Italy hosts the official World Environment Day celebrations at Expo Milano

Italy hosts the official World Environment Day celebrations at Expo Milano
© Margaret Badore

June 5 is World Environment Day, and this year’s official host country for the event sponsored by the United Nations Environment Program is Italy. The celebrations are being held at the Milan Expo, which dovetails nicely as both events promote awareness about sustainable consumption. The theme of the Expo is “Feeding the Planet - Energy for Life,” with a particular focus on preserving the biodiversity of food species, while World Environment Day aims to raise awareness about all aspects of sustainable living.

Gian Luca Galletti, Italy’s Minister of the Environment, said that the theme of World Environment Day is “an important message that we will emphasize throughout the Expo.” At a press conference launching the event yesterday, Galletti also used the opportunity to call for a robust and binding deal at the coming United Nations Climate Conference in Paris of this year. But World Environment Day is also about the need to communicate how everyday habits also have an impact, adding that little actions like eating less meat and turning off the tap while shaving can help preserve the environment.

Achim Steiner, the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme spoke about the need for people to re-think consumer culture. “We are very happy to be part of this Expo, which has chosen the uncomfortable topic of how to feed 9 billion people in the future,” he said.

“Grow your own food” at the Slow Foods pavilion at Expo Milano. © Margaret Badore. A sign reads “Grow your own food” in Italian at the Slow Foods pavilion at Expo Milano.

At the Expo, World Environment Day will be honored with cooking demonstrations about how to reduce food waste, films, educational activities for children, and honors for the pavilions that best demonstrate sustainable concepts.

The day is not only honored in the host country, but also all around the world, with activities organized by schools, environmental organizations and other community groups. Are you participating in any World Environment Day activities? We’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Travel for this reporting sponsored in part by UNEP.

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