Friday, June 5, 2015

World Environment Day

Plants in repurposed plastic bottles,
Happy Friday! Today is World Environment Day (WED), which is dedicated to the United Nations mission to encourage global public awareness and action to benefit the environment. It’s a day to do something positive for the environment, so that individual actions become a collective movement for the good of the planet. This year’s theme is Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care. According to the UN WED website, “By 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption.”

Compost pile, Guyana
“Consuming with care” means living within our means as a global society so that future generations have the same opportunities to experience a healthy and diverse environment as we have had in the past. Living sustainably is about doing more and better with less. Our continued prosperity and development doesn’t have to be hindered by or harmful to the environment.The challenge that WED presents this year is to commit to #just1thing that each individual can do to make a positive change or impact, something that Partners of the Americas takes very seriously. Farmer-to-Farmer volunteers have gotten a jump start already- here are just a few of the stories that have been featured on this blog in the past.

In March 2013, F2F volunteer Rhonda Sherman of North Carolina traveled to Guyana to provide instruction to farmers, students and staff at the Guyana School of Agriculture, and the public on composting and vermi-composting – using worms to turn organic wastes into compost. The benefits of creating compost include low cost, improved moisture and nutrient content of soil, increased crop yield, replacement of chemical fertilizers, and the diversion of household/industrial wastes from the garbage can and, eventually, landfills.

Tires repurposed as cattle feeders,
In January 2013, climate change and water resource management professionals Femke Oldham and Matthew Freiberg traveled to San Andres Island, Colombia, to demonstrate sustainable food and water systems to female inn owners comprising the Caribbean Paradise Lodging Association. This past week, Heather Schlesser’s photos of recycling tires into cattle feeders while on assignment in Nicaragua were featured as well.
wedding bands

Inspired by industrious F2F volunteers, the AFS Team has started making and keeping their own #just1thing promises. Our two Program Officers Andi and Courtney both walk or ride their bikes to work every day. Director Peggy grows some of her own vegetables and herbs, and Assistant Director Michael and his wife used wooden wedding bands harvested from fallen trees instead of metal due to the negative social and environmental impacts of mining precious metals.
Home-grown herbs and vegetables

There are many ways to choose environmentally friendly choices every day. What’s your #just1thing going to be? Let us know and add your #just1thing promise to the conversation! Follow AFS on Twitter at @APartnersAgFood and use #WED2015 to join in worldwide action!

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