April 22 is observed annually as World Earth Day to bring environmental issues to the fore
Apart from getting one full hour for itself during Earth Hour, planet Earth will again get a full day dedicated to championing environmental causes on Saturday and the UAE is part of the celebration.
Earth Day, celebrated annually every April 22, is the world’s largest “recruiter” to the environmental movement. Its network boasts of more than 50,000 partners in nearly 195 countries to build environmental democracy.
First celebrated in the US on April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day drew 20 million Americans from all walks of life to strive to bring environmental issues on the national agenda. Two decades later, Earth Day went global with over 200 million people in 141 countries mobilised that lifted environmental issues onto the world stage.
This Earth Day, the theme centres around educating young people and children on climate and environmental issues, with a goal to impart basic climate and environmental literacy to all high school graduates by 2020.
Dubai Municipality is joining in on the celebrations on Saturday by organising a fun and educational event.
Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality, said Earth Day represents Dubai’s prioritisation of environmental issues.
“The world has, for some time, been experiencing an unprecedented shift in attitudes towards climate change and environmental degradation. We are more aware now than ever of our impact on our planet and we must use this awareness. We must embrace opportunities to teach our children wholeheartedly to respect and care for the environment,” said Lootah.
Eng. Alya Al Harmoudi, Director of the Environment Department, Dubai Municipality, said that Earth Day is a key event on the annual environmental calendar. “The theme this year is extremely important, as education is central to the future fate of our planet. The next generation will drive forward climate action and it’s our responsibility to give them the tools and knowledge to do so, and to do so with pride and passion. Teaching children in this setting, while providing fun and relaxation, allows us, as an entity, to connect with them,” she said.
The Earth Day event is open to the public and will include a series of performances, live workshops and interactive activities and is to be held from 4pm to 9pm at the Kite Beach at Umm Suqeim-1.
Some of the activities include science experiments for children that demonstrate basic climate and environmental factors such as the formation of clouds. Children will be invited to join the scientists in creating their own clouds and making them rain, while understanding the basic processes behind cloud formation and precipitation.
Other events in the country include tree-planting activities where Desert Group is collaborating with the Pink Mango Project to teach 150 students the importance of planting trees to the environment.
They will also be taught tips in nurturing plants and be given ownership of their plant.
Meanwhile, Danfoss, a global leader in manufacturing heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration solutions, urged residents to show their support for Earth Day by switching-off appliances, and saving money in return.
Danfoss revealed that by 2025, cities will create enough solid waste to fill a line of rubbish trucks 5,000km long each day — equivalent to the driving distance from Abu Dhabi to Sharjah 29 times. Cities across the world produce more that 60 per cent of all carbon emissions and are responsible for consuming 78 per cent of all energy globally.
To reduce usage and ultimately save on utility bills:
1) Set the AC thermostat at a higher temperature
When the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperature is smaller, AC units run more efficiently and the overall cooling bill will be lower
2) Include an AC cycling schedule
Particularly during the summer months when residents travel and do not completely switch off the AC units to avoid temperature build-up inside the house, an AC cycling schedule can significantly reduce the consumption of electricity.
3) Avoid placing lamps or TV sets near your room air-conditioning thermostat
The extra heat from these devices will cause AC units to run longer than necessary. Hence, keeping them away reduces electricity consumption.
4) Switch to low-energy LED lights
Another consumption-reducing tip is to use LED lights. They not only maximise efficiency by using less energy, but also save money in the long run as they last for a longer time frame.
5) Set the refrigerator at the ideal temperature
To increase the energy efficiency of refrigerators at home and in the office, set the temperature to 1.5 to 3.5 Celsius for food and -18 Celsius for the freezer. Regular maintenance is also a must by regularly defrosting the freezer, ensuring the refrigerator door is airtight and keeping the door open for as little time as possible.
6) Don’t throw food out
By reducing food wastage in your home and at restaurants, this keeps food out of landfills where it produces methane, in turn increasing climate change. This also lowers household bills and disposal costs for food and beverage outlets.
SOURCE: Prepared by Danfoss