These 5 international holidays are occasions for you to change your habits for the global good.
As 2015 comes into full swing, so too do our resolutions to become faster, better and stronger in all aspects of our lives. The new year is a time of renewal and excitement about the changes to come, but these changes require a proactive spirit willing to try new things and change the course of learned behaviors. Above all, becoming an improved human being is not only about respecting your mind, body and soul but also about giving back to the community and Mother Nature.
Sometimes we simply need a reason to act. Be it because we like the idea of an organized event or we’re-in-this-together sentiment, some of us just like the idea of being part of something bigger, something global. These 5 international holidays are meant to inspire you to make changes in your lives, no matter how small, that will inevitably affect your community and environment.
There are many international holidays that pertain to diet, but Meatout is one that is making groundbreaking strides around the world in recent years. Meatout is movement that takes place on the first day of spring, around March 20th, each year. Since its inception in 1986, Meatout has been promoting a healthy diet that veers in the opposite direction of meats – one full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Essentially, it is all about being vegan for a day and promoting the availability and diverse selections inherent in such a diet. Today, it is the world’s largest annual grassroots diet education campaign. Meatout events vary and take place all over the world. Learn more about how to get involved at Meatout.org.
2. Earth Month
The UN has designated the entire month of April as Earth Month. During this month, we are all encouraged to think about earth issues, both in our local communities and around the world. How you take part is entirely up to your own creativity. Organize a group of people to tidy a park, or plant a tree! Whatever you do, remember that even the littlest of actions count!
3. World No Tobacco Day
Need a reason to quit smoking? May 31st offers a unique occasion to try it out, at least for a day. World No Tobacco Day is meant to inform people of the inherent dangers in using tobacco as well as the sketchy business practices of tobacco magnates. The World Health Organization created the celebration as a vehicle to draw attention to the tobacco epidemic and expose the diseases (and death) it causes. And tobacco is not just a matter of human health – it’s a matter of protecting the environment. Did you know that the air pollution emitted by cigarettes is 10 times greater than diesel car exhaust!?
4. TV-Turnoff Week
Mark your calendars! The third week of April is your incentive to step away from the remote control and take a break from your beloved, albeit passive, pastime: television. Let’s be real – television programming has hit a new low in recent years, especially with increase in mind-numbing (but unfortunately entertaining) reality series. So, you aren’t losing much by giving it up. Even if you can’t forgo television altogether, it’s a great practice in discipline and in appreciating more productive hobbies by withstanding the screen for at least a week’s time. Save electricity, go outdoors, be active and enjoy nature!
5. International Volunteer Day
December 5th has been designated by the UN as a day to give back. The International Volunteer Day is actually an opportunity for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to showcase their contributions to the local, national and international communities in line with the Millennium Development Goals. An award is even presented to several winners in recognition of their services. Despite its quite grand acknowledgements, International Volunteer Day has implications for all of us – its is our celebration of what we can accomplish in the comfort of our respective communities. If you don’t already volunteer, find a way to do so, either through local shelters, schools or non-profit organizations. Make 2015 a year of selfless acts.
Related on EcoSalon
Photo Credit: SWHB