For too long, we have been exploiting and tearing down our planet’s ecosystems. In an Ideal world, World Environmental Day should be celebrated and acted upon 365 days of the year. Each year more and more impact is needed to help save our world, it's inevitable that days such as World Environmental Day and World Earth Day need to be more and more acted upon.
A shocking statement that isn't highlighted enough is the rate of our planet's destruction…
“Every three seconds, the world loses enough forest to cover a football pitch and over the last century we have destroyed half of our wetlands. As much as 50% of our coral reefs have already been lost and up to 90 per cent of coral reefs could be lost by 2050”
Coincidentally talking about destruction, this year's theme is Ecosystem Restoration. This year Pakistan will be the global host of the World Environment Day. The event will see the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. They will be hosting a Virtual Launch Gala consisting of inspiring messages from world leaders, activists, celebrities, and musical performances.
If you want to keep updated check out the link below.
Alternatively you can check out the Official website broadcast from June 4-5th here.
What is World Environmental Day?
In 1972, the United Nations designated the 5th June as World Environment Day. The first celebration, under the slogan “Only One Earth” took place in 1974. The UN Environment calls out to the global general public, conglomerates, educators, businesses and global governments to take action to protect our environment and essentially protect our home that we call Earth.
In previous years, World Environmental Day has developed as a platform to raise awareness on the problems facing our environment such as air pollution, ,increased warming, illegal hunting, dying species, sustainability, increased plastic consumption, shrinking coasts , plastic pollution, sea-level increase, among many other threats to our environment.
The global awareness programme helps highlight pressing environmental issues in the stead of a theme, providing a platform for global education and inspiration, and creating a legacy of action up to, including and beyond the 5th of June.
World environmental day also helps drive change in consumption patterns and changes in national and international environmental policies. They do this by supporting awareness campaigns, providing activity ideas and inspiration for how each and every person can come together in unity and help improve our environment.
Biggest threats this year
“Climate Change ‘Biggest Threat Modern Humans Have Ever Faced’, World-Renowned Naturalist Secretary-General António Guterres Tells the UN”
In the unfortunate chance that climate change is put on the back burner and no action is done, this will have some serious consequences for our Earth.
Not only will we be facing increased temperatures but...
1. Destruction Of Ecosystems
Just 3% of the world's ecosystems remain intact, a study was conducted to find ecologically intact healthy populations of all it’s original animals and undisturbed habitat, suggesting serious implications with humans being at the forefront of this collapse.
Ecosystems are biological communities and exist everywhere. They are small, interconnected worlds that combine multiple forms of plant and animal life. Nature is continually recycling, from dead plants and animals and their matter, returning to the soil to produce more trees and plants.
Taking a cue from nature, you can start contributing by getting serious about recycling, this goes further than your recycling bin. You should be making a conscious effort in your life to do things such as re-upcycling furniture, donating clothes, recycling at specialist facilities for items such as batteries etc. anything to keep items from ending up in a landfill!
2. Increased Air Pollution
Air pollution has and continues to increase each year. Every single human born and who lives contributes towards the overall air pollution we see today. Certain places globally are so badly polluted that it affects residents in the form of several lung diseases, due to the polluted air that they breathe. Although a 3rd of all pollution is produced mainly by 20 big corporations there are still ways an individual can help combat air pollution.
A way in which you can help reduce air pollution is by making your homes greener, minimizing the usage of vehicles, offsetting your travel with us, and becoming more aware of your personal carbon footprint.
You may think that deforestation only applies to tropical countries as much of the world's largest deforestation occurs in our rainforests, but it happens even in cities.
Due to the increasing human population, as well as the urbanization of much of the land which is populated, more and more areas are being occupied by humans meaning more and more trees are being cut down, decreasing the amount of forests globally.
Deforestation directly contributes to issues such as species going extinct, lack of water, habitat destruction and increased air pollution. A solution to this is by trying to rebalance deforestation by planting more trees in our surroundings, by supporting companies like Gone West whose aim is reforestation and the repopulation of native trees, by donating a tree.
4. Increased Water Pollution
Clean water access is still not available to everyone on earth. Polluted waters are the number 1 way to spread diseases in developing countries. As the world develops and becomes more of a consumer society, even more chemicals are being dumped into water sources like the sea, river, and oceans.
By doing this we’re contaminating the prime source of consumption of all animals, birds and humans. The dumping of plastics in the ocean has become the main reason for the death of many aquatic lives, these plastics have even evolved into things we call ‘micro plastics ‘ which are much harder to remove from our waters.
Be careful in which products you choose to purchase for home cleaning as many of these can have very harmful chemicals for our waters, and be sure to always follow regulations on what should be thrown in your toilets and sewages. As mentioned before, plastics are very harmful for our waters so be sure to never throw rubbish, especially plastic, in any body of water.
