If you take no other measures during the year, today, at least, you
should think about the planet and do your bit to help protect our ozone layer. In 1994, The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 16th September each year to be the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. This commemorates the 1987 date in which the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete The Ozone Layer was signed.
The day promotes activities to look after the Ozone Layer, educating all on this matter and how we can better improve our environment. The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful part of the rays of the sun, helping preserve life on the planet.
In 2010, Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the UN, commented,
Let us use the governance tools contained in the existing ozone and climate treaties to reduce environmental threats to sustainable development and human well being.’
What is the Ozone layer and what damages it?
The Ozone layer is made up of oxygen and absorbs harmful radiation from the sun.
Many commonly used chemicals have proved very damaging to the Ozone layer. Bromine is particularly harmful to the layer. Man- made chemicals containing bromine and chlorine cause ozone depletion, some of these include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).
What is the aim of the Montreal Protocol signed in 1987?
The main aim of the Protocol is to protect the Ozone layer by taking measures to control total production and consumption of substances that deplete it, with the ultimate objective of their elimination. The protocol controls the use of 100 chemicals seen to be harmful.
The Protocol has progressed well and many chemicals have been phased out and replaced with those that do not cause ozone depletion. In 2007, countries decided to speed up the elimination of HCFC chemicals.
Tips for conserving the ozone layer:
- Conserve electricity and set your air conditioner at a higher temperature.
- Choose a cleaner commute — share a ride to work or use public transportation. Bicycle or walk to errands when possible.
- Combine errands and reduce trips
- Follow gasoline refueling instructions for efficient vapor recovery. Be careful not to spill fuel and always tighten your gas cap securely
- Be sure your tires are properly inflated.
- Use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products whenever possible.
Also in September:
Also in September: