World Environment Day can be celebrated in many ways. The following are a selection of inspiring examples of how World Environment Day was celebrated in 2004 with the theme/slogan: Wanted! Seas and Oceans – Dead or Alive?; in 2005 with the theme/slogan: Green Cities: Plan for the Planet!; in 2006 Deserts and Desertification: Don't Desert Drylands!; and in 2007 Melting Ice - A Hot Topic?
For more than thirty years, Canadian Environment Week has been held the first week of June each year to coincide with World Environment Day.
In 2004, the commuter challenge was organized, as a friendly competition between Canadian communities to encourage as many people as possible to use sustainable and active modes of transportation. People committed to walk, jog, cycle, in-line skate, take the bus, carpool or telework during Environment Week (May 30 - June 5, 2004).
To celebrate World Environment Day 2005, the Chandos Lake Canoe and Kayak Club invited cottagers to get out on their canoes or kayaks and paddle.
In 2007, many Alcan Global Pharmaceutical Packaging plants organized special activities and events. The activities ranged from tree planting activity, local area clean-up, informative gathering, and educational sheets to a recycling contest. All initiatives had one thing in common: they focused on meeting with the local communities, raising employees’ awareness and helping the environment.
In 2005, the New Brunswick Climate Change Hub and the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre hosted Our Climate - Our Change, an event that coincided with Canadian Environment Week and Clean Air Day marked on 8 June. The public was invited to take part in a weekend of informative, interactive and fun-filled activities on climate change, at the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre – an environmental education and eco-tourism facility that offers programmes about natural and human history, green technologies and energy efficiency. The Falls Brook Centre’s Climate Change Bus, a traveling exhibit on climate change and energy efficiency, which has its own onboard wind turbine and solar panels, was at the Centre for the weekend. Interactive exhibits from Science East, as well as various environmental presentations, film screenings and a mini-trade show on energy efficiency were offered. The event also encouraged Canadians to take the Government of Canada’s One-Tonne Challenge.
Ducks Unlimited organized a presentation called Explore Quebec's Wetlands for the Morrin Centre in Quebec City, in 2007. The presentation talked about what wetlands are, why they are important to conserve and what costs society is paying to resolve problems caused by wetland loss. The presentation ended with some ideas on how the audience can create or enhance a wetland in their neighbourhood.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
In keeping with the theme: Melting Ice - A Hot Topic?, Barrow, Alaska was named the 2007 North American host for World Environment Day. On 5 June, UNEP brought together around the same table the holders of both community-based and science-based knowledge to explore the impacts of climate change and how arctic communities are adapting to this phenomenon. The Town Hall meeting offered a unique opportunity to various members of the Inupiat community, including an elder, a hunter and a fisherman, to share their observations on how climate change has affected their daily lives. Community members in the audience also shared their own observations. In keeping with the tradition of being a people's event, World Environment Day in Barrow also included a colorful demonstration of native Inupiat dances and the annual Eskimo blanket toss, which marks the beginning of the Nalukataq Spring Festival.
To celebrate and promote World Environment Day 2006, World Elder Land teamed up with UNEP with the hope of inspiring and helping as many elder communities as possible to actively participate in the betterment of our planet earth and environment.
Providence, Rhode Island
The Ocean Project (TOP) is a relatively new and unprecedented public awareness initiative among more than 520 aquariums, zoos, science, technology and natural history museums, as well as conservation organizations and government agencies. The aim is to significantly increase the success of ocean conservation by creating in people a lasting, measurable, top-of-mind awareness of the importance, value and sensitivity of the oceans. TOP launched this initiative on the occasion of World Environment Day 2004 and World Ocean Day.
The Ecomodels, real life action figures who practice and promote a positive lifestyle, shared sustainability related artwork and comic strips printed on recycled promotional products, on the occasion of World Environment Day 2005. The Ecomodels also promoted the use of friendly cosmetics and household products. In addition, they volunteered for WED by assisting in picking up trash, setting up, and getting the word out during and before hand.
The Sierra Club Sacramento Group celebrated World Environment Day 2007 by holding the Sacramento River City Run. There was a 5 and 10 km run/walk that benefited local sustainable living projects. This Run was also a platform to increase awareness of health; our own and the planet’s. In its third year, the River City Run raised $15,000 US, which was awarded to 13 local projects.
Organic Bouquet Inc., the world’s first organic floral company, based in Marin, California commissioned the legendary gospel singer Edwin Hawkins (four-time Grammy winner and writer of O Happy Day) to write the theme song for World Environment Day 2005. The song, entitled United Nations, Together We Can, was donated to promote the event and future World Environment Day events around the globe.
In 2006, the Global Environmental Teachings Program (GET) organized an international photo contest for students around the world with the theme, 'Greening Our School: Students Making a Difference.' This event helped students build a better understanding for different cultures and how humans throughout the world affect and are affected by the environment. It enabled them to connect internationally and ultimately enhance their understanding of what environmental projects other students are doing at their schools. Winning photos were reproduced on a poster and distributed to participating schools by 5 June.
Portovert Magazine, a new, sustainable publication about eco-friendly weddings, raised environmental awareness on 5 June 2007 with a campaign for World Environment Day. The campaign linked the word WED with the concept of people taking actions on and after their wedding day to stop global warming.