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World Environment Day - Together, We Can Beat Air Pollution
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World Environment Day - Together, We Can Beat Air Pollution

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Highlights:
  • World Environment Day is observed annually on the 5th June
  • The main aim is to spread awareness about the dangers of environmental pollution and an urgent reminder to each one of us to contribute our mite to protect our environment
  • The World Environment Day campaign 2019 is being hosted by China and will be focusing on measures to reduce air pollution and improve the quality of the air we breathe


World Environment Day (WED) observed on the 5th of June aims to create awareness about the dangers of environmental pollution. The theme for this year 2019 is 'Air Pollution.'

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What We Can Do To Raise Awareness About World Environment Day Campaign

  • Download posters and logos from the official website and share widely in social media such as Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness about the dangers of environmental pollution and ways to reduce pollution
  • Make a personal contribution or organize a fundraiser and donate the proceeds to support the campaign
  • Take part in 'Wear the Mask' challenge to tell everyone that we want to breathe clean air
  • Make and sell 'Save the Environment' themed stuff such as T-shirts, mugs, bracelets online and donate the proceeds to support the campaign
  • Visual and print media should carry programs and reports highlighting the threats posed by environmental pollution and educate the public on measures to save the environment
  • Local administration should get actively involved and call upon the community to adopt measures to prevent pollution with a heavy penalty and fines for non-conformation
  • The youth of each community should visit slums and educate the residents about the importance of keeping the environment clean for the sake of their children and families
  • Youngsters should come together and clean their neighborhood regularly as public service


Facts and Figures on Air Pollution

  • Air pollution refers to chemicals and particulate matter in the atmosphere that is harmful to health
  • Sources of outdoor air pollution include cigarette smoke, emissions from vehicles and factories, burning of garbage
  • Indoor air pollution can be caused by smoke from wood or coal used for cooking
  • When volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) come in contact with the ultraviolet rays the air, the ground level is ozone is formed. This compound is harmful to lungs and causes respiratory disease or aggravates pre-existing lung conditions
  • It is estimated that 92% of the global population do not breathe clean air
  • Longterm effects of air pollution are permanent and can affect the heart, lungs, kidneys, nerves and brain
  • Young children and the elderly are more vulnerable to the harmful effects of air pollution
  • Uncontrolled air pollution due to greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide results in global warming
  • The Kyoto Protocol, established in Japan, in 1997, is an agreement by 183 countries that they will actively work towards reducing carbon emissions
  • The WHO has issued new air quality guidelines in 2006 aiming to reduce air pollution-related deaths by 15% per year

Measures to Reduce Air Pollution

  • Use public transport or decide to carpool, better still walk or cycle
  • Opt for electrically powered transport and use electric cabs if available
  • Turn off your vehicle engine at stops and traffic signals
  • Reduce intake of dairy and meat and help to contain methane emissions
  • Practice safe garbage disposal; compost organic waste and segregate plastic and other non-recyclable waste
  • Avoid burning of garbage
  • Builders must make eco-friendly green homes to reduce the carbon footprint
  • Opt for high-efficiency home equipment such as cooling and heating systems
  • Turn off electric gadgets and electricity when not in use 
  • Opt for eco-friendly and non-toxic paints and furnishings

History of World Environment Day

World Environment Day is a United Nations-backed campaign to raise and spread worldwide awareness about threats to the environment and measures to protect our environment. Since it began in 1974, the campaign observed annually on the 5th June has grown to become the major platform working for the cause of saving the environment and is celebrated in over 100 countries.
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Each year a theme of environmental concern is chosen as the main focus to address during the campaign and for the rest of the year to preserve the environment.

The event in 2018 was hosted by India with the theme of 'Beating Plastic Pollution.'

World Environment Day 2019 is hosted by China, and the theme is 'Beating Air Pollution.' Each one of us has a responsibility to do our part either alone or as a group, directly or indirectly and show our support and solidarity to protect and preserve our planet.

References :
  1. World Environment Day 2019 - (https://www.greeningtheblue.org/event/world-environment-day)
  2. A healthy environment is the foundation of human life - (https://www.unenvironment.org/environment-you)
  3. Air pollution - (https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/air-pollution/)

Source: Medindia

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