In order to inspire others to take action on climate change, it is important to increase environmental awareness. One way to do so is by encouraging people to observe and promote the different environmental events and world day campaigns that are scheduled globally throughout the year. This provides an opportunity for people to collectively learn about and participate in sustainable practices together. Have a look below for the environmental days that you can share with others and celebrate!
The idea behind Veganuary is that people who follow a non-vegan diet are encouraged to adopt a vegan diet throughout the month of January. Of course, the bigger aim behind the campaign is that people will follow a vegan diet throughout the rest of the year as well, because eating more plant-based products is one of the most effective ways to reduce one’s impact on the environment. According to a study that was conducted by researchers at Oxford University and the Swiss agricultural research institute Agroscope, a diet that is free from animal products can reduce personal emissions related to food by up to 73%. Over the past years, the pledge to only eat plant-based food in January has become increasingly popular: In 2021, a record number of 500’000 people participated in Veganuary globally.
International Day of Forests
The International Day of Forests is celebrated on 21 March. This day draws attention to forests as a key resource to combat climate change. Forests can absorb around 2.6 billion tonnes of CO₂ every year, which represents one-third of the CO₂ that is released from burning fossil fuels annually. The value of forests as carbon sinks is well known but they also provide numerous economic, social and health benefits for us. The International Day of Forests should remind us of the value of forests and encourages countries to undertake local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests.
Earth Day falls on 22 April and marks the anniversary of the start of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Earth Day was launched in response to Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” that was published in 1962 and raised people’s awareness of the negative impacts of chemicals on the natural environment, specifically the pesticide DDT. Earth Day is celebrated to encourage people to take climate action, from small steps like using reusable utensils and bags to bigger projects like planting trees and advocating for climate action at universities.
International Day for Biological Diversity
On 22 May the International Day for Biological Diversity, or World Biodiversity Day, is celebrated. Biodiversity is essential for the stability of the planet and human wellbeing. We all depend on the services that natural ecosystems provide us with, such as fresh water, food or medicine, and with every species that goes extinct, those ecosystems come under more pressure. A report by the United Nations found that a staggering number of 1 million species are at risk of extinction. The International Day for Biological Diversity was created to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity loss, so that we all take more actions to protect the vast variety of plant and animal species around the world.
World Environment Day
World Environment Day on 5 June is the United Nation’s flagship day for promoting environmental awareness. Last year’s World Environment Day has kicked off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, which focuses on reviving billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, mountains and seas to help restore the climate. To achieve this, concerted global efforts are needed, which is why World Environment Day calls upon individuals, companies, governments, farmers and manufacturers, as well as educational institutions to be a part of this day and the mission it represents.
World Oceans Day
A healthy ocean is necessary for all life on earth. Did you know that the ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen? And that it has absorbed around a third of the CO₂ that human activities have produced since the Industrial Revolution? Next to forests, the ocean is therefore another important natural carbon sink. However, as the levels of CO₂ in the atmosphere continue to increase, the amount of carbon that the ocean dissolves becomes larger, which makes seawater more acidic. This affects the biodiversity and productivity of ocean ecosystems alongside other issues like oil spills or overfishing. On 8 June, World Oceans Day raises global awareness of the importance of our ocean and reminds us that we need to protect our marine ecosystem.
International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem
Mangroves protect coastlines from erosion, they regulate flooding and buffer storms, provide nursery habitats for fish and can store large amounts of carbon dioxide. However, despite the many advantages that healthy mangrove ecosystems bring to coastal communities and the world as a whole, more than two thirds of mangroves has been lost or degraded. This is why UNESCO has designated 26 July as the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem to raise awareness of the importance of mangroves as a unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem.
Zero Emissions Day
The climate science is clear: we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible and remove historic and unavoidable emissions from the air in order to get to net zero. Zero Emissions Day, which falls on 21 September, was created to highlight the harm that is caused by CO₂ emissions and to try and give the world a break from fossil fuels. Of course, this is one of the most important environmental days in the year for Climeworks! By becoming a Climate Pioneer, you can permanently remove your personal CO₂ emissions from the air on Zero Emissions Day, or year-round.
International Mountain Day
11 December is International Mountain Day. Mountains are not only important recreational areas that offer spectacular views, they also host around half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Moreover, they provide freshwater to a large part of the world’s population. However, as glaciers continue to melt at an unprecedented rate, which is for example clearly visible in Switzerland, the country where Climeworks has its headquarters, freshwater supply comes under pressure. Raising awareness for the importance of mountains and the need for sustainable mountain tourism is what International Mountain Day is all about.
Environmental days give visibility to specific issues that might otherwise not be on top of people’s mind, which can lead to more information seeking behaviour or even an increase in donations, as one study has shown. However, regardless of the environmental calendar, you can make an impact every day by becoming a Climate Pioneer. By subscribing to our carbon dioxide removal service, we will remove CO₂ in your name, permanently and safely.