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    5 Issues to Focus on This World Environment Day

    by One Tree Planted May 23, 2024 3 min read

    World Environment Day
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    5 Issues to Focus on this World Environment Day

    Established by the United Nations Environment Programme in 1972, World Environment Day is an annual opportunity (June 5th) to spotlight pressing global challenges. Previous years have focused on plastic pollution, ecosystem restoration, the urgent need for climate action, and air pollution to name a few. This year's focus is on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience, and it will be hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    Below, we've highlighted 5 major environmental issues and ways you can help this World Environment Day!

    1. Deforestation

    We owe so much to trees: they clean the air we breathe, help regulate our climate, filter our water, reduce the risk of natural disasters and provide habitats for thousands of plants, fungi, insects and animals. But forests are being burned, degraded and logged at a staggering rate. You can help combat deforestation by adopting a sustainable diet, going paperless, buying only responsibly sourced wood and planting trees where they’re needed most!

    2. Plastic Pollution

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few decades, you're probably aware that the Earth is dealing with a massive plastic problem. Around 91% of all plastic ever produced has not been recycled. This has led to plastic ending up in our oceans, environment, and landfills, destined to remain there for several generations. A few ways to avoid adding to the problem include: avoiding single-use plastics, wearing clothes made from natural fibers, purchasing secondhand items and encouraging your favorite brands to adopt plastic alternatives for their products and packaging. 

    3. Biodiversity Loss

    A recent UN Report on biodiversity found that nearly 1 million animal and plant species are facing extinction, many within the next few decades. Biodiversity loss is primarily caused by habitat loss, invasive species, over-exploitation, pollution and climate change. To help, you can cultivate a pollinator and wildlife friendly yard (or balcony!), purchase sustainable products, reduce your waste, and plant a tree to support biodiversity

    4. Food waste

    We’ve all been there: regretfully throwing out a bag of wilting spring mix or moldy pasta that we had the best of intentions for. According to the World Food Programme, a whopping 1.3 billion tonnes of the food produced for human consumption is wasted each year. That’s enough to feed about two billion people! It’s important to remember that the food we eat requires land, water and energy — plus human labor and greenhouse gas emissions — to make it to the grocery store. On an individual level, we can find ways to reduce food waste by meal planning and shopping from a list, supporting sustainable food retailers, properly storing food, and donating extra food to those in need. 

    5. Climate Change

    April 2024 was the warmest on record, and 2024 is on track to be one of the top 5 warmest years on record. Global warming is responsible for warmer temperatures, increased natural disasters, rising sea levels, food insecurity and increased spread of diseases to name just a few. We can work towards a cooler planet by reducing our carbon footprint, switching to clean energy sources, holding large polluters accountable and, of course, planting trees.

    Don’t let these environmental issues get you down this World Environment Day – instead, see it as an opportunity to make lifestyle changes and reduce your ecological footprint. Making a positive impact can be as easy as planting trees!

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