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World Ozone Day: What we can all do for a greener, healthier tomorrow

more-lifestyle Updated: Sep 16, 2016 13:33 IST

AFP
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By taking steps such as reducing cars on the road, we can help reduce levels of pollution which contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. (Istock)

September 16 is observed as the UN’s International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer every year across the world, to commemorate the date the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed back in 1987.

Thanks to Protocol calling for the phase-out of ozone depleting substances (ODS), in some places the ozone layer is now healing itself, with the reduced use of ODS also helping to protect it against further damage.

With this year’s theme “Ozone and climate: Restored by a world united,” we round up some of the advice from organisations such as the European Commission and the United States Environmental Protection Agency on how together we can all help to reduce pollution on a daily basis to continue to heal and preserve the ozone layer.

Older household appliances containing ozone-depleting substances (ODS) can still be found in many homes, so dealing with and disposing of the appliances correctly is important in helping to preserve the ozone layer. Dispose of old refrigerators and air conditioners safely by taking them to your local recycling yard. However be careful not to damage the cooling circuit which is the part that contains the ODS.

Ask any technicians that come to your home to repair your refrigerator or air conditioner to recover and recycle the old ODS safely so they are not released into the atmosphere.

Dispose of old insulation foams containing ODS as environmentally hazardous waste.

Look for the Energy Star label when buying new home or office equipment.

Conserve energy at home and at work, for example by switching off lights when they are not needed.

Avoid using the car by walking, cycling, or using public transport, or try carpooling.

Small lifestyle changes like carpooling or cycling to work can make a lot of difference in lowering the pollution levels. (Shutterstock)

Follow gasoline refueling instructions, be careful not to spill fuel, and always tighten your gas cap securely.

Purchase portable gasoline containers labeled ‘spill-proof’ when possible.

Ensure car, boat, and other engines properly tuned.

Keep your tires properly inflated.

Use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products whenever possible.

Mulch or compost leaves and yard waste.

Try to use gas logs instead of wood.

If you have children, suggesting activities at your local school can help to educate the future generation of the importance of the ozone layer and what we can all do to help.

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