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World Environment Day and Great Big Green Week 2024

World Environment Day and Great Big Green Week 2024

June has arrived, bringing warmer weather and (hopefully) some sunshine so we can get out and enjoy our green spaces. Seeing as said green spaces are lovely – and we could really do with more of them across the world – it’s well worth taking action to safeguard and expand them for the future.

There are two fantastic events happening in June to help us all do this: World Environment Day and Great Big Green Week. Read on to learn more about these events and discover how you can mark the occasions.

World Environment Day

World Environment Day is marked annually on the 5th of June. Created by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and first taking place in 1972, it aims to help protect and restore our planet’s natural resources.

This year’s theme focuses on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience, using the slogan ‘Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration’.

Getting involved

World Environment Day is about driving change and inspiring action. Whether you’re an entire country’s government (which somehow has a hivemind sentience and has used it to find our post) or a single person, there are ways to get involved.

Our restoration efforts

We tried restoring some antique period furniture, but then we learned the world needed a different type of restoration.

On a more serious note, we love seeing nature being restored. (Here’s a post we wrote about rewilding and how it’s brilliant.) We want to be a part of it and help create positive change. That’s why we’ve partnered with Reewild to fund important climate projects. Visit our Reewild page to see the results of our contributions, or learn more by reading our post about our partnership.

What you can do

UNEP’s put together a World Environment Day 2024 Practical Guide, which contains heaps of ideas for helping nature thrive. Some of our favourites include:

  • reducing food waste and sharing tips to help others – could you turn some of your kitchen waste into fat balls to feed your garden birds with?
  • buying local.
  • supporting brands that sustainably source materials.
  • planting diverse native flowers, which will attract pollinators including birds and bees.

The guide also signposts a great planet-based diet calculator to help if you’re looking to make the food you eat more sustainable.

Great Big Green Week

If World Environment Day’s given you a proactive, planet-preserving perspective, we’ve got good news. Great Big Green Week kicks off a few days later, running from the 8th to 16th of June. According to their site, it’s ‘the UK’s biggest ever celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature’.

The 2024 event focuses on a less sting-laden anagram of wasps: swaps. This could include swapping items like clothing, or sharing skills and knowledge to help each other live more sustainably. (It probably doesn’t include swapping trading cards. We weren’t even halfway home to get ours when we realised this, so we’re making progress!)

The logic behind the theme is simple: if we’re going to use stuff, we might as well use stuff that already exists. Case in point: back in April, Earth Day 2024 taught us that making a plastic water bottle uses six times more water than it contains! Swapping single-use plastic for a reusable bottle is a great start in our books.

How to get involved

The easiest way to participate is to share your swaps on social media, using the hashtag #swaptogether. Get ideas from others who are making positive changes, and inspire them in turn by posting your own.

You can also get involved by attending an event, or even organise your own. The Great Big Green Week site has a page for searching for local events, so it’s easy for you to see what’s happening nearby.

Some great events local to us (in Bristol) include the Great Big Green Week Community Kickoff in Kingswood Park on the 8th of June, and a family day at Barton Hill in Bristol on the 9th of June.

Some ideas to help you #swaptogether

Here are a few suggestions to get you started, although we bet yours will be at least as good.

  • Swap an hour of doomscrolling on social media for an hour of birdwatching. Flapping birds are more pleasant than angry people in a flap online!
  • Choose a product you buy regularly and look for an alternative that uses more sustainable packaging and/or materials.
  • Switch a single-use item you buy regularly for a reusable one. (Water bottle? Carrier bag? House? Wait, house? If that’s you, how rich are you?!)

However you choose to get involved in World Environment Day and Great Big Green Week, we’d love to hear about your success stories. Be sure to tag us on social media when you share all the great things you’re doing!

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