Happy World Environment Day!

Since 1974, people all over the world and 143 countries have participated in World Environment Day. This important day for raising awareness of environmental issues takes place on June 5th and has a unique focus each year. This year’s theme is biodiversity and the host country is Colombia.

History

In 1972, the United Nations General Assembly convened in Stockholm Sweden for the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. Here many environmental issues were discussed. World Environment Day was established as a platform for spreading awareness of human impacts on the environment.

Previous themes include “Beat Plastic Pollution” hosted in India and focused on combating the use of single use plastic as well as the “Beat Air Pollution” themed event hosted in China last year. These events typically draw environmental and political leaders, activists, and scientists to the host cities to discuss current threats and celebrate the environments we live in.

Biodiversity

The theme for World Environment day is biodiversity. But what exactly is biodiversity?

Biodiversity is a measure of the variety of life found in a given location. Biodiversity tends to be higher near coasts and in the tropics near the equator as a greater number of species can thrive in these environments. It is fitting that this year’s host country for World Environment Day 2020 is the country of Colombia as they are one of the most biodiverse nations on the planet. Colombia is home to 10% of the Amazon Rainforest as well as thousands of different species of animals. It ranks first in bird and orchid diversity as well as second in freshwater fish, butterflies, plants, and amphibians.

Why do we care?

For starters, many people find beauty in creatures of all kinds. Nature simply wouldn’t be the same if it wasn’t teeming with life of all kinds. But beyond the love of life itself, there are many practical ways in which biodiversity benefits humanity.

One of the most obvious examples are pharmaceutical drugs. Penicillin, one of the first and most prevalent antibiotics is actually derived from several types of molds. In fact, an estimated 40% of all drugs still contain natural compounds derived from a variety of plant, animal, and fungal species.

Due to human intervention, an estimated one million species are threatened with extinction. These species could hold the cure for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, or one of the many other diseases which plague humanity. This is just one reason why species preservation is so critical.

Deadly plastics ingested by animals have become an increasingly common sight as plastic waste continues to accumulate in the world’s oceans.

One threat to biodiversity is plastic pollution. Plastic waste in the ocean is killing already threatened animal species including sea birds, whales, and sea turtles. Luckily, people have started to take action against the plastic problem. If you want to learn more, check out our previous articles: The Rise and Fall of the Plastic Straw and Disposables, Paper Products, and COVID-19.

Take Action

For many, World Environment Day is a call to action to make a positive change for the environment. Here’s a list of small changes you can make today to live a more eco-friendly life:

  1. Spread the word

    If you haven’t heard of World Environment Day Before, you’re not alone! Tell your friends about this important day of awareness by sharing this post. You can also learn more about world environment day by visiting the official website.

  2. Plant a Tree

    It might sound cliche but a single tree can absorb one TON of carbon by the time it is 40 years old. Plus, you’ll get to see a tiny sapling grow into a majestic tree one day at a time.

  3. Start Composting

    Composting can be a fun and rewarding way to turn trash into fertile soil for your garden. Whether you choose to buy one of the many compost bins available or start your own pile from scratch, you’ll be keeping garbage out of the landfill and making a positive impact on the environment! With new biodegradable products, you can even compost plates and bowls! If you want to learn more about composting, make sure to follow the BioGreenChoice Instagram page where we post helpful composting tips from time to time.

  4. Switch to paper straws

    In our last blog post we discussed how the billions of plastic straws used annually are having a detrimental impact on marine life and our environment. You can prevent thousands of straws from polluting our planet by making the switch to paper straws, which break down in weeks instead of centuries.

  5. Reduce your use of single use plastics

    Single-use plastics are one of the biggest threats to our environment today. Not only does the production of plastic each year use huge quantities of fossil fuels, plastic releases toxic chemicals and takes up to 1000 years to break down. Furthermore, some 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year. Luckily, new bioplastics offer natural, biodegradable solutions to traditional plastic products such as cups and cutlery.

No matter how you choose to celebrate World Environment Day, please join us to help make the world a greener place. Share this article with your friends on social media to help spread awareness during these hard times!

Stay Green