Now that summer has unofficially kicked off with Memorial Day, there's another red-letter day to heed before we get to the Fourth of July. The warm weather canon of holidays now includes World Environment Day on June 5, and it is a big ol' green ol' deal. Earmarked by the United Nations as  a day to raise awareness of and action for the ecosystem, it has grown to be celebrated in over 100 nations.

In that good bumper-sticker-as-a-roadmap-for-life vein, this World Environment Day (W.E.D.), consider ways to "Think Globally. Act Locally." The theme this year is all about islands--2014 is the "Year of the Small Island Developing States." It is particularly poignant as a theme, since if the planet's sea levels rise, just a bit, islands begin to be overcome by rising tides. The Maldives, for instance, are the most vulnerable nation, since many of that archipelago's multi-island land masses are mere feet above sea level. Small islands are the canary in the coal mine for the rest of us--it isn't a huge step from low-lying islands being swamped to our coastal cities flooding.

How will you make your voice heard for the environment this year? You can create and register an event in your community or look for people near you that are already planning action days: clean up campaigns, food waste reduction initiatives, walk-to-work days, plastic bans, art exhibits, tree-planting drives, concerts, dance recitals, recycling drives, social media campaigns, and different contests  — every action counts. Check out the website (www.unep.org/wedhome), you might be surprised at how many of your neighbors care as much as you do. Even celebrities are in on it. UNEP GOODWILL AMBASSADORS Giselle Bündchen, Don Cheadle, Ian Somerhalder, and Yaya Touré are leading big action challenges. So jump in, the water's fine...so far...

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About The Author

Andrew Mersmann's picture

Andrew is the author of Frommer's global guide to volunteer vacations, "500 Places Where You Can Make a Difference" (Gold Medal Winner from Society of American Travel Writers: Best Guide Book 2010). He spent more than a decade on the editorial team of PASSPORT Magazine. He has volunteered and led teams on service projects around the world, and is honored to be on the boards of directors for the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (AARBF.org) and Mentor Artists Playwrights Project (mentorartists.org). Mersmann has been a featured speaker, interview guest, or moderator on several travel talks, from the New York Times Travel Show, Smithsonian Associates, and the 92nd Street Y-TriBeCa to Oprah and Friends, Animal House, and The Focus Group on satellite radio as well as on NY1 television. Past participant at the Clinton Global Initiative and judge for Condé Nast World Changers Conference, he blogs about volunteering and service travel at www.ChangeByDoing.com. As part of the evox television team, he is dedicated to audience engagement, so if you're not engaged, he needs to be thumped on the head (gently)...or at least told (nicely). Twitter: /ChangeByDoing

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