Celebrating Earth Day 2018: End Plastic Pollution!

April 18, 2018

On April 22, The Hunger Project will join the global community to celebrate Earth Day. Earth Day is a world-wide call to action to address the effects of climate change, foster a sustainable and healthy environment and protect our planet for future generations.

This year, the theme is “End Plastic Pollution elevating and spreading knowledge on the harmful effects of plastic in order to decrease its use. The buildup of non-biodegradable plastics is one of many threats to environmental sustainability and places a particular strain on natural resources crucial to agricultural communities around the world.  

Research shows that when people live in healthy environments, they are more likely to lead healthier lives. Which is why The Hunger Project empowers communities to make environmentally conscious choices at the local level, empowering our partners with the knowledge to become more resilient to the pressures of environmental degradation. When rural farmers build resilience in the face of challenges like pollution, devastating weather patterns and soil erosion, their entire communities thrive and are one step closer to the sustainable end of hunger.

This Earth Day, join us in taking a stand for Earth and say no to harmful practices that can damage our planet and all living beings on it.

What We Do:

  • Raise awareness of and build the capacity to adapt to climate change. The Hunger Project holds workshops to build our partners’ capacity to exercise leadership, take steps to increase their resilience and formulate strategies to mitigate climate change risks. At the regional and international levels, we advocate for the conservation of natural resources, the mitigation of the harmful effects of extractive industries and the recovery and promotion of traditional knowledge and technology that are highly adaptable to changing climate conditions. Our leadership is demonstrated by our frequent participation in international events on climate change, including our participation at the COP21 that led to the historic adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
  • Increase the use of renewable energy. In Senegal, Coki Epicenter’s rural bank has partnered with the National Agency of Eco-Villages (ANEV) and the Japanese International Cooperation on a program that promotes, the use of biodigesters, that convert waste into renewable energy. Biodigesters help reduce methane emissions and prevent it from being released into the atmosphere.
  • Develop sustainable water sources. We work to empower local communities to drill new wells and boreholes and repair existing ones; build and repair water towers; and construct water troughs for livestock. In Mexico, The Hunger Project is promoting sustainable harvesting of rainwater as an additional means to secure easy access to clean water for rural communities in the country. Built and managed by our partners, the water system consists of tanks that gather rainwater. This way, our partners are able to collect water without having to travel long and arduous distances. In Mexico in 2017, 257 people participated in community projects to improve access to water.
  • Promote sustainable farming practices. At our epicenters in Africa, Hunger Project partners create community farms, where villagers learn composting, intercropping and drip irrigation to improve crop yields, restore soil fertility and make the best use of scarce resources.
  • Increase access to sustainable agriculture technology. The Hunger Project provides training and credit, mobilizing people to adopt sustainable agricultural technology and practices, and encourages communities to demand agricultural extension services from their government.
  • Promote the use of clean air through “green stoves.” The Hunger Project has launched a clean stoves (or “green stoves”) project in four communities in the Mazateca region of Mexico with non-profit partner Water for Humans. The clean stoves are designed to remove smoke from the house by using less wood. The communities were involved in the process of fundraising, planning, and construction. Water for Humans trained local volunteer “promoters” on how to build and fix the clean stoves, keeping expertise and knowledge in the region.
  • Reforestation efforts. Throughout our program countries, trained Hunger Project partners establish tree nurseries, which reforest their communities, control soil erosion, and create entrepreneurial village businesses, supplying families with fruit trees that not only capture carbon but also provide nutrition and income.
  • Tree-planting campaigns. Across our epicenters in Benin, Ethiopia, Malawi and Uganda, The Hunger Project advocates for the use of the “miracle” Moringa tree, a drought-tolerant tree with leaves that are rich in vitamins and nutrients. With our community partners, we have distributed thousands of seedlings, and trained communities to cultivate the trees for both additional nutrition and supplemental income. In 2017, we launched a new initiative with Belgian non-profit WeForest that has led to the planting of three million new trees in northwestern Ethiopia. This is a collaborative, community-led forest restoration and land rehabilitation program that involves staff members, local farmers and government officials for the benefit of the entire Machakel district.   
  • Ensure access to clean water. Water project boards, made up of community leaders, are trained by experts to monitor, maintain and repair water systems. Community partners are trained to use and repair water pumps and generators, and a core group of local leaders lead workshops on WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) throughout the community to expand grassroots knowledge and promote water safety practices. In Bangladesh, 7 WASH campaigns were conducted in 2017, and there nearly 900 meetings on WASH and hygienic practices around the country, educating communities about the importance of sanitation. In Uganda, we’ve partnered with Siemens Stiftung and Sky Juice to launch the Safe Water Enterprise, a community-driven program that provides clean, filtered water for purchase at an affordable price to the community.
  • Sanitation programs. Water-borne illnesses are a leading cause of childhood deaths around the world, which is why The Hunger Project conducts hygiene trainings and capacity building projects. In Africa, 1,935 latrines were constructed, installed, or rehabilitated in 2017.

What You Can Do:

  • Invest now in The Hunger Project to build resilient, environmentally friendly communities.
  • Share our posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram about Earth Day.
  • Assess your own plastic pollution footprint and determine how you can lower it. Learn more