This World Environment Day (Sunday 5th June) we’re focusing on the range of ways we can do something to take care of the earth and become ‘an agent of change’.
Set up by the United Nations in 1974, WED is aimed at encouraging worldwide awareness for the protection of our environment. There are many ways to get involved this year whether you’re an individual or have a team of enthusiastic friends, find more information on how WED can be celebrated in 5 quick steps.
Issues about the environment are prevalent in our everyday lives from what brands we purchase in the supermarket, how we dispose of our unwanted goods and even how we can aim to offer a better education for farmers. Below are some examples of current campaigns all striving to make a change.
Hotel donations help local homeless charity.
To many charities’ dismay, hotels often dispose of otherwise usable consumables and furnishings when they ready to be replaced but they are being urged to support their local communities by donating their old supplies instead of adding to the already overflowing landfills. Maiden Voyage, the women’s travel website, decided to take on this campaign and enlisted supporting companies and hotels to put this into action.
“I thought I would test the idea of having hotels donate unwanted items to organisations by introducing Oulton Hall to Calderdale SmartMove, a local charity that provides a high-quality, client-centred services assisting homeless and vulnerably housed people.” Maiden Voyage, Carolyn Pearson.
Oulton Hall in Leeds helped support the campaign by donating pillows and furniture from rooms undergoing refurbishment to the delight of the charity.
“We rely on donations such as this to enable us to provide homeless and vulnerably housed people across Calderdale with the necessary things to help them set up home and begin their journey with us,” said Craig George, Fundraising & Relationship Manager of Calderdale Smartmove.
By donating old duvets and pillows, Oulton Hall not only helped the environment by recycling but they also helped those who are most vulnerable. Giving away bedding and other things like furniture, spare toiletries etc. is not always at the forefront of hotelier’s minds but for the likes of Oulton Hall, it was a natural way to help those in need.
It’s not just hotels that can take on this idea if you’re having a clear out, moving house or redecorating, why not donate your goods to a good cause and remember it all makes a difference to the environment.
Is your daily shop affecting the rainforest?
Did you know your daily shop could have a big impact on the environment as 50% of supermarket products contain palm oil?
The Rainforest Foundation UK (RFUK) has launched its annual Palm Oil guide to help consumers understand and make informed, ethical choices about everyday items on their shopping lists including everyday products like biscuits, bread, cleaning products and bread.
Large-scale palm oil developments are being built in the rainforests which causes a huge loss of habitat for the wildlife due to deforestation. The global demand for palm oil has already affected millions of acres in South East Asia and now companies are looking to expand into Africa.
Simon Counsell, RFUK’s Executive Director, said: “The expansion of palm oil poses a growing threat to Africa’s rainforests, as well as to the people who depend on those forests for their livelihoods and culture.”
Find out more about the impact your shopping can have on the environment and download The Rainforest Foundations product guide here.
Pesticides poisoning with African farmers
Dozens of subsistence farmers die each year in Ghana as a result of pesticide poisoning, and hundreds are seriously incapacitated. With virtually no controls on the supply of toxic chemicals, farmers use them without training or protection.
Powerful Information, in conjunction with Network of Rice Farming Association, are working on a project to enable 500 farmers in the Volta Region to practice sustainable agriculture, including safe ways to handle and use agro-chemicals.
As well as providing the farmers with the right training, they are offering advice to over 1,000 high school students to the dangers of spraying without training or protection as for many, this is a job they enrol in to pay for their education. On visiting several local high schools, Powerful Information discovered that some 40% of students in local high schools were taking part in spraying and many reported symptoms of pesticide poisoning.
As it stands in Ghana, they are no effective controls over the sale of pesticides which results in farmers using highly potent chemicals in their crop and food stores without training or protection and very few understand the risks they can (and do) encounter. The World Health Organization and the Food & Agriculture Organisation strongly discourage the sale of such powerful, biologically active chemicals to farmers without providing instructions, training, and protection.
To find out more information about the project please click here.