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On the heels of UN World Environment Day, we wanted to share practical tips and tricks for making sustainability a priority in your life. The theme of 2022 World Environment Day, #OnlyOneEarth, encapsulates the urgency needed when discussing and addressing climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. 

To inspire meaningful action, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) compiled a practical guide of tips for different groups of people interested in affecting real change.

Green Places believes that information should be accessible, in both language and format. We have summarized the #OnlyOneEarth Practical Guide into the fast facts, so you can stop reading and get to change-making.

Governments: 

  • Close the emissions gap. 
    • Whether it’s making day-to-day operations carbon neutral, phasing out fossil fuels and taxing carbon emissions or investing in renewable energy, making sure that environmental action by way of decarbonization is a policy priority is an important part of global climate action. 
  • Protect and restore nature 
    • Policies focused on biodiversity restoration, natural resource protection and curtailing pollution are important to keeping our Earth safe. 

Cities and local authorities: 

  • Promote and support climate, nature and pollution action.
    • Developing sustainable transit plans, supporting the restoration of urban ecosystems and launching initiatives to curtail pollution and waste are just a few things that can be implemented at the municipal level to promote sustainable development.

Finance: 

  • Equitable and environmentally conscious investments. 
    • Setting targets for decarbonization, ensuring internal operations align with sustainable goals and financially supporting global decarbonization efforts mobilize the monetary power needed to encourage industry and economic overhauls. 

Business and industry: 

  • Invest in sustainable solutions.
    • Whether it’s reimagining your business’s food system, switching production materials to a more sustainable alternative or reimagining specific aspects of your business model, investing in sustainability produces long-term gains for both your business and the environment.

Non-government organizations, community organizations and faith groups: 

  • Take initiative and collaborate.
    • Supporting local and regional nature restoration and rewilding programs in your community is a great way to combat pollution, promote green spaces and build connections with other socially-minded organizations. 
  • Lead by example. 
    • Proactive assessments of your organization’s environmental impacts as well as looking for opportunities to spend sustainably show potential clients and community members that your organization practices what it preaches. 

Science and education: 

  • Push boundaries with research.
    • Allocating resources towards developing sustainable technologies and industrial materials makes implementing sustainable change more attainable and accessible.
  • Cultivate the future generation of change-makers. 
    • Supporting sustainability education programs encourages young people to see problems and challenges as opportunities to discover solutions and reimagine reality 

Individuals: 

  • Raise your voice. 
    • Advocating for change through participating in environmental actions, making changes in your personal life or starting important conversations furthers sustainable goals bringing the environment to the forefront of social, political and economic conversations.
  • Speak with your dollar.
    • Making environmentally-minded financial decisions shows the businesses you interact with and the communities you’re a part of that you hold yourself to a sustainability standard that they should emulate. 
  • Stay happy, healthy and optimistic.
    • Tracking and adapting your personal behaviors (eg. dietary choices, consumer choices, life-style choices etc.) brings sustainability into your personal life and invites you to be imaginative and solution-oriented. 

Supporting sustainability, though daunting at first, creates personal, business, and communal long-term benefits. Integrating action into your life shows those around you that you’re serious about protecting our planet. Click here for the full practical guide and visit the World Environment Day website for more information on how you can get involved and practice environmental stewardship.

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