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.

Today is World Environment Day
June 5, 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of World Environment Day.