Mother Earth Day: Planet versus Plastics

International Mother Earth Day is commemorated on April 22 with the aim of raising awareness of the problems caused by overpopulation and pollution, as well as the importance of biodiversity conservation.

 

Caring for our Mother Earth

 

Mother Earth is asking us to act. The oceans are filling up with plastics and becoming more acidic. Extreme heat, forest fires, floods and other weather events affect millions of people.

 

Climate change, man-made changes in nature, as well as biodiversity-disturbing crimes such as deforestation, land-use change, intensive agricultural and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, accelerate the pace of destruction of the planet.

 

This Mother Earth Day is commemorated in the framework of the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. Ecosystems support all forms of life on Earth. The health of our ecosystems is directly dependent on the health of our planet and its inhabitants. Restoring those that are damaged will help end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass extinction. But we will only achieve this if all of humanity does its part.

 

Restoring our Earth to improve human health

 

The COVID-19 pandemic showed us that the health of the human species is intimately related to the health of the planet.

 

Human mistreatment of the Earth, loss of biodiversity and deforestation are factors that can increase the transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans.

 

According to UNEP (United Nations Environment Program), a new infectious disease emerges in humans every four months. And of these, 75% come from animals. Hence the close relationship between human, animal and environmental health.

 

Planet vs. Plastics

 

This year’s Mother Earth Day theme is “Planet vs. Plastics”. It seeks to raise awareness about the dire consequences of plastic pollution to our planet and its inhabitants. It also aims to drive a global movement to drastically reduce the use and production of plastics.

 

It seeks to achieve a 60% reduction in the production of all plastics by 2040, with the ultimate goal of achieving a plastic-free future. Individuals, businesses and governments are encouraged to take concrete actions such as:

 

  • Elimination of disposable plastics. Let’s learn to say no to plastic bags, straws, plastic containers and plastic bottles.

  • Adopt reusable alternatives. Invest in reusable shopping bags, coffee cups, food containers and water bottles.

  • Recycle and compost responsibly. Ensuring proper recycling of acceptable plastics and composting of food scraps will minimize landfill waste.

  • Support sustainable businesses. We can all opt for companies that are committed to reducing their plastic footprint and using recycled materials.

  • Advocate for policy change. We can also contact our authorities and urge them to enact laws or ordinances to combat plastic pollution.
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