Happy World Environment Day!
Did you know that even today, there are still less women than men in disciplines expected to create green jobs like energy, engineering, and industry? In fact, UN Women estimates that female employees make up only about 20 percent of the energy industry, most in nontechnical fields, but states that where women have been involved in environmental decision-making, greater improvements to education, clean water, and management of the environmental community have been among some of the results.
At Hope for Women, we believe not only in protecting the livelihood of women around the world, but also about protecting the environment around them. By working to sell fair trade products that are eco-friendly and come in environmentally sustainable packaging, we connect an empowering future for women with a more sustainable future for the environment, which we believe is the best future possible. So, in celebration of this mission and yesterday’s world environment day, we list here five ways that you can take part in this international event!
1. Rather than buying new things every time you need something, consider recycling and reusing products instead. For instance, freecycle is a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. And this isn’t the only one out there! For example, recycle:
- old cell phones, cameras, iPods, etc. to Recycle for Charities
- building materials to Habitat for Humanity
- old eyeglasses to Lions Clubs International
- clothes, nick-knacks, toys, and kitchenware to a local Goodwill store
2. Pack a waste-free lunch. That is, instead of using throw-away bags, paper napkins, and plastic silverware, use reusable containers, a cloth napkin, silverware, and a thermos or reusable water bottle. Even better: encourage everyone in your family, at school, and at the workplace to do the same!
3. Need new decorations for your home? Need help thinking up an inexpensive, thoughtful gift for a friend, relative, or neighbor? Consider eco-crafting! Here are some great, environmentally sustainable project ideas:
- Rather than wasting paper by wrapping gifts, make gift bags from recycled newspaper!
- Make dull lamp shades stand out by adding pages of recycled phone books, see here.
- Combine wildflower seeds and recycled paper to make these cute seedbombs, a gift that once passed out, can keep growing!
- Create beautiful magazine bowls out of your old magazines!
- Reuse your old jeans to make pot holders, purses, tote bags, quilts, iPod holders, and more.
4. As much as possible, make your home tree-free! Try to replace paper napkins with cloth, print on recycled or once-used paper, leave messages on a dry-erase or other reusable message board, switch to a digital organizer for your grocery list (and then you can’t forget it at home either!), replace paper towels with rags (made from your unwanted clothes!) or cloth towels, pay bills online, etc.
5. Finally, the simplest gift is often the most powerful. By planting one tree for someone else or with someone else, you can pass along an eco-friendly message, insuring that World Environment Day 2012 will create a legacy of environmental sustainability for future generations. Because, really, every day is world environment day.
Want to read more? Check out these 50 simple ways you can help save the planet! And most importantly, don’t forget to pass the message along to someone else so you can contribute to a more eco-friendly world!