Your Conscious Calendar 2022: the green events and environmental days to look forward to

Throughout the year, there are a number of green events we can all participate in all over the world, wherever you may be.

Ranging from protecting wildlife to spreading awareness about climate issues, actively supporting these days can do so much good. Better awareness and education on sustainability topics especially can offset important debates within the public leading to real change in communities. That isn’t to say that we should only focus our efforts on these days, rather they are a starting point for many and a chance to encourage others to keep on doing good green work beyond it!

And so, as we embrace this new year, we hope you do so with purpose and motivation to spread the green word far and wide.

MARCH 3RD - World Wildlife Day

An important day that celebrates our world's flora and fauna as well as highlighting the need to protect endangered species. March 3rd was first proclaimed to be the day to celebrate World Wildlife Day on December 20th 2013 by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

In 2022, the theme of the day will be: Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration.

Why is it important to acknowledge?

Best stated by the UNGA, the day highlights “the intrinsic value of wildlife and its various contributions, including ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic, to sustainable development and human well-being.”

Alarmingly, since 1970, the population sizes of mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles have seen an average drop of 68% - and that’s due to a number of reasons ranging from poaching to a decline in liveable habitats (the decline being due to human activity). Our world is connected to nature in every way, as are we as humans, which is why the goal of a healthy planet and healthy communities is not possible without taking care of all the creatures that live alongside us.

MARCH 8TH - International Women’s Day

This global holiday celebrates the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements women have made throughout history as well as bring attention to issues that affect women, such as gender inequality in various spaces, reproductive rights and abuse against women. The earliest version of a Women’s Day existed as far back as 1909 (which was organised by the Socialist Party of America in New York City) and then was formally adopted by the UN as a mainstream holiday in 1977.

2022’s theme will be: Break the Bias.

Why is it important to acknowledge?

Being a female-led team at SUI and also being aware of the discrimination women face in the textiles industry, especially in India, it’s so important for us to empower the women we work alongside with as well as those all over the world fighting against inequality.

When we look specifically at the gender gap and work rights, according to a report that surveyed 106 countries, it will take around 108 years to reach gender parity - “The biggest gaps to close are in the economic and political empowerment dimensions, which will take 202 and 107 years to close, respectively.” Furthermore, only 6 countries give women equal legal work rights as men. With just these two facts, it’s evident change still needs to occur for women to be granted equal freedoms and rights in many, many ways.

MARCH 21ST - International Day of Forests

Established by the UNGA on November 28th 2012, this day highlights the importance of all types of forests and trees within our natural ecosystem. Countries around the world are encouraged to host events and encourage action locally, nationally and internationally through various campaigns such as tree planting activities. 

2021’s theme was: Forest restoration: a path to recovery and well-being. 2022’s theme is yet to be confirmed.

Why is it important to acknowledge?

It’s estimated that, globally, approximately 25% of the human population rely on forests for their livelihood. Forests are also home to 80% of our world’s biodiversity, which is why it’s saddening that it’s possible that only 10% of our rainforests will remain in 2030 if we continue at this rate. Trees are integral in keeping the natural balance of our planet and so, it’s important we, at the very least, take a moment to shine a light on why their conservation is something we should all be striving towards.

MARCH 22ND - World Water Day

An annual UN observance day that highlights the importance of freshwater, primarily advocating for sustainable management of freshwater resources. The themes often focus on clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, seeking to provide these resources to as many in need around the world as possible.

2022’s theme will be: Groundwater: making the invisible visible

Why is it important to acknowledge?

Clean water itself is inaccessible to populations on every continent.

“Around 1.2 billion people, or almost one-fifth of the world's population, live in areas of physical [water] scarcity, and 500 million people are approaching this situation. Another 1.6 billion people, or almost one quarter of the world's population, face economic water shortage (where countries lack the necessary infrastructure to take water from rivers and aquifers)... Water scarcity is both a natural and a human-made phenomenon. There is enough freshwater on the planet for seven billion people but it is distributed unevenly and too much of it is wasted, polluted and unsustainably managed.” - un.org

This shows that, for the health of so many communities around the world, accessing freshwater is a luxury when it should be a right, and should be something more of us need to be aware of and advocate for.

APRIL 22ND - Earth Day

This day focuses on garnering support for environmental protection. It was first held in 1970 where US Senator, Gaylord Nelson, hired a young activist, Denis Hayes, to host an environmental teach-in, which then grew into encouraging more than 20 million people nationwide to go out in protest for the sake of climate awareness. Now, coordinated events are organized all over the world- “On Earth Day 2020, over 100 million people around the world observed the 50th anniversary in what is being referred to as the largest online mass mobilization in history.

2022’s theme will be: Invest in Our Planet.

Why is it important to acknowledge?

Days like this that spread awareness to the masses are so important to influence more around the world to make choices that impact our planet positively. When it comes to conscious consumerism, there’s been so much great improvement, for example,  “72 percent of respondents in an Accenture survey said they're buying more environmentally friendly products than five years ago; 81 percent expect to buy more over the next five years.” When it comes to general public opinion on sustainability, a 2021 survey by the Peoples’ Climate Vote gathered information from 50 countries and found “Policies had wide-ranging support, with the most popular being conserving forests and land (54% public support), more solar, wind and renewable power (53%), adopting climate-friendly farming techniques (52%) and investing more in green businesses and jobs (50%).”

