If you’re looking for a day to show your love for our planet, why not celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22? This is a day dedicated to making sure that Earth remains a place where all creatures—no matter what environment they depend on—can not only survive, but also thrive. Originally, Biological Diversity Day was proclaimed on December 29. In December 2000, however, the UN General Assembly changed the date to May 22. This was partly meant to commemorate the adoption of the Convention at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, and partly to avoid clashing with the various international holidays that occur in late December (hello, Christmas). So whether you’re from a desert climate, a forest, a valley, or a swamp, come celebrate biological diversity with us this May 22.
How to Observe International Day for Biological Diversity
1. Start your own organic garden
The change can take place right in your own backyard! However, not every kind of garden is suitable for any kind of environment. The key to a good organic garden is to replace invasive plants with native ones, eliminate hard surfaces than discourage growth, and refrain from using pesticides. Show off your own, native ecosystem.
2. Buy organic, sustainable food
Believe it or not, organic food is not just code for “expensive and weird-looking tomatoes.” Organic food has not been exposed to pesticides or fertilizers. And, although these are not necessarily harmful to humans in and of themselves, they can have negative impacts on the environment.
3. Conserve energy
This is a bit of a no-brainer. By reducing your energy consumption, you minimize the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of your activities. In addition, you reduce the demand for companies to disturb the environment in a search for fossil fuels. While individual humans do not bear the same responsibility for the environment as big corporations do, it’s still important for all of us to preserve life on this planet.
Why International Day for Biological Diversity is Important
A. It boosts ecosystem productivity
When there are lots of different animals living in lots of different kinds of ecosystems, then we all get to live in a better, more varied world. Biological diversity ensures that lots of different kinds of crops can grow, which feed people all over the world, and also allows natural sustainability to exist. In addition, if lots of different kinds of ecosystems are allowed to flourish, then it becomes easier for the planet as a whole to recover from natural disasters.
B. It keeps humans alive
The more different kinds of plants and animals live on Earth, the easier it is for humans to survive as a species. Rather than limit ourselves to a few certain kinds of crops and livestock (which would limit the places on Earth where humans would be able to live), encouraging biological diversity means that humanity thrives all over the planet.
C. We are the dominant species on this planet
While it is important for humans to survive, we also have to take into account that humans have the biggest impact on the planet of any living creature. We can be a force for positive change—encouraging growth and diversity—or we can be a force for negative change—morphing the planet into something as unable to sustain life as every other planet in our solar system. Since we have the most power to change the world, it’s up to us to use that power responsibly.