Since the United Nations started World Environment Day in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in more than 100 countries. It provides us with an opportunity to both acknowledge the impact humans are having on our environment, and celebrate the innovative and extraordinary ways our fellow Australians are working towards protecting and improving it.
This World Health Day we wanted to share with you the stories of three of our Young Achievers whose passion for the environment and sustainability is sure to inspire you.
Meet Josh Murray, winner of the 2019 IKON Services Environmental Sustainability Award at the Seven News Young Achiever Awards in Victoria. From Kerrie, in Victoria, Josh is enthusiastic about sustainable farming. He started his own free range egg business, Josh’s Rainbow Eggs, at the age of 9 with just 40 hens. Ten years later, Josh has 10,000 hens and has developed the most environmentally sustainable model of egg farming in Australia.
Josh uses state-of-the-art wind and solar-powered mobile sheds and pasture rotation. He regularly gives talks to school children about his egg business and plans to launch a farm education centre. Josh is currently working with researchers and educators to design curriculum materials on sustainable agriculture. He is also writing a children’s book about his story.
From Bakewell, NT, Georgia Koch won the ConocoPhillips Environment Award at the 2019 Northern Territory Young Achiever Awards. Georgia Koch is an advocate for the environment. She was selected as the environmental minister of her school, Good Shepherd Lutheran College. As environmental minister, she initiated rubbish clean-up programs to help educate the community on issues involving single-use plastics. The programs’ success inspired Georgia to start the College’s first recycling program.
In 2018, Georgia was selected to go to the United Nations Youth National Conference in Adelaide and the UN National Evatt competition in Hobart. Georgia was also recognised as the 2015 and 2016 NT Junior Surf Lifesaving Athlete of the Year.
Jason Pitman is from Belmont, WA, and winner of the 2019 Scott Print Environment and Sustainability Award at our Seven News Young Achiever Awards in Western Australia. Jason has a passion for environmental education. It started when he was only 15, when he assisted in wildlife conservation projects in the Peel and Mandurah area. Since then, he has worked on a wide diversity of environmental projects and different working groups.
Jason is currently a Strategy Coordinator at Perth National Resource Management, spending much of his time managing the Swan-Canning River Recovery program and eradicating hydrocotyle weed from the river system. Jason delivers Swan-Canning River School talks for primary and secondary schools around Perth and has so far educated over 1,200 students and engaging over 2,000 community members.
Take Action for World Environment Day
This year, World Environment Day is targeting air pollution with the theme, “Beat Air Pollution”. Nine out of ten people worldwide are exposed to levels of air pollutants that exceed the safe levels set by the World Health Organisation, so it is very clear that this is a problem in need of urgent attention.
Air pollution has a variety of sources, but is largely caused by emissions produced from burning of fossil fuels, the global transport sector, agricultural livestock and the burning of both organic and inorganic waste. Thankfully, we aren’t powerless to make our own impact on reducing air pollution. Here are some ways you can help:
- Use public transport or car sharing, cycle or walk.
- Switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle and request electric taxis.
- Turn off the car engine when stationary.
- Reduce your consumption of meat and dairy to help cut methane emissions.
- Compost organic food items and recycle non-organic trash.
- Switch to high-efficiency home heating systems and equipment.
- Save energy: turn off lights and electronics when not in use.
- Never burn trash, as this contributes directly to air pollution.
- Choose non-toxic paints and furnishings.
Show your Support
Do you know a young achiever in your community passionate about sustaining and protecting the environment? Refer them to us and we’ll let you both know when next year’s Award nominations open.
Alternatively, you may wish to submit a nomination for the EPA Sustainability Award in the Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards, or the Parks Victoria Environmental Sustainability Award in the Victorian Regional Achievement & Community Awards.