Environmental Education Day is the holiday marked in both Russia and republics of the former USSR. Every year, starting from 1991, this day is devoted to popularizing the knowledge about environmental protection. Both adults and kids take part in the activities confined to this date. The events are not limited to lectures and conferences. On May 12, it is customary to hold environmental activities, like river and water basin banks treatment, cleaning-up operations in forests and parks, landscaping, etc. 

The key ecological challenges today include floods and tsunami related to redistribution of air streams and deforestation, degradation of soils and permafrost retreat, atmospheric pollution, toxic emissions of CO2 and certainly the so-called garbage catastrophe. 

“In Russia, only 7% of citizens comply with the requirement of waste segregation. The rest are willing to do it only in case of having comfortable infrastructure at a walking distance, on condition that the majority of their compatriots will comply with the requirement, and if there will be comprehensible infographics on garbage containers,” ecologist Yulia Yermolayeva emphasizes in the column written for Real Time.

The UN, in its turn, informs the public that the total quantity of wastes amounts to 4 billion tons annually today. Moreover, this figure increases year after year. During the period of COVID-19 pandemic, millions of expendable masks and gloves were added to the heaps of garbage. 

In April this year, the UN declared a new initiative devoted to combatting the problem of marine litter and cleaning global ocean. Within the framework of new project, the availability of garbage-collection facilities in the ports of poor countries will be checked, the UN reports. Besides, information and awareness raising activities will be held for those employed in shipping traffic and fishing sectors. Measures on marking fishing nets are planned to identify their owners, in case these nets are lost or thrown out to the sea. 

Photo: Ralph Pace / WAPP / EPA.

Photo: Ralph Pace / WAPP / EPA.


Recently, beach cleanups have gained popularity in the world – cleaning coastal territories from litter by local residents. Volunteers gather in groups or collect garbage in singles. Moreover, many celebrities do not neglect such initiatives publishing the results of their work in social media afterwards. It is important to inform as many people as possible about environmental problems, so such holiday as the Environmental Education Day is very important for our country, which falls behind the European states in culture of treating domestic wastes.

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