The ozone layer is a pretty impressive group of molecules that works to protect us from solar radiation. When it’s damaged, more UV rays get through, leading to higher instances of skin cancer and eye problems. That’s why it gets its own day – World Ozone Day – and why we need to constantly be thinking about how we can protect it.
You probably already know about the hole in the ozone layer, letting that UV light through. Along with natural ozone changes in the atmosphere, this is also a result of human activity and the gases that end up in the atmosphere because of us. To highlight the need to fix this, and because it’s World Ozone Day, we have five suggestions for things you can do to limit your own impact on the all-important ozone layer.
Stop using products with CFCs
Chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, are chemicals that are non-toxic to humans, but have had a huge hand in creating that massive hole in the ozone layer. Although they are banned or at least reduced in most products, you should still double check labels on aerosol products like hairspray and deodorant. Choosing products that have a pump delivery system is an even better option.
Cars are massive polluters, releasing a lot of gases that damage the ozone layer. Especially if you live in a city that’s already quite polluted, opt for more environmentally-friendly forms of transport like walking, cycling or even carpooling. Doing this just two or three times a week can make a difference.
Switch up your cleaning products
A lot of household cleaning products contain corrosive substances that work really well to break down dirt, but do a lot of damage to the environment, too. Consider replacing your cleaning products made with those solvents with things like pure white vinegar or even baking soda.
Choosing locally-produced and made products not only ensures freshness, but it does a world of good for the community and the environment. Transporting goods in vehicles products nitrous oxide, so if you can limit the distance it has to travel to get to you, you’re also limiting the amount of that gas that escapes into the atmosphere. Go one step further and check in with your local farmers to make sure they’re using the best fertilisers for the environment, too.
Replace old appliances
This goes back to those ozone-depleting CFCs. Appliances made before 1995 are more likely to use CFCs, and they’re more likely to leak those CFCs into the atmosphere. Your utility providers should be able to help you sort out how to get rid of old refrigerators and air conditioners properly.
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Written by - Tara MacInnis