World Environment day started in 1974 as a way to gain more consciousness around environmental issues that face not only individuals or even countries but humanity sharing the planet as a home.
Described as “peoples day”, a day for people to take action in their own way to reduce our impact. Its a day to recognize that the world, the planet, its ecosystems and balance are hanging on the edge. Its a day where we as individuals take action.
World Environment Day is not reserved to take action for a day. It’s not about the social media post about how you rode a bicycle to work but about creating lasting awareness and above all, lasting change. How about riding your bike twice a week and carpooling with colleagues on other days.
World Environment Day 2019: Air Pollution
Air pollution is everywhere. Just because you see a blue sky or don’t live very close to factories doesn’t mean you are safe.
Air pollution follows us wherever we go. Our cars, our homes and workplaces all contain some form of air pollution. Cooking in the home, fumes from vehicles and materials and cleaning products at work all contribute. The paint you use on your walls may be a factor.
Another factor is your neighbour. No not from your house but your country. Air pollution travels with the winds and what your neighbour is doing could be affecting your health and wellbeing as well as that of your family.
Tiny, invisible particles of pollution penetrate deep into our lungs, bloodstream and bodies. These pollutants are responsible for about one-third of deaths from stroke, chronic respiratory disease, and lung cancer as well as one-quarter of deaths from a heart attack. Ground-level ozone, produced from the interaction of many different pollutants in sunlight, is also a cause of asthma and chronic respiratory illnesses.Breathe Life 2030
Air pollution is a two fold problem. Not only does it affect your personal health but the health of the environment too.
Short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) are among those pollutants most linked with both health effects and near-term warming of the planet. They persist in the atmosphere for as little as a few days or up to a few decades, so reducing them can have an almost immediate health and climate benefits for those living in places where levels fall.Breathe Life 2030
What are the pollutants?
Out of site, out of mind. We go about our days with little to no thought of our environmental impact. Plastic pollution is easier to market because it can be seen. But a lot of air pollution is unseen and therefore of little popular support. But the pollution is there, in every country, city and town.
This form of air pollution commonly comes from engines (mostly diesel), burning trash, and coal stoves that heat or cook food, kerosene or organic matter such as wood or animal waste, also known as biomass.
It is also dangerous for our health. The particles are small enough to enter our bloodstream. They cause inflammatory responses in the lungs and brain and can cause long term health issues.
The bonus (relatively speaking) of black carbon is that it only stays around in the air for about 10 days. So if we made a concerted effort to reduce black carbon sources, we could reduce the number of particles in the air significantly over a short period of time.
Ground level ozone
This type of air pollution forms when emissions such as methane, nitrogen oxides and other pollutants from industries, traffic, waste and energy production interact with sunlight to form harmful pollutants.
This type of air pollution has not only health impacts but serious effects on the environment. It impacts crop yields which have a direct danger to food security. As many of our foods are grown in other countries, caring about air pollution is a must no matter where you live.
This air pollution sticks in the air for up to months and has been linked to global warming. Reducing your impact and encouraging others to do the same can have a massive impact.
The biggest producers of methane is the livestock industry and some from rice paddies, accounting for 40% of methane production. Sewage and solid waste, oil and gas production follow. All of these have options for reduction and more environmentally friendly disposal.
Methane is a huge factor in ground level ozone production. It also has a big impact on individual health. Asthma and other chronic respiratory illnesses are common. This kind of pollution also runs the risk of disturbing the development of lungs in young children.
Sources of air pollution?
Burning of coal and wood in homes to cook or heat food. Car usage in the family. Most western homes have a car per person. Materials used to build and design homes such as paints.
Energy production is a massive air pollutant. Coal and diesel are the main culprits. Industrial processes and solvents used in the chemical and mining sectors also contribute significantly to poor air quality.
Transport emissions account for about 1 quarter of the worlds air pollution. This is a problem that is within our direct ability to change. The air pollution that comes from transport affects your health significantly and has detrimental effects on young children’s development.
Methane and ammonia are produced from livestock and burning of agricultural waste are two major sources of air pollution. They contribute significantly to ground-level ozone pollution.
There are many ways to reduce air pollution from this source. People can move to a plant-based diet and/or reduce food waste, while farmers can reduce methane from livestock by optimizing feed digestibility and improving grazing and grassland management.World Environment Day
Waste is a massive issue worldwide. We are in an era of ever more consumption. This consumption leads to an inevitable problem. Waste. 40% of waste is burned openly. 166 out of 193 countries burn their municipal waste openly. Organic waste in landfills also releases a number of harmful chemicals into the air such as dioxins, furans, methane, and black carbon.
It’s a problem. But it’s actionable.
A lot of the times we see these issues and feel stuck in the enormity of it all.
Yes, it’s a big problem but when you break it down into small actionable steps in your own life, the light starts to shine. There are many things one can do to reduce your impact on air pollution. And what’s amazing is that when you start taking steps in one area, it bleeds over into others and makes a difference there too.
Stay tuned to Dolma Vegan Fragrances. In my next post, I will be showing you easy, actionable steps that you can take on as an individual and share it with your mates. Problems are big but actions done in small amounts add up. If we all do as much as we can now, in a short space massive changes can be seen.
Here at Dolma, we believe in Veganism as a form of action. Not only do we not believe in the use of animals for beauty (or anything else in fact) but we also recognize the impact of animal agriculture on the environment. The problem of Earth’s health is for us all to take on, especially if we are in a place of privilege. Support Dolma Vegan Perfumes and Aftershaves. It’s a better decision. Vegan, cruelty-free, paraben and palm oil free. Dolma is action.