Today is the World Environment Day, a United Nations Environment Programme initiative that has been going on for 40 years. This year, the WED theme is Green Economy, and the host city for central celebrations is Rio de Janeiro. (Wish we were there!)
And on 8 June the world celebrates World Oceans Day, also recognised by United Nations. The 2012 theme is Youth: the Next Wave for Change, and is specially geared to make the issue “cool” and appealing to the young generation.
As a country that has exit to two oceans and 3000 kilometres of coastline oceans, South Africa has extra interest in the well being of the oceans, and extra responsibility too.
The activities aimed at protecting the oceans and environment in general are not, of course, limited to a few days a year. They are rather a way of life, and everyone is involved. Small changes we make in our everyday lives can add up and have a big positive effect: we can conserve in our homes, consume, participate in community initiatives, etc.
With so much at stake, there is no excuse not to do one’s bit. Let these environmental quotes inspire you:
- There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew. (Marshall McLuhan)
- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. (John Muir)
- Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. (Aldo Leopold)
- We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children. (Native American Proverb)
- Because we don’t think about future generations, they will never forget us. (Henrik Tikkanen)
- Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed. (Mahatma Gandhi)
- Modern technology / Owes ecology / An apology. (Alan M. Eddison)
- We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment. (Margaret Mead)
- Don’t blow it. Good planets are hard to find. (Anonymous)