Every 5th of June, the UN celebrates the World Environment Day. This year, the main theme is plastic pollution, a serious issue that has been contaminating land and oceans for decades.

UN plastic cleaning initiative

I have a challenge for you. Can you change one small habit in a one-week time?

Next Tuesday, on the 5th of June, the whole planet will be celebrating the World Environment Day. The date has been part of the UN calendar since 1974 and is a platform for raising awareness about critical issues like global warming, sustainable consumption and wildlife protection. In 2018, the main theme is just as urgent and worrying as ever: the plastic pollution that affects both land and seas and has been slowly killing biodiversity.

Now, back to the challenge. We’re a week away from World Environment Day. What could you do to put your grain of sand in this big, global castle that is environmental consciousness? Here are a few tips on how to contribute with a small action that can become a healthy habit and help to change the world.

– Say ‘no’ to straws: They are useless, can’t be reused and are one of the big villains of the oceans’ pollution. If you really need one, bring your own reusable version.

– Use tote instead of plastic bags: They are trendy, reusable and very environmental-friendly. Many cities are now banning plastic bags or charging for them, so ditching them is a way of being a good citizen, too.

UN beach cleanup in Mumbai, India

– Give preference to package-free supermarkets of grocery stores: They’re a trend in many big cities. Bring your own pot or package and fill them with the products you need. Many of them also work with organic and local products, which is a plus for your health and your community.

– Put pressure on local politicians to make stricter laws: What about calling your councilor and ask what he or she is doing to prevent plastic pollution in your city? Many cities have also open programs for citizens, like the participatory budget one where you can help decide where the money is going. Make sure they’re including the environment among their priorities!

– Join plastic cleaning initiatives in your city: You can support or volunteer for an NGO which works with plastic cleaning, or start your own initiative. While walking on the beach or in nature, you can pick all the plastic you find and give them a correct destination. Take the kids and make it a fun treasure hunt!

– Don’t forget to recycle: If your city doesn’t have a recycling program, try to contact NGOs or other initiatives that help you to dispose correctly of your garbage.

– Join the #HoryouLightChallenge: Pick your favorite SDG and share it within the Horyou platform. You can help to raise awareness about reducing plastic pollution in the oceans or any other cause you feel connected to. And you can also win an all-included trip to Singapore! See the conditions here.

Are you up to the challenge? The clock is ticking, you have one week to make a change!

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