World Environment Day: The unusual ways you can participate


British sculptor Mark Coreth celebrates World Environment Day on the back of his carved life-sized melting ice sculpture of a polar bear. (By Greg Wood/AFP/Getty Images)

While you could participate by picking up trash in your neighborhood, attending a rally or holding a demonstration, why not try something a bit more unusual to help save the planet on this year’s WED.

1. Flash mob

The official WED Web site provides a few activity suggestions. But undoubtedly, the best idea provided is starting a flash mob. Yes, these seemingly impromptu dance events can serve a purpose other than giving people the opportunity to pretend to be Beyonce.

Some very creative students at Western Kentucky University organized a flash mob to promote recycling on Earth Day. Charlie Harris, a student at WKU who helped organize the school’s Earth Day activities and uploaded video of the flash mob to YouTube, said the event was done to “make the idea of sustainability inescapable and accessible to everyone on campus for at least one day.”

For those Washingtonians inspired, a metro platform seems like a good (yet dangerous) place to hold an inescapable flash mob. Just don’t hold your WED flash mob at the Jefferson Memorial.

2. Grow a beard

As was reported Thursday, “Parks and Recreation” actor Nick Offerman has teamed up with Budweiser to encourage men not to shave until WED in order to conserve water. According to the beer company, the average shave uses between 3 and ten gallons of water. This is a great option for men who want to save the planet but are kind of lazy.

Based on pledges to put down the razor made on Budweiser’s Facebook page, over 400 thousand gallons of water have been saved simply by not shaving. Next year, I would like to see this no-shave-to-shave idea opened up to the ladies as well.


The official logo for this year’s World Environment Day. (Courtesy UNEP)

3. Carve ice

If you have a talent for creating meaningful art pieces with unusual materials, this could be a viable option. British sculptor Mark Coreth has created the Ice Bear, a bronze polar bear sculpture covered with ice, to serve as a visual reminder of the consequences of climate change. Ice Bear is currently on display and melting in Sydney, as its done before in five other cities (see above image).

“When they touch the bear they are touching the Arctic and when they touch the Arctic they will hopefully feel the problem and then become with luck part of the solution to the problem,” Coreth said.

There are a number of other sustainable materials — garbage, for example — that could be used to create an eco-friendly piece of art. Draw inspiration from the Ice Bear below:

Do you have any creative ideas for a WED activity? You can share you idea in the comments and spread the word about your event here.

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