Five ways to acknowledge World Environment Day
Today is United Nation’s World Environment Day!
I was inspired by a blog post over at the local tree-planting/carbon-offsetting business at Fifteen Trees about ways to celebrate/take action on World Environment Day! It got me thinking about the top 5 ways I would be ‘celebrating’ today, and was worthy of a mid-week post!
1. I Will Appreciate Our Environment
It’s a good reminder to get outside, and just BE in nature. The kids and I have loved seeing the beautiful Autumn leaves fall from the trees on our walk to school in the morning, feeling which direction the cold-winds are blowing from, finding frosty leaves on the ground, and jumping in muddy puddles! Enjoying these little things is a fabulous lesson in gratitude, and the kids really learn to appreciate their environment.
2. I Will Save Power/Reduce Energy Use
It’s now winter, and here in Ballarat it is getting pretty cold these days! Most of us switch on the heating without a second thought. But here’s a few suggestions to do first: Put on more layers of clothing/beanies/ugg-boots, Get your blood pumping by jumping up and down/jogging on the spot/dancing, Cuddle up close to someone or a pet to share body-heat, Sit by the north-facing window that still has some warmth from the sun coming through, Seal up the cracks around doors/windows to stop cold drafts coming through…
3. I Will Eat Organic Homegrown Food
If you can, eat straight from your own vegie garden. Or if you’re fortunate like me, I’ve been given Silverbeet, Rainbow Chard, Kale, Chinese Greens and Coriander fresh from friend’s and family’s gardens in the last few days – yum! I also love supporting local farmer’s markets and our regular Organic Vegie Box from Captain’s Creek Organic Farm. Real food, no chemicals, low food-miles, good for you good for the environment!
4. I will Get Involved with Community
For me, this will mean attending the Green Drinks Ballarat event tonight at Rebellion Brewery, to hear a speaker from local non-profit organisation Ballarat Renewable Energy and Zero Emissions (BREAZE), and to have a drink (gluten-free beer – yay!) and connect with other like-minded people in the community. Of course there are many other ways, you could join/donate to ACF or Greenpeace, or become involved with your community-garden, or local land care group…
5. I will make Ethical Choices
At home, this extends to almost everything – eating organic, drinking fair-trade coffee, avoiding chemicals, using cloth-nappies, composting, walking/cycling to reduce car-use, etc… In my profession, I am very conscious of ethical decisions with regards to the built environment. Buildings use so much energy and the Earth’s resources to make, and to keep comfortable (heating and cooling). I feel very responsible as an Architect to ensure that every building I design takes advantage of Solar-Passive Design Principles so that little (if any) heating or cooling is required. This includes summer-shading, insulation, natural ventilation, natural lighting, effective use of thermal mass,, low-embodied-energy materials locally sourced, non-toxic materials and waste minimisation. We can also incorporate rain water storage, solar hot-water, grey-water reticulation, PV panels, water-saving fittings and fixtures, energy-efficient appliances and lighting, etc…
These are just some of the ways I’ll acknowledge World Environment Day. In fact, most of them happen daily and it all becomes routine. Each small step makes a difference in caring for our planet. So go on, get out there and help save the world!
What will you do today to acknowledge World Environment Day?
Whilst all of these ring true for this year, I should update the info for this year’s celebration of World Environment Day at Ballarat Green Drinks on Thursday June 5th, 2014. I’m on the committee, so have helped organise this event.
We are having a sustainable Trivia night! A fun quiz to see how much you really know about green issues and bust some of those myths!
Prizes to be won!
$5 entry to cover costs. Pay at the door.
Drinks at bar prices. Light finger food provided.
Bring a friend or meet new people. Have a laugh!
In celebration of World Environment Day, Ballarat company Fifteen Trees will plant one tree on the behalf of each person attending this event. Trees will be planted in the local area before the end of winter. Once planted, the trees can be viewed on the Fifteen Trees’ website www.15trees.com.au
Thursday June 5th 2014, 7pm – 10pm. Mr Rede, Dana St, Ballarat.
See you there?