And so, awareness of climate issues grows day by day with the help of days like Earth Day. There’s still a lot of work to be done but if we all gather to support these events, we can definitely progress to a world that’s a little greener.

APRIL 24TH (TBC) - Fashion Revolution Week

Surrounding the annual remembrance of the Rana Plaza collapse and disaster, Fashion Revolution Week is an annual event that asks industry professionals, and all those interested in the effect of fashion on our world, to come together to share innovations and spread awareness of the effects of fashion on our planet.

The event first was established in 2014 as a single observance day but evolved into a week in 2016 and has been organised accordingly since.

Why is it important to acknowledge?

The fashion industry plays a big part in its effect on the planet. Especially due to industrial innovations and rising consumer demands, the industry grows with each passing year and is constantly creating, often to the detriment of the Earth. At present, it’s estimated fashion produces 8-10% of the world’s carbon emissions, 20% of its wastewater, and larger brands (fast fashion brands mostly) are known to often have unethical practices that underpay and overwork their crafters.

With the knowledge that the industry is also in the top 3 of most polluting industries, it’s definitely due for some reformation with more sustainable innovations needed come to the forefront, which is why FRW is important and can be a driving force in creating that change.

JUNE 5TH - World Environment Day

Established in 1974, it’s one of the most important and renowned observance days that inspires many around the world to spread awareness on climate issues. In short, “World Environment Day is a global platform for public outreach, with participation from over 143 countries annually. Each year, the program has provided a theme and forum for businesses, non government organisations, communities, governments and celebrities to advocate environmental causes.” 

This year, the day will be hosted by Sweden for its 50th year, the theme being: Only One Earth.

Why is it important to acknowledge?

On the whole, this day focuses on a myriad of climate and sustainability topics. The intention ultimately is to highlight the importance of climate action is in a world that is already seeing the drastic effects of global warming - 2021 itself is one of the warmest years ever and extreme weather phenomena was experienced across the globe, 10 of which, in a study by the charity Christian Aid, caused more than $1.5bn of damage.Each year we acknowledge this day is one where we are further informed on the effect of climate change on our world and band together to do better.

JUNE 8TH - World Oceans Day

First conceptualised in 1992 by Canada’s International Center and the Ocean Institute of Canada, the day was actually officially recognised by the UN in 2008. The day focuses on the conservation and protection of the ocean, the sustainable management of its resources and looks to further the implementation of worldwide Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).

2022’s theme is yet to be confirmed.

Why is it important to acknowledge?

Like our forests, oceans are an incredibly powerful part of our global ecosystem, helping regulate climate, temperatures, providing resources as well as homes for many of our Earth’s species - approximately 15%, however, this number is far from accurate with much of the ocean unexplored and an estimated 91% of marine species still unclassified, meaning there are an unknown millions upon millions that call the ocean their home. With this in mind, their connection to our own livelihoods is intrinsic and should be one we take care of.

AUGUST 7TH - National Handloom Day

This day was declared by India’s Union Government in 2015 to honour handloom weavers and their contribution to India’s economy. 

“August 7 was chosen as the National Handloom Day to commemorate the Swadeshi Movement which was launched on this day in 1905 in Calcutta Town Hall to protest against the partition of Bengal by the British Government. The movement had aimed at reviving domestic products and production processes.” - vikaspedia.in

Why is it important to acknowledge?

The handloom itself is a great sustainable alternative to the machine-powered loom conventionally used in the textiles industry. Being that it’s a by-hand method, there’s little to no carbon emissions created in the process.

Furthermore, the handloom sector in India is a prominent symbol of the nation’s cultural heritage and supports the livelihoods of many in the textiles industry, especially women who make up 70% of the workforce, providing work to many rural Indian communities - helping their economies flourish.

SEPTEMBER 17TH - World Cleanup Day / National Cleanup Day

A day that encourages clean up campaigns all over the world, the purpose is aimed at “combating the global solid waste problem, including the problem of marine debris.” It acts as a decentralised social program encouraged to be taken up by any who can all over the world to raise awareness and urge individuals, organisations, governments and so on, to find solutions to the problem of mismanaged waste.

Why is it important to acknowledge?

“The world generates 2.01 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste annually, with at least 33 percent of that—extremely conservatively—not managed in an environmentally safe manner. Worldwide, waste generated per person per day averages 0.74 kilogram but ranges widely, from 0.11 to 4.54 kilograms.” - worldbank.org

Human impact on our planet is no small thing. The tonnes and tonnes of waste we produce as a species is disproportionate to the amount of good we do for our planet which is why it’s so important that days like World Cleanup Day are met with enthusiasm to lessen the negative effects of our actions.

 

We hope this gives you newfound motivation to go out in the world to do some green good! Like we mentioned before, these days are not the only days we should be considering the various climate issues brought forth by each, rather their a starting point, a stepping stone, a way to spread the word effectively. So without further ado, we hope to see you join us in acknowledging and celebrating these days in 2022!

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