Sunday 5th June marks ‘World Environment Day’ 2022, 50 years on from the very first World Environment Day in 1972. This year’s slogan is ‘Only One Earth’, and is focused on ‘Living Sustainably in Harmony with Nature”. You can watch a video about it by clicking here.
It is important to be aware of and understand climate change and what is happening to our planet. However, I think it is even more important to keep a positive attitude and understand what we humans can do to protect our planet too.
This World Environment Day, let us dream big, and take important actions and steps to live more sustainable lives – whilst protecting nature, animals and the ecosystems we share this Earth with.
Celebrating Neighbourhood Network’s Care for the Environment
At Neighbourhood Networks, members and staff alike continue to show their care and ambition when it comes to protecting our planet.
At the start of April, several of the Neighbourhood Networks members and staff planted trees in Cumbernauld as part of Neighbourhood Network’s 20th Birthday Celebrations. This tree planting event was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the organisation by caring for our local environment.
Trees are a hugely important part of protecting the Earth. They give us and other animals oxygen, store carbon in the ground, and provide homes, food and tools for thousands of animals across the world – amongst many other benefits. A huge thank you to everyone who planted these trees, and to TCV and Cumbernauld Living Landscape for providing us with the trees and the space to plant them. Below are some photos of the tree planting day.
The members at Neighbourhood Networks also love gardening! Whether it’s gardening at home, working in their Network’s community garden, or visiting public gardens, we have many green fingered members throughout the organisation. This includes growing flowers at home, building insect hotels in community gardens, and learning about growing your own veg. These activities are hugely beneficial to our planet. With every flower grown without pesticides, bees have more of a chance to pollinate, and the earth will keep growing more and more plants – a crucial relationship in protecting our planet. Supporting insects to live happy lives is also important, as many of the insects we find in our garden keep away pests and keep our gardens, and nature more generally, working properly. The benefits of growing your own food goes on and on, but the big smiles on Linda’s and her Community Living Worker Michelle’s faces as they hold freshly grown Kale, gives us a good insight into how fantastic it feels!
Throughout the different networks, many of the Neighbourhood Networks members get involved in litter picks in their local area. Pictured below are members of the Cumbernauld network, as well as some of the Tranent members. The Tranent litter pickers, also known as the Tranent Wombles, won a community contribution award last year for their litter picking! A huge thank you to all the members who take part in litter picks. Keeping our local areas tidy and clean from rubbish is a benefit to ourselves, as well as the plants and wildlife we live alongside.
Tips and Activities to Live Sustainably in Harmony with Nature!
There are loads of things we can do and be mindful of to live more sustainable lives.
- Make sure you turn off lights in your house when you leave a room. You could also change to energy saving lightbulbs.
- Where possible, be mindful of what you’re eating and where it comes from
- Recycle as much as you can. Different areas of Scotland sometimes have different recycling rules. Why not have a look online and make sure you’re recycling properly!
- Where possible, use natural or sustainable cleaning products
- Try to reduce the amount of stuff you buy at the shop that comes in plastic packaging
- Insulate or draught-proof your home. Draught-proofing your home is one of the cheapest and best ways to save energy and money, whilst also protecting the planet.
- Grow flowers, vegetables, and other plants! This could include letting the grass in your garden grow, letting some of the weeds that insects love keep growing, or growing more flowers. If you don’t have a garden or want to grow flowers outside of your garden (or even as a fun gardening activity at home) try making seed bombs.
Connect with Local Environmental Groups
If you’d like to learn more, or connect with other environmental groups working in your local area, a quick search online will connect you with loads of great like-minded groups and organisations.
Here’s just a few:
Nature – A Human Right
It’s important to remember that our access to nature and to clean, unpolluted spaces, rests within our human rights. If you would like to be involved in putting this into law, check out the Environmental Rights Centre for Scotland who “work with individuals and communities to understand and use our environmental rights to make our spaces greener and healthier for everyone”. This includes getting the Human Right to a Healthy Environment included in the Human Rights (Scotland) Bill.
Living in Harmony with Nature
But before you do any of that, head outside, and take a moment to notice what’s out there. Flowers are popping out everywhere, and bees are most definitely keeping busy. Do you notice different insects and bugs hanging about when it’s raining, compared to when it’s sunny? Have you noticed the different shapes of the leaves on different trees, and the many different colours hiding in the feathers of the garden birds? Living sustainably in harmony with nature starts here – noticing nature and our environments, and deciding to take action to protect this wonderful Earth.
Have a lovely day!
Kezia – Member Involvement Worker