World Environment Day

June 5th is World Environment Day. You might be thinking, “didn’t we just celebrate Earth Day? What’s World Environment Day?” World Environment Day is an international event bringing together people from countries all around the globe to highlight the work that’s being done to create a more sustainable world. This year’s campaign “Our land. Our future. We are #GenerationRestoration.” focuses on land restoration, desertification and drought resilience. The host for global celebrations this year is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Want to know what people around the world are doing? Check out the updates for 2024. 

What is the library doing?

Honestly, everyone I work with is tired of hearing me say this, but sustainability as defined by the triple bottom line is engrained in what HCPL and other public libraries around the world do every day. Not sure what I mean by the triple bottom line? Check out our Sustainability Policy for a little more information. One of the most impactful things we’re doing is taking a look at how we operate and aligning our practices with those included in the Sustainable Libraries Initiative certification process, which has its roots in the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals. (You can read more about that process in a previous post, titled “Sustainability: One More Way HCPL Strengthens Communities”.) 

What is Harris County doing? 

In January of 2023 Commissioner’s Court adopted Harris County’s Climate Action Plan for Internal Operations: an Interdepartmental Emissions Reduction Strategy (CAP), which has set a goal of reducing the County’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 40% by 2030. The Sustainability Division of the Harris County Office of County Administration oversees this work and collaborates with other departments within the county, including HCPL.  

What is everyone else doing? 

Here are just a few of the many local organizations and community groups that are working to make Harris County and surrounding areas resilient. Check them out and see if you can get involved or just learn something new! 

Air Alliance Houston – A nonprofit advocacy organization that works to “reduce the public health impacts from air pollution and advance environmental justice.” 

Bullard Center for Environmental Justice – Located at Texas Southern University, the Robert D. Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice works to address systemic inequality and structural racism that disproportionately affect people of color.  

Citizen’s Environmental Coalition(CEC) – CEC “connect[s] concerned citizens and community leaders with well over 100 diverse environmental organizations”. Their list of member groups is a great resource for finding ways to get more involved in your community.  

Texas Climate Jobs Project – This advocacy organization is working with labor unions to both fight climate change and create jobs that benefit workers and the communities in which they live and work.  

I hope this gives you some ideas for things you can do to join in the effort to make Harris County and the Texas Gulf Coast resilient!