It isn’t a public holiday, it is an environmental awareness day, run by the United Nations. It is sometimes also unofficially called Eco Day or Environment Day. The aim of the Day is to raise awareness of the environment and specific environmental issues.

The United Nations, aware that the protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue, which affects the well-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world. The celebration of this day provides us with an opportunity to broaden the basis for an enlightened opinion and responsible conduct by individuals, enterprises and communities in preserving and enhancing the environment. Since it began in 1974, it has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in more than 100 countries.

Importance of Environment    

First and foremost, a clean environment is vital to not only to our own healthy living, but survival of all living things. The air we breathe is the most essential resource that the environment provides us with, and our efforts to reduce air pollution are currently not even pacing the pollution being pumped into the air daily (especially in major cities). According to the EPA, air pollution may increase risk of heart attacks, asthma, bronchitis, and premature mortality. There is also evidence to suggest that most indoor air can be up to five times more toxic than it is outdoors. But air pollution is not the only type of pollution we should be concerned with. The CDC also warns that water pollution may increase risks of gastrointestinal illness, reproductive problems, and neurological disorders. When you think of the environment as something that may actually be hurting us if we don’t take care of it, the need for a resolution becomes much clearer.   
 

Theme 2019; “Beat Air Pollution”   

The theme Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that draws attention to a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2019 is “Beat Air pollution”.

Approximately 7 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution, with about 4 million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific. World Environment Day 2019 will urge governments, industries, communities, and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy and green technologies, and improve air quality in cities and regions across the world. 

3 Interesting Facts about Air Pollution       

  • 92 per cent of people worldwide do not breathe clean air
  • Air pollution costs the global economy $5 trillion every year in welfare costs
  • Ground-level ozone pollution is expected to reduce staple crop yields by 26 per cent by 2030
World Environment Day; How to Beat Air Pollution?

Causes of Air Pollution   

  • Transport - The global transport sector accounts for almost one-quarter of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions and this proportion is rising. Transport emissions have been linked to nearly 400,000 premature deaths.
  • Industry - In many countries, energy production is a leading source of air pollution. Coal-burning power plants are a major contributor, while diesel generators are a growing concern in off-grid areas.
  • Household - The main source of household air pollution is the indoor burning of fossil fuels, wood and other biomass-based fuels to cook, heat and light homes. Around 3.8 million premature deaths are caused by indoor air pollution each year, the vast majority of them in the developing world.
  • Waste - Open waste burning and organic waste in landfills release harmful dioxins, furans, methane, and black carbon into the atmosphere. Globally, an estimated 40 percent of waste is openly burned. 
  • Agriculture - There are two major sources of air pollution from agriculture: livestock, which produces methane and ammonia, and the burning of agricultural waste. Around 24 percent of all greenhouse gases emitted worldwide come agriculture, forestry and other land-use.
  • Other sources - Not all air pollution comes from human activity. Volcanic eruptions, dust storms and other natural processes also cause problems. Sand and dust storms are particularly concerning.

What We Can Do To Help the Environment    

The importance of caring for the environment is absolutely paramount for many reasons. Perhaps most importantly, we need to make sure that we leave this place better than when we came for the next generations. It wouldn’t be fair to hand them something we fouled up that they are responsible for cleaning up. With that in mind, here are a few ways to take care of our environment:

  • Recycle: The benefits of recycling are immense! By recycling you reduce the waste going into landfills, reduce the need to acquire more raw materials, reduce the energy required to produce additional materials, and the list goes on and on!
  • Choose Energy-Efficient Lighting: You might be spending more money out of pocket initially for higher-quality, energy-efficient light bulbs, but they will use less energy. This will reduce the pollution emitted from powering your lights and will save you money on your energy bill. Energy-efficient bulbs also last way longer than lower quality light bulbs so you will not have to buy replacements for a long time.
  • Repurposing: So many things around your home can be repurposed and reused. Plastic bags, for instance, can be reused at the grocery store or used as small wastebasket bags.
  • Detergents: There are a number of things we use detergents for. Most of them are bad for the environment. Everything that goes down a drain will eventually find its way back to a source of water again. Choose natural soaps, shampoos, body washes and laundry detergents to help keep our natural water supply clean.
  • Reusable water bottles: Fossil fuels are required to make plastic bottles, so using fewer plastic bottles will help greatly in preserving this precious resource.
     
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The environmental effects of the automobile are well known, motor vehicles cause, for example, as much as 75 percent of the noise and 80 percent of the air pollution in our cities.

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