World Environment Day 2013 1


World environment day (WED) – or ECO DAY – can be celebrated in many ways in 2013.

The 5th of June was used by the United Nations to bring to the fore global awareness on environmental issues and also help people around the world take positive action.

It came about 40 years ago,[1] and it comes around in a different city with a different theme each year during the week of the 5th of June. The host city for 2013 is Portland, Oregon.[2]

It is celebrated in spring in the northern hemisphere and in autumn in the southern hemisphere.


It is a reminder of the 1.3 billion tonnes of food wasted or lost worldwide[3] – 1/3 of global food production – when one in seven people in the world go hungry and over 20,000 children under the age of five die daily from hunger.

Food waste represents an enormous drain on natural resources and has negative environmental impact.

In January 2012, the European Parliament adopted a resolution to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2020 and designated 2014 as the “European year against food waste.”[4]

Think.Eat.Save should start at home, where each family should select food consciously by buying food produced locally, managing it wisely so as to reduce waste, use fresh food as opposed to canned or frozen food and think creatively of how to serve leftovers.

Think.Eat.Save should grow to your neighbourhood suggesting what collective decisions can be made to reduce distribution costs and creating incentives for local daily or weekly markets to be chosen over supermarkets.

Think.Eat.Save should grow to the industry by making the food production chain more efficient, with increased regular equipment maintenance so as to reduce time and cost of all production processes, thus saving on natural resources.

Think.Eat.Save should grow to bring awareness to the world of food production impact which:

  • occupies already ¼ of our habitable land;
  • consumes  ¾ of the world’s available fresh water;
  • has resulted in 80% of deforestation worldwide;
  • and produces 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.

World Environment Day 2013 2



By Silvia Pelham

[1] It was first thought of at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (5th June- 16th June 1972) and implemented a year later –

[2] The City of Portland, Oregon, World Environment Day, June 5, 2013 –

[3] “The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012” – UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) –

[4] Parliament Calls for Urgent Measures to Ban Food Waste in the E.U.,” European Parliament News, January 19, 2012,