Today is World Environment Day

05.06.19

Today is World Environment Day!
 
World Environment Day
is celebrated on 5 June every year since 1974 and is designed to increase awareness and inspire everyone to take action for the protection of our environment. This year's theme is #BeatAirPollution!


So why has this year's theme #BeatAirPollution been chosen?

Quite simply, good clean air benefits us and our environment. Emissions have to go somewhere, and with multiple emissions from multiple sources the sheer density and complexity of emissions builds up in our atmosphere.

Globally, around 24 per cent of greenhouse gases come from agriculture, forestry and other land-use. NO2 emissions in dense urban areas and the burning of coal and waste are key contributors to poor air quality. Around 40 per cent of waste is still burned openly worldwide - 166 out of 193 countries openly burn agricultural and municipal waste.

Around 3.8 million premature deaths worldwide annually are linked to indoor air pollution. Three billion people across the planet use solid-fuel and open fires as their main heating and/or cooking source. Last year in the UK for example, air pollution was estimated to have cost the National Health Service GB£157 million. Global estimates of air pollution-related health care costs are around US$21 billion per year (OECD, 2016) not to mention significant damage to agricultural production from air pollution deposition on the earth, water and soils.

What can we do?

There are a few methods we can take in our day-to-day lives to reduce our global footprint, these are:

  • Think before you print…
  • Avoid driving wherever possible by walking, cycling or using public transport.
  • Cutting down on plastic usage:
    • Get a reusable coffee cup, most stores even give you money off your coffee for using one 
    • Carry a reusable bag for your shopping, or even better here is a website link that lists some great stores that sell plastic free products… don’t forget your containers! https://zerowastenear.me/ (look out for local community group packaging-free markets and bigger retail chains adopting more packaging-free options)
  • Making small upgrades to your home that can save you money in the long run. Free advice from the Energy Saving Trust here 
  • Changing the way you drive to help you save fuel and reduce exhaust emissions. See some simple driving tips here
  • World Environment Day is also about using and appreciating the amazing environment we live in, so if you have some time at lunch or after work, get out there and enjoy it!


More information on global air pollution



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Image by Johannes Plenio from Pixabay