How Students Can Lead the Change on World Environment Day

June 5th is the annual World Environment Day, which this year is focused on the theme of land restoration, desertification, and drought resilience.

The important of World Environment Day becomes more pronounced every single year, as we witness and experience the greater impact of global warming across the world.

We’ve given you tips in the past on how to live in a more sustainable way, and we hope that this guide will help you learn more about the dangers to the environment that we all must face.

How can you, as a student, be a leader in the change we need to see as a planet this World Environment Day?

Person holding a tree in a glass in their hand

What is World Environment Day?

World Environment Day is a global annual event that is designed to raise awareness of the importance of environmental protection. It is a great chance to improve your own knowledge and to help teach others about a whole range of topics that are linked to the environment.

There is a real need to reduce waste, to preserve and boost biodiversity and to protect the resources of the planet. The event was founded in 1974 by the United Nations and is hosted in a different country each year (this year it is being held in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia).

The event promotes delving deeper into topical environmental resources that help to stimulate research, conversation, and debate. These are all key aspects of pushing forward the conversation on any topic, and for students, it is a crucial part of life where you are developing these debating skills and broadening your knowledge on a whole array of topics.

Girl thinking

Things you can do to make positive change

There are several things that you can immediately do that will have a positive impact on the planet and  help you to reduce your personal carbon footprint. These can be simple, everyday things that are easy to implement and don’t take too much planning or change in how you live your life. It can include:

Taking part in clean-up walks

With friends, fellow students, colleagues, or as part of a wider community group, clean-up walks are fantastic for helping to clean up your local area.

Get together as a group, stick some gloves on, pick up some bin bags and walk through a designated route.

Pick up litter along the way, separate it into recycling as a bonus exercise, and give nature in your locality the chance to shine, to help clean up waterways, and protect animals from eating rubbish and getting injured and trapped on certain items.

people cleaning up the beach

Learning more about endangered species

Knowledge and learning should never end, and whether you know nothing about endangered species or you want to find out more (there are 157,100 species listed on the IUCN Red List), you should seek out the relevant information. Armed with this knowledge will give you the power to spread the word with accuracy, and to implore even greater numbers of people to get involved and to make a difference to the future of animals and our planet.

Man reading a book

Reducing your consumption

Over-consumption and over-consumerism have a direct impact on climate change, pollution, resource depletion and the loss of biodiversity.

Challenge yourself to reduce your consumption over a set period of time (whether that is a week, a month, or a year). Lower your spending through various means.

This can be through turning off your electronic devices early each night, taking public transport, cycling, or walking where you would usually take a car, stopping buying new clothes and shopping in charity shops to name a few.

Girl cycling

Changing to a sustainable diet

With regards to your diet, a sustainable diet can help the environment. By being more considerate over what you eat, you can have a positive impact on the global food supply.

20-30% of global greenhouse emissions and 66% of water usage are linked to food production, so by eating local and seasonal foods you can help reduce your impact.

Eat more fruit and vegetables, cut out processed foods and red meat wherever you can, and this will all help to reduce your impact on the environment.

Colourful vegetables on a table

Planting a garden

Whilst this isn’t always practical, depending on your student accommodation and available space, planting a garden or planting some vegetables and flowers even in your student bedroom, is a great way to connect with nature and teaches you how to plant, nurture, and grow whilst understanding the importance of plants on the environment.

Person making a garden in a balcony

Cutting out plastic

Every now and then it is good practice to conduct a plastic audit of your home. There are over 300 million tons of plastic that is produced every year. Single-use plastic is dangerous to the future of the planet, so it is so important that we all do our bit to reduce our use of it and to do what we can to limit the impact of microplastics. Write down all the plastic that you have coming in and out of your house every week, review it, and see where you can swap out to sustainable and multi-use items, such as reusable straws, bags, reusable water bottles and coffee cups, and anything else you find you can easily cut out the plastic version of.

Girl organising plastics

Are you worried about the future of the environment and our planet? We hope that this guide to World Environment Day has been a good starting point for enhancing your knowledge on the subject and helping you see how you can become part of the positive change that is required. From understanding how to prepare for winter power cuts to lowering your carbon footprint, recycling, eating better, and spreading the word, there are many different things that you can do.