Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care.

World Environment Day (WED), held on June 5, 2015, is one of the seven International Days especially recommended for observance in Augustinian communities, parishes, and schools. The following may help increase our awareness of the issue, and lead to some practical action and prayer for this most important issue.

Although individual decisions may seem small in the face of global threats and trends, when billions of people join forces in common purpose, we can make a tremendous difference.
— UN Secretary General, April 2015

World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. The official website for the WED is found here.  A video message was sent by the UN Secretary General for a special event held in Florence on March 28; click here to watch this short video.

2015 Theme

The WED theme this year is therefore "Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care." Living within planetary boundaries is the most promising strategy for ensuring a healthy future. Human prosperity need not cost the earth. Living sustainably is about doing more and better with less. It is about knowing that rising rates of natural resource use and the environmental impacts that occur are not a necessary by-product of economic growth.

World Environment Day's Host Country:  Italy

Italian Minister for the Environment Gian Luca Galletti says, "It is an honour for Italy to work together with UNEP in leading the global celebrations for World Environment Day 2015. This year, WED will focus on the need to respect the carrying capacity of the planet and to manage natural resources efficiently—all aspects that are of utmost importance if we really want to ensure prosperity and well-being globally.”

What Is a Bottle's Odyssey?

What happens after you litter a plastic bottle?  The United Nations offers this video to illustrate.

A Plastic bottle goes on an epic odyssey to find its way back to its owner. Directed by Nik Kleverov. For for more information on UNEP's work on plastic waste and marine litter go to:

Pope Francis Speaks on World Environment Day

Cultivating and caring for creation is God’s indication given to each one of us not only at the beginning of history; it is part of His project; it means nurturing the world with responsibility and transforming it into a garden, a habitable place for everyone.
— Pope Francis, World Environment Day 2013

In December 2014, Pope Francis wrote to the Conference in Lima, Peru, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change:

The consequences of environmental changes, which are already being dramatically felt in many countries, especially the insular states of the Pacific, remind us of the gravity of neglect and inaction. The time to find global solutions is running out. We can find appropriate solutions only if we act together and in agreement. There is therefore a clear, definitive and urgent ethical imperative to act.

Since World Environment Day (WED) is one of the seven International Days especially recommended for observance in Augustinian communities, parishes and schools, there is a sample prayer/para-liturgical service which may be followed in your local communities, parishes or schools. Feel free to adapt this in the way that suits your situation.


Patrick Murphy

Patrick Murphy has been working with the Augustinians in fundraising and communications since 2010. He began working with the Augustinian Vocations office in 2015. He also holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management.