World Environment Day (WED), observed annually on June 5, strives to increase awareness about issues facing the environment. Sponsored by the United Nations Environment Program, WED has been celebrated for decades. This movement encourages individuals to take an active role in cleaning up their communities and to help preserve natural resources for future generations.
Research has shown that people consume far more resources than the earth can support. With an expected population of 9.6 billion by 2050, three planets will be required to sustain current patterns of production and consumption. 
The theme of this year’s World Environment Day is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care”. This motif encourages citizens worldwide to recognize that degradation of the earth does not have to be an automatic result of economic growth. Sustainability simply means using fewer resources and stretching them further; everyone has a role to play.
Individuals are encouraged to become personally involved through registering their activity on the WED website in order to show the positive changes they are making for our planet. People and organizations are then showcased on the main website, with a new featured activity every day. Activities illustrated could range from tree planting, to coastal clean ups, to art competitions using recycled materials.
One featured activity, “Let’s Do It! Philippines”, is an example of what can be accomplished when thousands of people lend a hand. “Let’s Do It! Philippines” is a branch of the main organization called “Let’s Do It! World”. This mass movement originated in 2008 when 50,000 people came together in Estonia to collect and dispose of the country’s garbage. With the help of hundreds of organizations, politicians, celebrities, and the government, they achieved their goal in only five hours.
The organization has since grown to include 112 different countries and over 12 million participants, all working together to clear their communities and countries of illegally dumped solid waste. “Let’s Do It! World” has set a goal to involve 350 million people, about 5% of the world’s population, by 2018. They believe that this will make a lasting difference in keeping the planet clean .
The objective of “Let’s Do It! Philippines” is similar to that of Estonia in 2008; on September 20, 2015, the goal is to engage 5 million people (5% of the nation’s population) to clean up the entire country in just one day. Leaders are currently being trained from all regions of the country, and they will each direct grassroots teams on the day of the Clean-Up. Dann Diez, the campaign manager for “Let’s Do It! Philippines”, believes that the biggest problem concerns the illegal dumping of solid wastes in the mountains, rivers and oceans.
A lack of education and awareness about the harmful nature of pollution is a big issue as well. Diez hopes that the Clean-Up on September 20th will not be a one-time event; his vision is that through education, habit formation, and discipline, citizens will learn to save the environment through their daily routines. 
When considering the current condition of the world’s environment and the sheer volume of waste generated on a daily basis, it is easy to become discouraged. Organizations like “Let’s Do It! Philippines”, however, offer proof that hope is on the horizon. Motivated, energized people unified by a common goal to help save the planet can accomplish many great things. Visit http://www.unep.org/wed to learn more and discover how you and your community can get involved.