Every year, 5 June is celebrated by millions internationally as World Environment Day (WED). Established in 1972 by the United Nations, WED is one of the principal vehicles through which the UN raises worldwide awareness for the environment and enhances action.

As an affiliate of the United Nation’s Economic and Social Council, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha celebrated World Environment Day in the UK with the launch of its new Environmental Awareness drive. It began with a small exhibition in the foyer of London Mandir reprised from last year’s Hindu New Year celebrations, which were themed Go Veg… Go Green…. The display includes informative posters, take-home fliers, and a short video presentation explaining the hugely positive impact of a vegetarian diet on the environment.

The major thrust of the launch came on Saturday 6 June when a multimedia presentation was used to increase awareness and promote positive action to protect the environment. Following on the UN’s theme for WED 2009 – ‘Your Planet Needs You: UNite to Combat Climate Change’ – the presentation emphasised our collective responsibility in making simple but impactful lifestyle changes to help care for our deteriorating planet.

The presentation opened with a hard-hitting video detailing the devastating effects of continued neglect of the environment and the abuse of the earth’s finite and precious resources.

This was followed by a discourse elucidating the Hindu ethos of care and compassion for Mother Nature as enshrined in the ancient Hindu scriptures, such as the Vedas, Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita. Citing also from the Vachanamrut and quoting Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the speakers touched upon a number of important issues to inspire respect for Nature and a way of life which promotes peaceful, sustainable coexistence with all of God’s creation.

The presentation concluded with a call to make five small but significant changes by which every household can contribute to saving the planet.

  • These were:
  • Installing energy-saving light bulbs
  • Using efficient methods to recharge mobile phones
  • Stopping wastage of water
  • Recycling and reusing various materials
  • Reducing electricity consumption by switching off appliances when not in use


If everyone in the UK installed just one energy-saving light bulb, we would save enough CO2 to fill the Royal Albert Hall over 1,900 times!

The launch achieved an important objective in raising awareness and providing practical guidelines for corrective action. BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha, UK will continue its work through this on-going initiative at all its mandirs and centres throughout the UK over the coming months.

To learn more about the five steps mentioned above – the first of many more sets to come – and how they not only help save the planet but also help save money, click here.

To learn more about the UN’s World Environment Day, click here.

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