#WorldEnvironmentDay + A Special Challenge

#WorldEnvironmentDay + A Special Challenge

Here’s a question that I want all of my readers, young and old, to ponder.

How much time do you spend in nature?

On a daily basis?  A weekly basis?

Keep the answer in your mind as you read this post.

Today is World Environment Day, an initiative hosted by UN Environment.  This event was created to celebrate nature and encourage the protection of our environment!  The first World Environment Day was held in 1974 in U.S., and since then, the celebrations have taken place in countries all over the world!

I have to admit, this year was the first time I heard about World Environment Day.  But especially once I learned that 2017’s celebrations would be based in Canada (I’m Canadian, for those who don’t know), I just had to take part!

This year’s theme is “connecting people with nature”.  In my opinion, this is a very relevant theme in this day and age.  I see the prevalence even in my own life – when life gets busy, I’ll often go for long periods of time without enjoying the great outdoors!  So, this World Environment Day and beyond, I am going to make a greater effort to spend time in nature, and I encourage all of my readers to do the same!

On that note, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce a new feature on Asha for the World!  I often talk about the importance of making daily changes in our lifestyles to become more eco-friendly, but sometimes, I look in the mirror and realize that I don’t always practice what I preach.

Below, I have made a list of 45 changes that we can all work on integrating into our daily lives.  They begin with easier, more everyday changes, and end with drastic lifestyle changes!

  1. Turn off the lights when leaving a room
  2. Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth
  3. Avoid purchasing dollar-store junk…that you’re just going to throw away anyway
  4. Get creative with food leftovers!
  5. Use reusable grocery bags
  6. Avoid printing out websites (when possible); consider emailing them to yourself instead
  7. If necessary, print double-sided to save paper
  8. Make an effort to purchase products with less packaging
  9. Use reusable lunch containers and water bottles
  10. Remember the Three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle)
  11. Compost food waste, and use it in your garden!
  12. Use energy efficient light bulbs
  13. Use alternative modes of transportation, such as biking or taking public transit
  14. Carpool to work or school whenever possible
  15. Avoid eating fish that have been raised in fish farms
  16. Turn down the heat in your house; instead, wear a sweater
  17. Instead of buying books, check your local library
  18. Support your local organic farmer’s market
  19. Don’t water your lawn during the summer months
  20. Use a dishwasher instead of washing dishes by hand (just make sure you load it completely before running it)
  21. Take part in Meat-Free Mondays, or a similar initiative
  22. Use eco-friendly cleaners and bleach
  23. Donate old clothes to clothing drives
  24. Plant bee-friendly plants, such as wildflowers
  25. Take shorter showers
  26. Recycle old electronics
  27. Spend more time in nature
  28. Try making your own recycled paper!
  29. Boycott companies that support the DARK act (an act against labelling GMOs)
  30. Start a climate change awareness club
  31. Tell other people about environmental issues, and encourage them to take action
  32. Invest in an electric vehicle, such as a Tesla
  33. Make sure your home is energy-efficient and “leak-proof”
  34. Plant a tree
  35. Write an article
  36. Give a speech
  37. Start a blog (like me!)
  38. Make a film
  39. Take up the hobby of beekeeping (yes, I’m serious!)
  40. Donate money to environmental charities and non-profits
  41. Paint your roof white – it’ll help reflect heat back out into space rather than absorbing into your roof
  42. Have a beach cleanup
  43. Volunteer at a local environmental organization
  44. Have a protest
  45. Petition your government to act on climate

So here is my challenge.

Pick one item on this list that you would like to work on this month.

And I’m doing the same!

This month, I am going to work on change #25 – taking shorter showers.  I am absolutely the worst when it comes to short showers…I’ll start daydreaming and before you know it, half an hour has passed!

In a month’s time, I’ll post about my progress and whether or not I met my goal.  I would love it if some of my readers could do the same thing, and keep me updated through the comments!

Wish me luck, and happy World Environment Day!

-Asha M.

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