World Environment Day 2019 - Everything You Need to Know
Jun 03 2019 Read 1894 Times
On June 5th, World Environment Day was celebrated in over 100 countries all over the globe. Since its inception in 1974, the event has served as a platform for organisations, businesses and governments to make a concerted effort to do their bit to look after Mother Earth. Above all, however, it’s a “people’s day” aimed at encouraging individuals to face up to their environmental responsibility and tackle one thing that can benefit our planet.
Each year, the event is modelled around a theme which raises awareness about a particularly troubling aspect of the environment. Last year, the theme was plastic pollution and what can be done about it, while this year’s theme, chosen by host country China, was the increasingly concerning issue of air pollution.
A silent killer
Air pollution is now responsible for a staggering seven million premature deaths each year, according to the World Health Organisation. With over 90% of the world’s population exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution on a daily basis, it’s also responsible for causing and exacerbating many other respiratory complications as well, having a hugely detrimental impact on people’s lives and on the global economy.
What’s more, air pollution has also been linked to global warming, meaning its current presence could not just affect those breathing it in now, but future generations as well. Harmful contaminants in the air such as particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), ozone, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide can help to increase the likelihood of extreme weather phenomena and cause a hike in global temperatures, potentially leading to rising sea levels and loss of human and animal life.
What can you do?
The inspiration behind World Environment Day almost half a century ago was the idea that all of us, no matter where we live or how insignificant we might consider ourselves, have the power to make a difference. With that in mind, the event is about undertaking a challenge, initiative or even just a change in your daily habits geared towards curbing your contribution towards air pollution and cleaning up the environment by doing so.
Here are some suggestions of ways in which individuals can make an impact:
- Installing a more efficient stove in your house
- Switching to cleaner fuels when cooking at home
- Taking public transport, cycling or walking whenever possible
- Buying an electric or hybrid vehicle for longer journeys
- Car-pooling with friends, family or colleagues
- Transitioning to a plant-based diet
- Recycling all non-organic waste that you can
- Never burning trash
Of course, we can all make a larger difference if we work together. World Environment Day encourages concerned citizens from all corners of the globe to subscribe to its website in order to receive live updates on events and initiatives happening in your area. What are you waiting for? Sign up and make a difference to the planet today, tomorrow and beyond!
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