Happy World Environment Day to all our readers!
World Environment Day is an annual holiday that falls on the fifth day of June every year. The holiday first started in 1974 after the UN General Assembly declared that June 5th would be World Environment Day. This day has now become a viral sensation throughout the world and is used to highlight various environmental issues.
Fig. 1. A picture #WithNature taken at the Oconee River Greenway.
The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is “Connecting People with Nature.” People are encouraged to use the hashtags, “#WithNature” and “#WorldEnvironmentDay,” across social media, to celebrate the event and draw attention to sustainability efforts across the world. World Environment Day first went viral in 2015 when it became the most popular topic on Twitter and the focus of many YouTube videos. World Environment Day has not only led to more social media involvement but also led to positive changes for the environment.
In 2010, the first World Environment Day Challenge lead to actor Don Cheadle and model Gisele Bündchen having a follower war on Twitter. The loser, Bündchen, ended up planting over 50,000 in Grumari Municipal Park. Six years later, the day was used in collaboration with the U. N’s digital campaign against wildlife crime. The countries of Angola and China made promises to curtail their ivory markets after the holiday.
While World Environment Day is on June 5th, there are many other environmental holidays occurring all year long. National Clean Beaches Week is a week-long event that lasts from July 1st to the 7th. The week was enacted by Congress in 2007 and promotes having clean beaches for years to come. During National Clean Beaches Week, beach goers are urged to leave no trace and to not walk on sand dunes. Sand dunes are tiny mounds made by wind, eroded sandstone, and waves. The sandstone and other sediment gets caught in between grass roots and forms into a sand dune which becomes a home for animals and a barrier against storms. Sand dunes are very fragile and are easily destroyed by foot traffic, so use walkovers whenever possible to avoid them. Many beaches will also be holding beach clean-ups during the week to get people involved in taking care of their environment.
Other environmental holidays include World Oceans Day, World Cleanup Day, World Habitat Day, and America Recycles Day. November 15th is America Recycles Day, and the America Recycles Day website has an option to pledge to learn, act, and share information about recycling. Georgia College celebrates America Recycles Day each year to raise awareness about proper recycling on campus.
We wish you all a happy World Environment Day here at the Office of Sustainability, and we hope that you take part in many other environmental holidays as well.