Hundreds of Guests Participated on a Green Fair to Commemorate the World Environment Day today at the UN Headquarters in New York City. Similar Events are taking place around the world to Help clean-up beaches, rivers and parks of Plastic Bottles.
Photos: Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire
By Kurt Wheelock
For World Environment Day, there was a UN Green Fair complete with a solar powered car and costumes made of plastic water bottles from which UN officials are swearing off.
Among the tables on the plaza in front of the UN General Assembly building was one from Comics Uniting Nations, which in April launched the winner of the first ever UNICEF Climate Comic Contest for her character ‘TRé’ – a half tree-half human who uses special powers to save nature from a warming planet.
Now they have a new comic called the “Poseidon Patron,” which covers the growing problem of plastics in the ocean. The issue was addressed inside the UN as well, at a World Environment Day commemoration representatives from India, the president of the UN Economic and Social Council, and the Deputy Chef de Cabinet of the President of the General Assembly.
The UN agency UNEP has assembled experiences and assessments of the various measures and regulations to beat plastic pollution in a report: “Single-use Plastics: A roadmap for Sustainability.”
This report, developed in cooperation with the Indian Government and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, presents case studies from more than 60 countries. The report analyzes the complex relationships in our plastics economy and offers an approach to rethink how the world produces, uses and manages single-use plastics.
Among the recommendations are specific actions policy makers can take to improve waste management, promote eco-friendly alternatives, educate consumers, enable voluntary reduction strategies and successfully implement bans or levies on the use and sale of single-use plastics.
President of the General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak, taking it personally, recently tweeted a photograph of himself drinking from a glass rather than plastic straw, on the terrace outside the UN Delegates Dining Room. Earlier, Lajcak said, “Often when we think about climate action, we think about what our governments should do. But there are things that we can all do to make a difference – and young people are showing us how its done. For instance, Anela Arifi from Bosnia. She came up with a way to use chicken fat and feathers as fuel for an energy system. Gitanjali Rao, just 12 years old, developed a water-testing device inspired by the water crisis in Flint Michigan. These innovations, and many others, show that youth really do power the planet. But this doesn’t mean that you should let your leaders off the hook. In fact, the experts say that the pledges our governments made to take climate action are not enough. So, we need you to stand up! Speak up! Raise your voices! Use a microphone! Create a comic book!”
And that’s just what Poseidon Patrol is. There are the personal steps people can take, according to the UN:
Save electricity by plugging appliances into a power strip and turning them off completely when not in use, including your computer.
Stop paper bank statements and pay your bills online or via mobile. No paper, no need for forest destruction.
Share, don’t just like. If you see an interesting social media post about women’s rights or climate change, share it so folks in your network see it too.
Speak up! Ask your local and national authorities to engage in initiatives that don’t harm people or the planet. You can also voice your support for the Paris Agreement and ask your country to ratify it or sign it if it hasn’t yet.
Don’t print. See something online you need to remember? Jot it down in a notebook or better yet a digital post-it note and spare the paper.
Turn off the lights. Your TV or computer screen provides a cozy glow, so turn off other lights if you don’t need them.
Do a bit of online research and buy only from companies that you know have sustainable practices and don’t harm the environment.
If people would do follow this last suggestion, the world would change.