June 5th is World Environment Day!
World Environment Day was designated in 1974 by the United Nations for the purpose of bringing awareness to the world on a topic that is fairly new to us humans inhabiting the earth. Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme, this years being “Beat Air Pollution.”This years host, China invites us all to consider how we can change our everyday lives to reduce the amount of air pollution we produce and curb its contribution to global warming and its effects on our health, as well as the health of future generations.
Through the rapid acceleration of science and technology, humans have acquired the power to transform their environment in countless ways and on an unprecedented scale. It was in 1972 that the United Nations marked the turning point in the development of international environmental politics. A major conference was held in Stockholm Sweden, that intended to forge a basic common outlook on how to address the challenge of enhancing and preserving the human environment. “Since the first celebration in 1974, the World Environment Day has helped UNEP to raise awareness and generate political momentum around growing concerns such as the depletion of the ozone layer, toxic chemicals, desertification and global warming. The Day has developed into a global platform for taking action on urgent environmental issues. Millions of people have taken part over the years, helping drive change in our consumption habits, as well as in national and international environmental policy.”
Air pollution can result from many different things and areas. Five categories for air pollution are household, industry, transport, agriculture, and waste. The issue of air pollution can be crippling and harm many people. For example,9 out of 10 people breathe polluted air and 3.8 million premature deaths are caused by indoor air pollution each year!
According to the United Nations web page, here are a few ways that you can help air pollution:
- Use public transport or car sharing, cycle or walk.
- Switch to a hybrid or electric vehicle and request electric taxis.
- Turn off the car engine when stationary.
- Reduce your consumption of meat and dairy to help cut methane emissions.
- Compost organic food items and recycle non-organic trash.
- Switch to high-efficiency home heating systems and equipment.
- Save energy: turn off lights and electronics when not in use.
- Never burn trash, as this contributes directly to air pollution.
- Choose non-toxic paints and furnishings
Recycling is another area that positively impacts our environment. From recycling our waste to recycling furniture and clothes, there are always ways to help improve our earth! Not only is recycling important, reducing the amount of waste that goes into our landfills with further protect and preserve the earth!
Here are a few tips to help you reduce, reuse, and recycle:
- Avoid the use of disposable goods such as lighters, paper cups and plastics
- Purchase products made from recycled material
- Use dish cloths instead of using paper towels
- Use cloth bags when buying groceries
- Donate to charity or sell old clothes, furniture, toys or appliances (Habitat for Humanity is a great organization to donate to!)
Join the world and participate in the Mask Challenge!
- Take a photo or video of yourself wearing a mask to post on social media
- Tag 3 people/ organizations/ companies to challenge them to do the same
- Use #WorldEnvironmentDay and #BeatAirPollution in your social media posts and tag @UNEnvironment
Together we can #BeatAirPollution
Visit https://www.un.org/en/events/environmentday/index.shtml for more information