How to Combat Air Pollution for World Environment Day
World Environment Day is coming! June 5 is a global day to shine a spotlight on efforts to preserve our planet. Small, individual changes may seem like they don’t do much in the grand scheme of life, but each choice we make to help protect the environment is a new opportunity to make a ripple effect that can affect change on a big scale.
Reducing Plastic in the Wild
In 2018, World Environment Day focused on reducing plastic consumption, especially single use plastics, whenever possible. Some highlights from the 2018 campaign include:
The Indian government committed to ban all single use plastics by 2022.
Major news outlets including BBC News, The New York Times, The Daily Mail, Xinhua, and The Guardian, promoted the World Environment Day Organization’s plastics report, putting the news about plastics front and center in a global way.
Several companies (Woolworths), governments (Nigeria and Honduras), and organizations (the International Olympic Committee) committed to reducing plastic pollution.
Over 500,000 tweets made #WorldEnvironmentDay the number one trending tag, and the #BeatPlasticPollution tag also went viral, especially in China, where it was the top trending hashtag on Chinese social media platform Weibo.
Read more about the reach of the 2018 campaign to beat plastic pollution on the World Environment Day website here!
We were excited to take part in the movement to beat plastic pollution last year and used our social media platforms to share some facts about World Environment Day and sustainability, as well as easy action steps our followers can take to reduce their plastic footprint. We also hosted a giveaway and gave out two weeks of daily prizes consisting of reusable straws, canvas shopping bags, and metal water bottles!
Our press release about World Environment Day and our greenhouse sustainability initiatives was picked up by over 200 media outlets, including multiple local news outlets such as ABC, the CW, and FOX local news.
You can check out last year’s blog here to learn more about sustainability at Wild Interiors®.
Breathe In, Breathe Out
Part of what’s so great about World Environment Day is that the focus changes each year, to educate and inform people across the globe of the actions they can take to make big change in many different areas of life. This year, it’s all about air quality. In partnership with BreatheLife, the World Environment Day organization is promoting a global campaign for healthier, cleaner air.
We’re all familiar with the way pollen affects our allergies in the spring and summer, but what happens in cities and environments where idling cars, industrial plants, and other hazardous chemical outputs create air filled with pollution and smog?
Consider these facts about air pollution from BreatheLife:
Air pollution kills 7 million people per year
Pollutants from the air are responsible for 7% of lung cancer deaths, 18% of COPD deaths, 20% of stroke deaths, and 34% of heart disease deaths
Ground-level ozone pollution contributes to asthma and chronic respiratory illness
Air pollution accelerates climate change and the warming of the planet
Short-lived climate pollutants persist in the atmosphere for days to decades
Over 80% of cities worldwide do not have air that is safe to breathe
Air pollution is also linked with excess carbon dioxide emissions, contributing to rising global temperatures and climate change, glacial melt, and crop damage -- which means less food security for global agriculture and impacts impoverished and hungry communities.
What Can We Do?
BreatheLife highlights solutions including city policies for cleaner energy, changes to healthcare facilities to reduce energy use, and individual actions that people can take.
Here are five ways you can improve air pollution:
Reduce, reuse, and recycle whenever possible, and compost your food waste.
Wild Interiors® uses vacuum-formed plastic pots to reduce plastic consumption, and we recycle 100% of injection-molded plug trays in the greenhouses to avoid 1 million pounds of landfill waste annually.
Use Clean Fuel
Coal and wood burning stoves and outdoor fires contribute to air pollution, so limit the use of charcoal fires when grilling out this summer. Check your home appliances for efficiency ratings to ensure that you’re both saving money and preserving health.
At Wild Interiors®, we do utilize recycled wood boilers to heat our facilities along with recycled rainwater ponds for our watering needs. Our boiler system exceeds EPA standards by 95% and has reduced our emissions by 90% since installation.
Reduce Vehicular Travel
If you can take the bus or bike, walk, or carpool, do so whenever possible. When shopping for a new vehicle, prioritize models with reduced emissions. Avoid diesel vehicles, which produce harmful black carbon emissions.
Switch to energy efficient and non-toxic LED bulbs, and turn off lights and electronics when they’re not in use.
We’ve reduced our energy consumption by 50% at Wild Interiors® since switching to high-efficiency energy curtains to retain heat.
Call for Change
Individual actions can only go so far without enacting large-scale change. BreatheLife encourages people to call on their elected officials and policymakers to enact regulations that support air quality.
The sky’s the limit on ways you can help improve air quality. Of course, we believe in the power of plants to reduce airborne pollutants and VOCs in the home for fresher indoor air. Share your indoor plants with us when you tag @wild_interiors on Instagram, and don’t forget to use #WorldEnvironmentDay when you post about your efforts to improve our planet on June 5 (and every day)!