World Environment Day
Over the past 50 years, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has held its annual World Environment Day (WED) – a global platform for environmental public outreach celebrated by millions worldwide.
On June 5th, 1973, UNEP led the first celebration of World Environment Day. Since then, individuals from over 150 countries have collaborated to build a sustainable world for everyone.
This annual celebration aims to raise awareness of environmental issues such as air pollution, plastic pollution, sea-level increase, food security, and much more. The slogan “Only One Earth” reminds us of how important it is to respect and care for the world around us as it’s the only one we have. Historically, individuals and corporations have taken our environment for granted. Despite all that it provides for us – we aren’t caring for the earth in the way that we should.
Our Environment By the Numbers
It’s becoming increasingly important to address the issues regarding climate change and environmental destruction. Here are some eye-opening facts about the state of our environment now:
- 78% of marine mammals are at risk of choking on plastic. A great majority of marine mammals are at risk of accidental deaths, such as getting caught in fishing nets. Plastic bags and other plastic trash that ends up in the ocean kill over 1,000,000 sea animals every year. Keeping our oceans pollution-free and committing to responsible fishing practices can help to alleviate this major problem.
- If you walk a mile along an average US highway, you will see, on average, about 1,457 pieces of litter. According to the non-profit Keep America Beautiful, if every American picked up 152 pieces of litter at the same time, we would have a litter-free nation. Picking up trash that you see in your neighborhood, parks, and streets can play a major role in reducing the negative effects of pollution in your community.
- There is a giant floating patch of garbage in the Pacific Ocean. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a massive “island” composed of trash and waste. It is twice the size of continental America, contains about 100 million tons of garbage, and stretches from the West Coast of North America to Japan. The garbage within this area is mainly comprised of microplastics that will not break down on their own. Scientists state that limiting or eliminating our use of disposable plastics and increasing our use of biodegradable resources will be the best way to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
- An estimated 25% of coral reefs have been destroyed beyond repair due to pollution, overfishing, a warming climate, mining, and destructive fishing practices. An easy way to help the reefs is to become an informed consumer and learn how your daily choices such as water use, seafood, vacation choices, fertilizer use, and more can impact the health of coral reefs. For more information on how you can become informed, visit this website.
- America is the world’s top trash-producing nation, accounting for 30% of the world’s waste despite only having 5% of the world’s population. The US also burns 10,000 gallons of gasoline per second, equal to 220,000 pounds of carbon dioxide. If the world lived like an average American, we would need five planets to acquire all the resources needed.
Ways You Can Celebrate World Environment Day
There are countless ways for individuals to help our environment and combat climate change and pollution. Many effective ways to help only require slight habit and lifestyle changes. Here are some easy ways that you can make a difference:
- Volunteer or lead cleanup events in your community. Not only can you connect with like-minded community members, but you can also help protect the health of the environment. Spending one hour a day picking up trash, you could remove thousands of pieces of trash, beautifying the area while also protecting wildlife and waterways from toxic chemicals and materials.
- Conserve water when you shower, brush your teeth, wash dishes, etc. Preserving water reduces the strain on major resources such as water and wastewater treatment plants and the distribution systems that deliver water to the public. Using less water can also enable us to become more flexible during droughts. When you’re brushing your teeth, don’t leave the water running. When you’re scrubbing your hands with soap, turn off the faucet until you need to rinse. When you’re showering, keep it short.
- Use reusable shopping bags and buy less with plastic packaging. There are several ways to be an eco-conscious shopper to reduce plastic waste. For example, you can buy in bulk, choose biodegradable packaging, opt for reusable products, and shop for second-hand or thrifted products. Many cities have decided to ban plastic shopping bags as a way to reduce plastic waste.
- Opt to walk, bike, or use public transportation when you’re able to. If you need to use your car, try to combine trips. Say you have several errands to run, you can complete them on one trip to avoid using your car several times per day. Another way to be car-conscious is to get your car checked regularly to improve gas mileage. By switching to sustainable transportation options, you’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Try composting at home. In 2018, Americans generated 292.4 million tons of trash – and over half of that ended up in a landfill. Composting mimics nature’s method of decomposition, thus reducing our overall waste being sent to landfills and cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to those benefits, using compost as fertilizer strengthens your soil and promotes a strong ecosystem. For some information on how you can get started, check out this link.
How Exact Solar Fights for the Environment
Over the past 18 years, Exact Solar has installed hundreds of solar systems in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. With each new system, our communities become cleaner and healthier. As a renewable source of energy, solar plays an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. By harnessing the energy of the sun, which is abundant, inexhaustible, and free, it lessens our dependence on fossil fuels which are finite and costly. In addition, solar requires no transportation for fuel and uses very little water. Our warehouse and office, located in Newtown, are both powered 100% by solar energy – because we are committed to making our world a better place.
This past weekend, several Exact Solar employees participated in the Philadelphia World Environment Day 5k, 10k, and half-marathon to raise awareness for environmental issues. For each runner registered, One Tree Planted planted a tree. Every additional tree planted and added to our ecosystem benefits the planet and every creature living on it. It’s important to us to lead by example – in addition to every effort we make as a solar company to keep the earth clean, we also jump on every opportunity we can find to keep our planet healthy.
Go Green, Go Solar
At Exact Solar, we believe that one of the most highly effective ways to help our planet is to go solar. You can be at the forefront of change by connecting with us today to see how you can take advantage of this cost-effective, environmentally-friendly solution.
Our team of local, experienced sales engineers are here to answer any of your questions! Give us a call today at (215) 621-8353.