The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established World Environment Day (WED) in 1972 and every year for the past 40 years, countries around the world have dedicated June 5 to environmental causes. The theme for World Environment Day 2012 is “Green Economy: Does it include you?” With the shaky state of not only the United States economy but also the world economy, this year’s theme couldn’t be more appropriate.


So what is a green economy? Definitions may vary but the United Nations Environment Programme defines a green economy as an economy “that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.”


The UNEP has identified 10 sectors that will help create a greener planet:


  • Buildings
  • Fisheries
  • Forestry
  • Transport
  • Water
  • Agriculture
  • Energy Supply
  • Tourism
  • Waste
  • Manufacturing and Industry

Hot topics in these sectors include greenwashing, the importance of being an informed consumer, eco-friendly tourism, growing your own vegetables and choosing alternative transportation methods.


There are two parts to this year’s theme. The first is what a green economy is and the second is about how you and I can impact the global green economy and now is your chance to get involved.


Thousands of WED activities are scheduled in communities throughout the world and you can find one near you by visiting the WED Activities Map website. The map includes events sponsored by governments, individuals, NGOs, the private sector, religious groups and even youth and school activities.


What are you doing for World Environment Day 2012?

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