5 Things you can do for the Environment this World Environment Day
World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5th to celebrate the importance and value of nature, whether it’s in relation to people’s everyday lives or for its intrinsic value. Established by the United Nations (UN) Assembly in 1972, this day is also a good reminder to be conscious of the human impact on the environment in the world. Below is a list of five things you can do on World Environment Day.
Share Your Voice
Learn from others and share your experiences on how you are trying to act more sustainably for the environment. People and organizations from around the world are building awareness to World Environment Day in the #GenerationRestoration movement and #WorldEnvironmentDay celebration. Check out the UN’s website for World Environment Day to participate in engaging virtual events and activities. https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/
Learn About Recycling Symbols
Does a triangle symbol on a plastic bottle, container, or other plastic products always mean that it is recyclable? No. If you look closely, there is a number within each triangle, each number representing a specific type of plastic that is either recyclable or not. This brief guide will help you understand what these numbers mean. Generally, recycling facilities will accept and recycle #1, 2, and 5 plastics; for all other plastics, you should check your local waste management facility if they can recycle it.
The #1 PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate) is the easiest plastic to recycle and is the most common plastic for single-use plastics normally found in plastic water/soda bottles and food packaging. These should be cleaned and emptied before recycling. Any #1 plastic caps should be disposed of in the trash unless otherwise stated in your local recycling facility.
The #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene) is another commonly recyclable plastic found in milk jugs, detergent or householding cleaning products, and some trash and shopping bags. Some stores may accept plastic shopping bags for recycling.
The #3 PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is a commonly used plastic found in shampoo and cooking oil bottles, medical plastics, and some toys. These are generally unrecyclable.
The #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene) is a flexible plastic commonly found in squeezable bottles (shampoo or condiment bottles), shopping bags, and tote bags. These are generally unrecyclable. Some stores may accept plastic bags for recycling.
The #5 PP (polypropylene) is durable and versatile, commonly found in medical bottles, yogurt containers, caps, and straws. These can be recycled generally, but it’s best to throw away caps in the trash because they easily slip through screens during recycling.
The #6 PS (polystyrene) are usually found in styrofoams which are not commonly recycled.
The #7 other plastics are usually unrecyclable such as gallon water bottles, DVDs, sunglasses, and certain food containers.
If you’re unsure if you can recycle certain products or not, the general rule of thumb is to check with your local waste management facility before throwing any plastic product in the trash.
Conserving energy not only reduces your energy bill, but also the demand on the Earth’s natural resources. This means turning off appliances that you’re not using, using energy-efficient light bulbs, and other energy conserving methods. A little mindfulness in your energy use goes a long way in reducing your carbon footprint and the use of natural resources.
Use Reusable Alternatives
Plastics take about 400 years and sometimes more to biodegrade, and like earlier mentioned, not all plastics are recyclable. To reduce your plastic waste, it is helpful to use reusable alternatives - as another incentive, it feels better to use these alternatives than plastic anyways. This includes using a metal straw, bringing your own reusable food container, bringing a tote bag in replace of using a plastic bag, and using your own reusable utensils.
Donate to TerraCycle
TerraCycle commits itself to cleaning up and recycling plastic waste from rivers and canals entering the oceans. With every $5 you donate, we will clean up and recycle 1kg of plastic waste - that is the equivalence of a whopping 180 plastic bags. To make a charitable contribution, Stop Ocean Waste Here
This is not a comprehensive list, of course, but these are a few suggestions in ways you can get involved with living more sustainably. Check out our other posts and follow us on our social media to learn more about our organization’s work. https://www.terracyclefoundation.org/ Happy World Environment Day!