What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.
― Chris Maser, Forest Primeval: The Natural History of an Ancient Forest
Dawn has just broken, the sky still holding wispy gray remnants of night.
I sit at my desk, half-remembered dreams slowly fading as my mind wakes up.
Then — a cool breeze filters through the window, carrying with it the fresh scent of new leaves kissed by the morning dew. I breathe it in, and feel a surge of comfort and connection. It is a new day, I am alive and well enough to sense the earth waking up all around me.
The birds! They are singing, heralding the rising of the sun.
A Different Kind Of Awareness
World Environment Day has been celebrated annually every 5th of June since 1973. It was created by the United Nations Environment Programme or UNEP — to develop a worldwide outreach platform to encourage awareness and positive action focused on environmental protection.
Eco Day, as it is otherwise known, continues to address the ever-growing, alarming effects of plastics on our environment and ourselves. With its 2023 theme #BeatPlasticPollution, it enjoins individuals, communities, organizations, businesses, and governments to redouble their efforts and energize the advocacy towards a circular economy. This economic system is based on the reuse and repurpose of materials and products, particularly as a method to enable continued production in sustainable and environmentally caring ways. This year, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is still the rallying cry that begs for urgent action through effective and robust solutions from policy-makers, companies, and stakeholders around the world.
World Environment Day - Global presents some practical, actionable suggestions for various sectors — ranging from governments to businesses, to communities and people. As individuals, our choices and our actions provide the foundation for lasting change. We are the grassroots, the drops that make up the flowing river. For us, here are a few things we can do every day —
Make yourself heard.
Let social media be your platform to support and applaud the environmentally-conscious efforts of organizations, businesses, and policy-makers in reducing, reusing, and recycling plastics.
Be aware of and disseminate information regarding innovative and different ways of lessening the burden of plastic use among your family, friends, and local groups.
Live by example.
In other words, practice what you preach. Volunteer in local clean-up programs. Donate to organizations actively working to lessen plastic pollution. Avoid single-use plastics as much as you can. Choose durable items. Repair or donate what you can instead of throwing it away.
Remember — each thing you do, no matter how seemingly small, matters. Imagine if others choose to do the same thing, again and again.
Another thing to embody is our connection with our immediate environment. Being mindful of nature as we go about our daily lives deepens that bond. When we truly open our senses to the beauty of growing things, the way our bodies respond to changes in the weather, and the inspiration to be had from cycles and seasons, we will express our gratitude by being conscious stewards of the one planet that sustains us.
The Environment We Choose
Best friends are the family we choose for ourselves. They mirror us in ways that acknowledge, support, and enlighten us. It is for these reasons and many others that National Best Friends Day was born in 1935 and ratified by the United States Congress — to celebrate the chosen people who help us be better versions of ourselves. This is the day we give them notable appreciation for being there for us when we need them.
On this day, show your best friends how much you care for them in the love language they speak. Strengthen your bonds by spending time with them, giving a meaningful gift, helping them out with a task or two, or sending a handwritten letter or handmade card. Even a warm hug says a lot. Best friends love us as we are, and encourage or seek to understand us through our own struggles. It is time to honor their uplifting role in our lives through gratitude.
A Meaningful Collaboration
Being a fountain pen enthusiast, one important tool that shapes my continued enjoyment of the whole journey is the ink. And since I use inks for both writing and sketching, the ways they capture my imagination are important to keep that creative spark burning. The stories behind the inks themselves — the ethos of the maker, the symbolism they seek to evoke, and the inspiration behind the colors or behavior of the ink — all these become springboards for my own process.
To commemorate World Environment Day and National Best Friends Day in this particular community we belong to, I give you these examples —
Robert Oster Inks are inspired by the rich scenery and culture of Australia. The variegated selection of vibrant and contemplative colors reflect the natural landscape and human-made attractions the country is known for, as well as the interesting aspects of its society. With a commitment to environmental friendliness — these inks are non-toxic, 100% made in Australia, and bottled in recyclable, PET plastic bottles from the country's first carbon-neutral plastics plant.
Robert Oster Cozy Comforts (back by popular demand!) are 6 Endless Exclusive colors designed by @micahfinds on Instagram. These inks are inspired by six soothing sounds, smells, sights, and sensations. Each color evokes an experience that, when taken all together, brings the feeling of comfort from what is familiar, meaningful, and nostalgic. Micah is one of my best friends too, and I am grateful for her creations which resonate with me and fuel my own creativity.
The Bonds We Treasure
We are driven by stories, we forge our connections through stories, and it is through stories that we live on and recreate ourselves and our environment. What we observe around us through our senses gains deeper meaning and relevance when we weave it with our own experiences. What others tell us is sifted through our inner filters, it spurs us into action towards the path we choose to take. We share a common tale as well — we live on this Earth. So far, it is the only one that can sustain us, so we must care for it for future generations to live on and carry our stories beyond our time.
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Written by @lekzumali
Check out her musings on Instagram!