Our planet is undergoing *huge* changes at the moment. The Black Lives Matter movement, a global pandemic and an ongoing battle against climate change are all taking place across the globe. Each of these battle is vital to the survival of humanity.
The United Nation’s annual World Environment Day is held on the 5th June to inspire, draw attention to, and education on the preservation of our environment. Titled “Time For Nature”, the theme of this year’s event is “celebrate biodiversity”. We’ve rounded up some ways which we can all help this fight to save our planet (and they’re easy, we promise!).
Consider where you shop
Fashion has a huge impact on the environment and is responsible for an eye-watering 10% of all global carbon emissions. This could also double by 2030 if consumers shopping habits continue to rise. So if we find it hard to resist a splurge (and we are totally guilty of this too), then we could start to consider purchasing from brands which are more environmentally aware and work to reduce their footprint.
Levi’s are BIG in the sustainability game, and we totally love them for it. They’ve invented more than 20 ways to reduce water when manufacturing jeans and have saved and recycled over 8 billion litres of water. By next year, 100% of Levi’s cotton will be sustainably sourced and their WellThreadTM range is made from completely recyclable all natural hemp fibres. Yes to all of this!
For your casual looks The Giving Movement is the athleisure brand to know. They create the softest loungewear from organic bamboo and textiles made from recycled water bottles which are made in the UAE. Each process they use has had super in-depth research ensuring “fair work conditions” right from the very creation of the yarn. Oh, and the clothes are fire too.
Engage and educate
We know Too Hot to Handle or KUWTK for the tenth time can be super tempting but honestly, engaging in some environmental watching can do wonders for your soul. The UN have been posting lots of engaging content on their website (we love a quiz) or catch up with UN Ambassador Dia Mirza on Instagram Live this week.
If your more into reading than watching, try out the United Arab Emirates Ecology and Nature Protection Handbook or the Sustainability Tribe which is a UAE-based blog with lots of ideas on how to help reduce our impact on our planet. Check out the World Environment Day schedule for all of the global online events which they have running throughout the week.
Re-use and recycle
This one may sound obvious, but even something as small as reducing our plastic bags intake at the grocery store can positively impact the amount of non-bio-degradable products which we consume. A linen or cotton tote bag is a great (and fashionable) alternative to plastic bags and can be thrown in the washer easily.
Consider re-using containers such as glass jam jars after use. Once you start thinking of how everything can be re-used it becomes addictive (trust us), before you know it your make-up storage will be a jam-jar haven and you'll never buy a vase again.
Food packaging is a huge issue for the environment, with over 78 million metric tons of plastic packaging globally each year, and a tiny 14% of it being recycled. Please ensure you try to recycle any recyclable food packaging, or better yet, buy food without packaging! In the UAE, Organic Foods and café, Waitrose and Carrefour all sell fruit and vegetables with zero packaging.
If you can, consider donating to an organisation who is battling against climate change for the safety of us all. At any given time, but especially now, there are so many worthy causes needing our financial support that it can be difficult, if near impossible, to prioritise. Why not consider helping numerous causes in small ways, such as donating the loose change in your purse to a different charity each month, or donating to something that’s been on your mind when you don’t buy that morning Costa – every little really does help.
If you wish to donate to an environmental cause, options to consider include Trees for the Future. They trains farmers on how to sustainably revitalize their land, giving them the tools to continually plant and grow thousands of trees which are essential for our oxygen levels.
Action Aid is currently educating women and girls to make washable, re-usable sanitary products. Disposable sanitary items account for a huge amount of the plastic in our oceans (did you know a sanitary pad is 90% plastic?). These women and girls would likely not have access to sanitary products otherwise, and they are being taught an life-changing skill which is helping to protect the environment at the same time, and you can donate to their supplies and learning.
Azraq is a UAE-based charity which is vital to our ocean conversations. They focus on the protection, defence and conversation of marine life and are passionate about contributing to the United Nations Global Goals. You can donate your time to them by joining their team helping clean shores across the region or staffing an education stall.
Whatever you decide to do to celebrate World Environment Day share it on social media with the tag #ForNature to inspire others.