5. Loss of Biodiversity
The theme of World Environment day is about Ecosystems and the loss of them. Due to all the reasons we have aforementioned, the destruction of ecosystems is leading to an alarming rise in extinction of species not limited to just animals but plants, fauna and other organisms. This loss of biodiversity is causing major imbalances that affect food chains and ecosystems catastrophically. This disruption in the food chain and biodiversity affect our ecosystem.
As a single human being, it can be hard to reduce the harm of biodiversity directly, but by aiming to be as green and sustainable as possible you will be helping other environmental concerns that do affect the earth's biodiversity.
6. Greater holes in the Ozone layer
The ozone layer is our protective shell that keeps harm out from the sun's rays. This barrier has been damaged by us over time, with us being unable to restore it, but we can however help prevent further damage. The ozone layer being harmed has directly caused the rise in global temperature as well as a sharp increase in skin cancers globally.
If we limit the use of Chlorofluorocarbons and halon products which penetrate and create holes in the ozone layer, such as deodorant cans and food products in aerosols cans, we can help reduce the overall demand and production of products that generate CFCs and halons. For more information on ozone depleting products, check out this comprehensive list.
If you are enjoying our article about World Environment Day why not check out our Earth Month Blog.
Positive News in 2021
However, World Environmental day is not just about the negatives that we are facing, we come today to also celebrate the pluses we have achieved, positive environmental news and how we have helped the planet so far.
Check out some positive uplifting articles about what good has happened this year;
- Based on recent study results , it has been concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic caused short-term positive impacts on the environment
Image: Global Risks Report 2021
- January 1st marked the beginning of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which runs from 2021-2030.
- Gone West has planted over 1,033,240 trees since October 2020.
- The UK is launching the world’s first network of underwater camera rigs to monitor and protect ocean wildlife. It will help to improve their understanding of the marine environment and help to restore ocean life, as well as collecting biological information and safeguard current marine environment.
- The National Trust has planted 60,000 saplings in the first part of its drive to plant 20 million trees by 2030. With a further 1.5 million trees to be planted over the next couple of years.
If you want to check out more positive environmental news be sure to check the guys out @ MongaBay , they post regular uplifting news about the environment!
How we are helping save the world!
Firstly, to understand how we help you need to know a little about us. You may find yourself asking , What is Gone West?
Gone West is a tree planting company. Our goal is to create environmental and social benefits around the world: we want to generate ethical, green jobs and help to establish, and restore, natural habitats. We are here to help balance both individuals and businesses' environmental footprints to make the world a little greener.
We have planted over five million trees since our establishment in 2013.
How do we do it?
Quite simply by planting trees.
On average every human being produces 12 tonnes of Co2 per year. One tree is able, through its lifetime, to offset and store 1 tonne of Co2. What we are offering is the opportunity to purchase as many trees as necessary to balance the equation. We partner with projects around the globe who specialise in eco-restoration and permaculture.
Gone West began with one planter. But now with a team of over 150 planters, and 12 people running the behind the scene's stuff, we are working together as one big dream, to make this world much more green.
Why tree planting helps our ecosystems.
We have drastically underestimated our impact on the planet, leading to the extinction and endangerment of countless species, affecting vast ecosystems and biodiversity. In the past two centuries we cut down 50% of the world’s forest, the global temperature has been rising yearly.
The deforestation of trees not only lessens the amount of carbon stored; it also releases carbon dioxide into the air. This is because when trees die, they release the stored carbon. According to the 2010 Global Forest Resources Assessment, deforestation releases nearly a billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere per year.
By planting trees we enable the creation of habitats encouraging and stabilising surrounding ecosystems as trees help to regulate the movement of water through existing ecosystems, reducing flooding and cooling the local climate.
If you have any more questions about us, what we do and the environmental threat we face please check out our FAQ page here.
Our Hopes for the Future
We have a realistic idea of where Gone West stands in the fight against climate change. Yes, using our services will ease the strain that pollution has on the planet, but we also advocate making other small lifestyle changes to help the earth.
These include installing energy saving appliances around your home and generally trying to reduce your emissions altogether by using green transport services. Always be on the lookout for projects which are kind to the earth and reduce emissions. If we’re going to save the planet, it’s going to be a collective effort!
By following the steps we outlined earlier, on ways to combat environmental threats we face this year and the near future, these little steps from a bunch of people help build up a bigger positive impact!
Image: National Ocean Service 2021
Reading this blog and taking any of our advice is already one step forward for becoming an environmental warrior. It would be a great help to the environment if you could share this article, be supportive of our ventures, junior offset subscription, going greener, these are just some ways in which you can help the Earth.