This annual initiative is promoted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to educate each one of us on how we can improve the environment, both now and in the future. WED advocates recycling, cleaning the streets in your community, using fewer plastic bags, and other activities that protect the environment and promote effective use of resources.
This year’s theme, “Think. Eat. Save,” focuses on awareness of food waste and food loss.
The Food and Agriculture Organization reports that 925 million people in the world face malnutrition or chronic hunger. However, if we utilized our resources more effectively, much of this suffering could be avoided. According to UNEP, “[…]one third of all food production world-wide gets lost or wasted in the food production and consumption systems, amounting to 1.3 billion tonnes. In industrialized nations, retailers and consumers discard around 300 million tonnes that is fit for consumption, around half of the total food squandered in these regions. This is more than the total net food production of Sub-Saharan Africa and would be sufficient to feed the estimated 900 million people hungry in the world.”
We need to take action in order to make the world a better place. One might ask, what can I do? There are many simple ways to help the environment. You can grow your own vegetable garden, recycle, separate wastes, turn the lights off when not in use, and use energy saving light bulbs. Every small contribution helps!
These efforts not only contribute to the protection of the environment, but they can also improve the economy. By growing your vegetables in your kitchen, for example, you can simultaneously create a sustainable environment and a sustainable consumption system.
By helping the environment, we are helping each other; we are living in solidarity. Taking action on this subject makes us aware of the responsibilities we have with our world and to each other. Working towards a better environment helps us to have a better relationship between each other and with the world. Be an agent of change, and do your part one step at a time.
By: Sofia Catalina Romero Morales, a WYA intern from Guadalajara, Mexico