World Environment Day is tomorrow, June 5.
It's a day to bring awareness to something many of us take for granted: Clean air.
It's also a reminder that we all have a responsibility to reduce air pollution. Here's what you should know about World Environment Day and how to contribute to a cleaner future.
World Environment Day Statistics
World Environment Day is an initiative sponsored by the United Nations. Since it began in 1974, it has expanded to more than 100 countries. Each year, World Environment Day is organized around a different theme to draw attention to a particular environmental concern.
This year's focus is air pollution. The burning of fossil fuels is the main source of household air pollution. These statistics, compiled by the UN, draw attention to the severity of the problem:
- Nine out of 10 people breathe polluted air.
- Indoor air pollution causes an estimated 3.8 million premature deaths each year. Using cleaner fuel sources, including solar and wind power, can reduce air pollution.
- Eighty-two out of 193 countries worldwide currently have incentives that promote investment in renewable energy production, energy efficiency and pollution control.
- Almost half of all deaths caused by air pollution are from diesel emissions. Policies that require the use of cleaner fuels can reduce vehicle emissions by 90 percent.
How To Help Beat Air Pollution
Although many efforts to minimize air pollution are the result of local, state and national policies, there are plenty of ways to do your part as an individual. Here are just a few ways you can help:
1. Consider Your Commute
Are you able to carpool with a coworker or use public transportation? Do you have the option to work from home once or twice a week? Even small changes like these can make a big impact.
2. Turn Off Your Car Engine When Idle
If you have a habit of sitting in your parked car with the engine running while you wait to pick up your kids from school or make your grocery list, try to break that habit.
3. Turn Off Lights And Electronics
Lights are easy to remember, but don't forget about your laptop, TV and other electronics you're tempted to keep running. Every little bit helps!
In addition to breaking bad habits, World Environment Day is the perfect time to introduce some good habits.
If you don't already recycle plastic and aluminum waste, it's a good time to start. Check to see if your community offers recycling pickup. If not, make a call to your city or village administration building to find your closest recycling bin.
5. Take the Mask Challenge
Want to show your commitment to World Environment Day? Take the Mask Challenge. It's easy to do:
- Take a photo or video of yourself wearing a mask.
- Post it on social media with the hashtags #WorldEnvironmentDay and #BeatAirPollution.
- Share what you plan to do to reduce air pollution.
- Tag at least three people or organizations and challenge them to do the same.
How Green Circle Growers Combats Air Pollution
At Green Circle Growers, the greenhouse where Just Add Ice orchids are grown, we are committed to being good stewards of the environment. As an MPS-Certified greenhouse, we adhere to strict environmental registration rules. We work hard to receive this certification and received a grade A for two consecutive years.
Here are just a few of the ways we contribute to a cleaner future:
- We use rainwater for 100 percent of our watering needs.
- We recycle our plastic growing trays, which eliminates 1 million pounds of plastic waste each year.
- We use plastics and cardboard made from recycled materials to ship our plants.
- We've reduced 90% of our emissions using sustainable practices like using wood boilers to heat our water.
- We've reduced liquid pesticides by 50% using natural pest control methods, such as spiders and frogs.
We hope you'll join us in celebrating World Environment Day! It's a good reminder that if we all do our part today, we can breathe a little easier tomorrow.