World Environment Day is the United Nations day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. There’s a theme each year, and the theme for 2019 is ‘Air pollution’. Air pollution can cause cancer, increase the risk of stroke and heart failure, and worsen asthma symptoms. It is also linked to the development of heart disease, diabetes and even dementia.
Did you know?
The World Health Organisation predicts that there are 4.2 million deaths every year as a result of exposure to outdoor air pollution.
Invisible pollution claims more than 9,000 early deaths each year in London.
91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds World Health Organisation guideline limits.
What You Can Do
Walk or cycle where possible. Not only will this help to improve air quality, but it will reduce your exposure to air pollution. Studies suggest that pollution inside cars is higher than outside because vehicles takes in surrounding emissions and recirculates them.
Contact your local council and MP. There are plenty of guides and templates online to help you with this if you haven’t done it before.
Plant trees. Not only does it make urban areas look more appealing, but it clears up the air at the same time. That’s a win, win, right? Trees also shade buildings, and thus reduce the need for air conditioning.
Consider an electric or hybrid car. Electric cars are becoming more efficient, and more sustainable each year.
Use public transport. Favour train rides over road trips!
Contact companies/organisations/individuals on social media. Don’t be afraid to call out certain companies for not having good environmental practices. Greenpeace are great at doing this.
Check the traffic on your route before leaving the house. Reduce your own exposure to air pollution by avoiding the rush hour, and avoiding traffic where possible.
In 2018, the CityTree pollution ‘moss filter’ was launched in Westminster.
In 2017, an Ultra Low Emission Zone began operating within the same area of central London as the Congestion Charge. This means that most vehicles must meet the emissions standards, or face paying a daily charge to drive within the zone.
Undeniably, the best way you can help to bring about change before, is to speak up. And speaking up is much easier to do when you’re part of a like-minded community.
There are many wise people in the younger generation fighting for our planet, such as Greta Thunberg, as well as wise people in the older generation, such as David Attenborough. There are people all around the world educating and protesting about the current climate situation, and we feel so blessed that we meet a lot of you through Vevolution. It’s empowering to be a part of this community that’s dedicated to creating positive change. So, if you are keen to fight for the planet, our first piece of advice would be to join a community, and get inspired!
Happy World Environment Day, from the Vevolution team!