a tree this year! Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. So, on this World Environment Day, why not celebrate by planting a tree with friends or family.

(Contributed by: Dr. Bhavna Verma.)