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Notable Events Worth Celebrating

There are a number of global environmental events throughout the year relevant to protecting our collective future and certainly worth commemorating. To that end, take a look at this list of dates and associated celebrations planned to take place over the next few months.

The world is a place of an ever-expanding youth population. Did you know that there are 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 and 24 around the globe?

It’s the largest youth population ever, but with that comes knowledge that 1 in 10 of the world’s children live in conflict zones and 24 million of them are out of school. Political instability, labor market challenges and limited space for political and civic participation have led to increasing isolation of youth in societies.

August 12 was first designated International Youth Day by the UN General Assembly in 1999, and since has become an annual celebration of the role of young women and men as essential partners in change, and an opportunity to raise awareness of challenges and problems facing the world’s youth. This year’s theme is Transforming Education, which will highlight efforts to make education more inclusive and accessible for all youth.

International Coastal Cleanup Day happens on the third Saturday of September, which this year falls on the 21st of the month. There’s no doubt that ocean trash is a serious pollution problem. It affects the health of people, wildlife and local economies, killing marine life, injuring swimmers and beachgoers, and can often get entangled with boat propellers.

You can help solve the problem. Join volunteers, who have been doing this for more than three decades, and have picked up whatever you can imagine along the world’s shorelines, including automobiles and kitchen appliances. Volunteers have over the years collected more than 220 million pounds of trash. Pick up a trash bag and make a difference on your favorite coastline.

While you have a trash bag in hand, you can pick up even more trash to help make Clean Up the World day a success – it’s held from September 20-22. Established in 1993, Clean Up the World is one of the largest community-based environmental programs in the world.

The organization strives to unite community groups, schools, businesses, and local governments to carry out activities that address local environmental issues in 130 countries across the globe. Tread lightly, clean up and conserve the planet.

On November 15, recycle. It’s America Recycles Day. Did you know that the national recycling rate has increased over the past 30 years, and the current recycling rate is 34 percent?

Take the pledge to learn about materials are collected for recycling in your community. Within the next month, reduce the amount of waste you produce, recycle more, and buy products made with recycled content. In ensuing months, encourage one family member or one friend to take the #BeRecycled pledge. Word spreads. Recycling increase.

Finally, as the year draws to a close, December brings us to one of the most important dates of our time. Human Rights Day is observed on December 10 – a day the United Nations General Assembly adopted in 1948, with its Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The document was a milestone that proclaimed the inalienable rights to which everyone is inherently entitled to as a human being -- regardless of race, color, religion, sex, language, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. It is the most translated document in the world, available in more than 500 languages.

It establishes the equal dignity and worth of every person. While its promise is yet to be fully realized, the very fact that it has stood the test of time is testament to the enduring universality of its perennial values of equality, justice and human dignity.

So there you have it, notable dates in 2019 that you can mark down on your calendar – in ink! – and make your mark on the world.

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