World Environment Day
It’s World Environment Day and to celebrate it, we want to bring awareness to the important message it stands to serve.
What’s World Environment Day all about?
Occurring on 5 June each year, World Environment Day is the biggest international day for the environment. Led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it aims at encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment. The event has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental outreach, inspiring positive change from millions of people globally.
What it means to us at the DofE?
As stated on the official World Environment Day website: “In the universe are billions of galaxies, in our galaxy are billions of planets, but there is Only One Earth”.
At the DofE, we really understand the importance of trying to tackle the threat of climate change and rising pollution levels, and that’s why we’ve made it our mission to make a difference by going greener.
Not only do we want to become more aware of our own carbon footprint, energy consumption, wastage, and much more, but we also want to show our participants ways in which they too can make a positive change through their DofE Award.
And that’s not just our say-so! In ‘Our Future, Unlimited: A Youth Manifesto’, you told us that you want to influence policy around climate change and take action. You also said you’d love to be able to focus on environmental and sustainability issues as part of your DofE.
So, how can we help you to be more sustainable?
Having listened to your wise words, we’ve come up with some fantastic ways for you to get involved with helping to protect the environment, including activity suggestions you can do for your DofE Award sections, as well as some great expedition kit recommendations that are eco-friendly.
Practical activity ideas to get you started with your DofE Award:
- Campaign to reduce global warming or become a youth ambassador for a climate change charity.
- Work with your school to make it a single-use plastic free zone.
- Set up a second-hand school uniform scheme, a recycling programme or an Ecobrick club.
- Start walking! It’s low impact, eco-friendly and free.
- Build jogging into your everyday life by running to or from school or work.
- Take up cycling to reduce the amount of time you spend driving or getting lifts.
- Grow your own vegetables or start beekeeping.
- Learn to cook vegetarian or vegan meals.
- Write a series of articles about climate change for your school newsletter, website or local newspaper.
- Design an eco-friendly menu, with low food miles and no single-use plastic.
- Set yourselves a green expedition aim, like litter picking.
- If possible, choose locations that are relatively close to home to reduce emissions.
- Take part in a wildlife or nature conservation project in the UK.
- Attend a climate change conference as a youth representative.
- Join a tree planting project with your local environment trust.
For more inspiration, check out our programme ideas or talk to your Leader about what you could do.
Eco-friendly kit for your expedition(s):
When you buy something from a company, you’re supporting them, and by extension their ethos too. That’s why we’ve partnered with expert outdoor brands who’ve put sustainability at the forefront of their product creations.
Here’s our top environmentally friendly kit recommendations:
- Hi-Tec’s V-Lite Psych waterproof mid walking boots: Lightweight, sturdy, and fully waterproof. These stylish boots are made from 100% recycled softshell fabric.
- Vango’s Earth collection: Launched in 2021, this expansive range of tents, sleeping bags and rucksacks are crafted from recycled single-use plastics. With quality, reliability and usability underpinning their creation, this collection is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it’ll stand the test of time.
- Craghopper’s Orion and Atlas jackets: Made from 100% polyester and approximately 40 bottles recycled per jacket, they’re designed to be a perfect combination of waterproof, windproof and breathable.
- Firepot’s dehydrated meal sachets: These tasty, nutritious meals are available in compostable bio bags. With loads of flavours to choose from, make sure to cook these meals in a pan – not in the bag like Firepot’s regular range of meals.
- Nikwax’s waterproofing collection: These aftercare products are water-based, PFC-Free, solvent free and aerosols are never used. Products which are guaranteed to extend the longevity of your kit.
Don’t forget – You can use your DofE Card and save at least 10%, and often more, on all DofE recommended kit. Not only does it generate a donation to the DofE charity to help even more disadvantaged young people to complete their Award, but sourcing sustainable products also helps to greenify your footprint!
Final top tips for being more sustainable whilst doing your DofE:
Acting in a sustainable way is arguably no longer a choice but a necessity. Considering small changes, you can make whilst doing your DofE can be a great step towards a more sustainable future.
- When looking to buy expedition kit, a good way to do this sustainably is either purchase second-hand or revitalise and repair existing kit you might have.
- Prepare food and drink for your expedition with reusable containers and minimise plastic waste.
- Take any litter home with you and try to recycle your rubbish as best you can.
- When choosing what to do for your Volunteering, look for opportunities at nature reserves, in rural, urban or coastline conservation, wildlife charities or sustainability organisations.
To sum up, not only does completing your esteemed DofE Award show your undeniable resilience, commitment, and dedication, but your actions also set precedence for your true aptitude to make environmental change…a double whammy, some may say!
So, have a think about your DofE sections and the kit you may need and help make a positive change this World Environment Day.