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  • What Were the Biggest Environmental Events in 2018?

What Were the Biggest Environmental Events in 2018?

Dec 04 2018 Read 2407 Times

2018 has been a year full of change. Where the environment is concerned, that change has been mostly positive. Whether it’s the launch of the Ocean Cleanup helping to rid the seas of plastic or the EU ban of single-use plastics, there have been a lot of promising improvements this year for the environment.

In our six-part series, we’re focussing on the annual events that have increased awareness, promoted positive environmental action and influenced key decisions worldwide.

This post, the final in the series, will sum up the key information about the biggest environmental events of 2018…

1. Earth Day

Earth Day is one of the longest-standing environmental events, having ran for almost 50 years. The focus of Earth Day 2018 was ending plastic pollution. There are an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic thrown into the oceans each year, and that’s just one issue. Plastic pollutes landfills, waterworks and our beaches across the globe, causing harm to wildlife and impacting human life.

Earth Day takes place on April 22nd each year, celebrating a different theme each year. With the 50-year anniversary approaching in the next 2 years, efforts are increasing to make 2020 the most diverse global mobilisation in defence of the environment in history.

2. World Cleanup Day

Taking place on the 15th of September each year, World Cleanup Day is an international event spanning over 150 countries. It was organised by civic-led mass movement Let’s Do It! World in Estonia in 2008, when 50,000 local residents came together and cleaned the country of illegally dumped waste in just 5 hours.

This year, over 17 million people came together in 158 countries around the world to clean their local areas, making it the biggest positive civic action the world has ever seen.

3. World Vegan Day

Over the last 5 years, around a third of all Britons have stopped eating meat or reduced their meat intake, making a huge difference to the damage to our environment. World Vegan Day, which is held on the 1st of November, aims to encourage veganism, educate people on the affects of the meat and dairy industries and promote healthy lifestyle choices.

World Vegan Day was first introduced in 1994 by Louise Wallis, chair of The Vegan Society, to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the society’s conception.

4. World Wildlife Day

On the 3rd of March each year, the world comes together to celebrate the diverse wildlife of this planet. Recently, the celebration has transformed into a movement to try to combat the mass loss of wildlife across the globe. A shocking 96% of all mammals on earth are humans or livestock, with only 4% living in the wild. This has a huge impact on the biodiversity of the planet and has led to mass species extinction.

In 2018, the World Wildlife Day theme is ‘Big cats: predators under threat’, focusing on preventing further harm to these magnificent creatures. Big cats face multiple threats every day, with the majority caused by human activities.

5. World Water Day

Back in 1993, the United Nations made a decision to dedicate the 22nd of March to World Water Day each year, celebrating and promoting the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Each year, UN-Water designates a different focal point, with ‘water and jobs’, ‘water and sustainable development’ and ‘why waste water?’ as previous themes.

This year, the focus was on ‘nature for water’, looking at how we can utilise nature to promote sustainability and help to solve the water challenges we currently face.

Making the world a greener place

Together, even small changes can make a huge difference. Whether you opt to go meat-free one day a week or choose to cycle to work, everything can help us to work towards a better future. Want a more in-depth look at environmental monitoring? Read the article ‘LI-COR’s new trace gas analysers aim to make science more accessible...and affordable’.

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