World Environment Day (WED) celebrated on the 5th June every year is a United Nations initiative to encourage awareness and action for the protection of our environment.
This year the theme for WED is ‘Beat Air Pollution’. The theme was chosen by the host country, China, whose air pollution is notoriously deadly.
Causes of air pollution
Air pollution is everywhere and often you cannot even see it. A study by the World Health Organisation found that nine out of ten people worldwide are exposed to air pollutants that exceed safe levels.
The biggest causes of air pollution set out by the UN are:
- Household – Indoor burning of fossil fuels, wood and other fuels to cook, heat and light homes.
- Industry – The mass production of energy through burning of coal and fossil fuels.
- Transport – Global transport accounts for almost one quarter of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions.
- Agriculture – Livestock producing methane and the burning of agricultural waste.
- Waste – Burning of waste in landfills.
What can you do to help air pollution?
- Use public transport, walk, cycle and ride share whenever possible.
- Reduce consumption of meat and dairy
- Install solar power
- Switch to an electric or hybrid car
- Save energy by turning off lights when not in use.
- Turn off the car when stationary
- Use recycled materials whenever possible
- Never burn rubbish.
Solar reduces air pollution
Did you know that installing a solar panel system significantly reduces your household air pollution due to avoided power plant emissions? On average by installing a 5kW solar panel system you avoid using 2298 litres of petrol a year or 2612kg of coal burnt.
solar power produces no harmful emissions
Generating energy from solar power produces no harmful emissions, if more households and businesses adopted solar energy it would result in fewer toxic emissions in our air. *
*Figures from United states environmental Protection Agency.2017. Greenhouse Gases Equivalencies Calculator.