How to celebrate World Environment Day

Posted by Gabrielle Jacobs on 4 June 2019

On World Environment Day, 5 June 2019, we recognise more than ever the struggle to protect the earth and the role humankind can play in trying to remedy what damage has been wrought.

There’s a lot that can’t be reversed at this stage, but we must absolutely try to correct our own habits and behaviours and attempt to prevent further irreversible damage.

This year the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) declared that this year’s World Environment Day celebrations and efforts would champion the fight against air pollution.

One artist, a music producer called Sadaharu Yagi, grew up in the town of Kitakyushu in Japan, where the city faced huge environmental problems in the 1960s – and the highest levels of air pollution in the country. With lots of dedication, Kitakyushu managed to turn its situation around, but Yagi learnt the important of protecting the environment. He just produced this song for the UNEP, entitled ‘We are walking on’, featuring Italian songstress Azzurra.

How you can do your part for the Earth


EcoBricks are constructed from two-litre plastic bottles that have been tightly packed with non-biodegradable waste. Keep your bottle near your bin so that all plastic waste can be put in the bottle. It helps to use a wooden stick of sorts, such as the handle of a wooden spoon, to compact the plastic as much as possible. An EcoBrick is complete when the bottle can no longer be squeezed, and there should be no space inside the bottle. EcoBricks should weigh about 500 grams.

Car pool 

Car pooling doesn’t just save you money, but also the consumption of fuel resources and pollution from individual exhaust fumes. Ride-sharing apps are also more economical if you can rally a group together to get to work, where you split the cost of an Uber in lieu of public transport, for example.

Love your veggies

Reap the benefits of a plant-based diet that will take the strain off cattle and livestock farmers who need to resort to desperate and dangerous methods to meet the supply and demand for meat sources.

Food waste and compost

Try not to purchase or prepare beyond your means when it comes to eating. What you don’t use, especially when preparing meals, you can toss in a compost bin or container to be turned into and used as compost for your garden.


Take your fitness to greener levels. Organise a running or walking group and pick up litter as you go along. It’s super sustainable fitness, plus you’re adding in some extra moves when you lunge and grab that plastic bottle cap.

Drink responsibly

Swap single-use plastics in water bottles and coffee-to-go lids for their reusable alternatives. These days it’s very easy to find a reusable coffee mug that is great for keeping your bevvie warm, transports well and is styled to your taste too. Glass water bottles are also the way to go, and they aren’t as volatile and fragile as you think. The plastic that plastic water bottles are made from is bad for the environment, but it’s also bad for your water if you plan on using these bottles more than once. The same, of course, goes for straws. Get hold of your own bamboo or copper straw and skip the bad stuff. Many eateries are now offering paper straws instead of the yucky plastic ones.

Green Ed

Teach young people well and inform your own counterparts. Part of this education also means getting out in nature as often as you can, to reap the benefits and foster an appreciation for the environment.

Chew no more

Chewing gum is not only unhealthy for you, but for the environment as well. Modern gum is synthetic, and made from a polymer derived from oil, which gives it that rubbery, but also indestructible, chewy texture. It contains phthalates which bond with plastics to increase their soft elasticity. Chewing gum used to derive all these qualities naturally from a tree sap called chicle. Word on the street is that chicle is making a comeback.

Trees for bees

Bees and trees are ailing bedfellows in the modern age. Both factions’ populations are under threat due to the effects of human industrialisation and capitalist expansion. In the Philippines, a new law stipulates that all high school kids will have to plant 10 trees before they’re allowed to graduate. This is all in aid of reforesting to rebuild a habitat in which wildlife can flourish, where bees, in particular, can increase their populations.

These three supermarkets around the country eliminate the plastic from your shopping experience:

Durban – Good Source


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Cape Town – Nude Foods


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Johannesburg – The Refillery


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Get clued up – stay in-tune and informed, so that you can make the best decision and inform others:


Greenpeace Africa



Image: Pixabay

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