The depletion of the ozone layer has been a cause of concern owing to the extent of protection this layer guarantees to all living beings on Earth. Ozone layer is a gaseous shield that is a very crucial component in the Earth’s stratosphere. It is responsible for absorbing the harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun that may cause skin cancers, eye damages, cataracts, immune suppression; and also damage plants and marine life.
In order to preserve the ozone layer and repair ozone hole, the UN had signed a Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987. World Ozone Day, celebrated worldwide on September 16, is a commemoration of that eventful day of agreement, that reminds us to be responsible individuals to ensure ozone layer preservation.
On this International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, let’s familiarize ourselves with top 5 ways to protect the ozone layer:
1. Firstly, make sure that you reduce the use of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) that are not considered as consumption-worthy under the Montreal Protocol.
Gases such as CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), halogenated hydrocarbons, methyl bromide and nitrous oxide are a threat to the ozone layer.
Refrain from opting for items containing the above-mentioned substances. Certain cosmetics, hair sprays, room fresheners, chemical fertilizers, cleaning products may contain harmful greenhouse gases and CFCs.
2. Inspection and maintenance of electrical appliances are essential. Get them serviced on a regular basis; and get rid of them if they are 10-15 years old as they are responsible for emitting more ODS.
3. Take utmost care while disposing off your electrical appliances, and don’t damage the cooling circuit since this portion possesses ODS. ODS from refrigerators and air conditioners must be properly recovered and recycled in order to ensure that it is not released into the atmosphere. So ensure that the disposal is handled by a technician.
4. While you purchase, you must choose appliances with ‘energy star’ labels. Also, buy aerosol products, air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment that do not use HCFCs as refrigerants. Encourage everyone to go for eco-friendly products.
5. Whenever possible opt for public transport, cycling, walking, car-pooling instead of travelling in personal cars. Always go for climate-friendly alternatives.