On 5 June every year, people across the world come together to create awareness of what we can do to benefit our rapidly failing environment. This year, China is the host nation for the big debate on the way forward with regard to our survival.
Why World Environment Day?
The very first World Environment Day was celebrated in 1972 with the aim of promoting environmental awareness about things like overpopulation, global warming and sustainable consumption.
Every year since then, 5 June has been the day for collaborating on ways to end mankind’s effect on the planet, halt the damage that’s already been done and find a more sustainable way forward. So far, 143 countries are on board with this initiative.
How it Works
Each year, the United Nations chooses a different theme to highlight and spends the next 365 days campaigning for awareness around the topic.
In 2019, the theme is ‘Greening the Blue” and places air pollution in the spotlight. Apart from the obvious, here are a few things about air pollution that aren’t common knowledge to highlight the significance of the problem:
- Air pollution leads to the premature death of around 7 million people every year.
- Every year pollution-related healthcare costs the global economy around $5 trillion.
- Lower-level ozone degradation is expected to reduce crop yields by 26% by 2030.
- 92% of people in the world do not breathe clean air.
In light of those sobering facts, it’s clear that air pollution affects us all, not just those living in industrialised centres. It’s easy to ask what difference one day is going to make, but in some small way, it does.
One Step at a Time
2018’s theme centred on plastic pollution and nobody can deny that awareness around this topic has grown in leaps and bounds lately.
For starters, several countries have banned the use of plastic bags, supermarkets are getting on board with encouraging shoppers to use paper bags, and recycling is becoming second nature to many consumers.
Taking Care of the Environment Every Day
As conservationists, environmentally friendly activities at Thornybush are a daily thing. However, environmental custodianship is a big job and World Environment Day just serves to highlight areas where we can improve.
At Thornybush we go out of our way to educate all our guests on the importance of environmental issues and the delicate balance of our ecosystems. We know that our wonderful safari experiences create a new appreciation for the environment and are grateful that we can spread the word in such a convincing setting.
We have numerous initiatives in place to ensure that we tread lightly on our surroundings including:
- The use of solar power wherever possible
- Using all our kitchen waste as fertiliser in our community gardens and supplying local businesses that need organic waste to operate, like a local pig farmer.
- Stocking our kitchens with produce from these gardens, thus bypassing the larger carbon footprint of buying from further afield.
- Reducing plastic waste by offering guests reusable water bottles
- Reducing energy consumption with the use of heat pumps and putting timers on outdoor lights and pool pumps.
Of course, our biggest priority is safeguarding the fauna and flora in our care and doing everything possible to ensure that they continue to thrive. When you book your South African safari, you are helping us to continue our good work. Go ahead – do it for the environment.