What You Need To Know About World Environment Day This Year

Did you know that today is World Environment Day?

The United Nations started this recognition day in 1974 as a worldwide call to action towards protecting the planet. Over the past 45 years, the event has transformed into a major global event that is now celebrated in over 100 countries annually. The UN determines a theme and host country each year for festivities. Additionally, the UN maintains a list of all events and and registered activities happening around the world in commemoration of the day.

This year’s theme is air pollution. While you may not think this sounds like a pressing concern, these statistics say otherwise.

  • Each year, over 50,000 people die in America from pollutants in the air.
  • Air pollution is the 4th largest threat to human life today.
  • Air pollutants from automobiles and other fossil fuel burning machines cause nearly 80% of lung illnesses, which is a higher percentage than smoking.
  • 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits.

So, essentially, we are not only killing the planet, but we’re killing ourselves, too.

Though these are alarming statistics, we can take small steps to help our environment today and every day to cut down on toxins in the air. Some of these may sound like relatively small things, if we all jump onboard, we can make an impact.

  • Consider carpooling, mass transit, or non-fuel methods to get to work or school.
  • Maintain your vehicles regularly. This includes checking tire pressure, regular oil changes, tune ups, and emissions testing.
  • Look for Energy Star labels when shopping for any appliances or or equipment. Also, consider utilizing items that use less energy or items that work on manual power.
  • Avoid burning trash, leaves, or other items.
  • Look for environmentally safe products when shopping, especially outdoor and indoor cleaning products and paints.

Finally, if you want to find larger ways to help the environment today, consider supporting organizations like the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Southern Alliance of Clean Energy, or NRDC.

Hopefully we can work towards helping our world (and our bodies) by reducing your carbon footprint and pollution. Together, we can save the planet.

Feature Image by Alexander Popov on Unsplash

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