The Ozone Layer is one of the most crucial elements of life on Earth. Though most people are already aware of this fact, it’s good to spread awareness about why it needs to be preserved from time to time, and that’s exactly where the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer comes in. This day is celebrated annually on 16 September, to raise awareness on the importance of fixing the ozone layer and reducing climate change.
What is the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer?
The International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is celebrated worldwide to help us remember how crucial the ozone layer is for keeping us safe from the strong rays of the Sun. It’s also a day to think about how we can take care of our planet and make sure the Ozone Layer stays healthy.
People around the world take action and do things like planting trees, learning about the ozone layer, and talking about how we can use things that are good for the environment. It’s a bit like a big team effort to protect our Earth!
Why is it Important to Preserve the Ozone Layer?
There are several reasons to preserve the Ozone Layer, here are some of the most important ones:
Protection from Harmful Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation
Overexposure to UV-B radiation increases the risk of disease such as skin cancer and cataracts that are caused by too much exposure to the sun. Over-exposure to UV radiation could cause the three most common forms of skin cancer (malignant melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma). Skin cancers are amongst the most common forms of cancer. The Ozone Layer provides a valuable barrier to help protect us from over-exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Ecosystem health is an indicator of the well-being and natural condition of ecosystems and the functions thereof, which are influenced by natural changes in environmental conditions. Climate change and disturbances such as wildfires, windstorms, and diseases have a great impact on the ozone layer and the ecosystem. The Ozone Layer is like a protective shield for Earth’s ecosystems. By absorbing harmful UV radiation, it ensures that life, both on land and in the oceans, can flourish without the risk of excessive UV exposure. This, in turn, helps to maintain the balance and health of our planet’s diverse ecosystems.
Climate regulation is the ecosystem service that regulates atmospheric chemical composition, the greenhouse effect, the Ozone Layer, precipitation, air quality and so forth. Without the Ozone Layer to absorb UV radiation, the stratosphere would be much cooler. This could potentially lead to changes in the behaviour of stratospheric gases, including those that contribute to Ozone depletion, which can have complex effects on climate.
How Can I Help Preserve the Ozone Layer?
All countries must raise awareness and make available the necessary resources and promote various activities to the observance of the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.
Avoid using harmful products.
Avoid using harmful cleaning products and unnecessary driving of motor vehicles. Make your own natural products instead of store-bought products and aerosols if possible, or buy products that are kind to the Ozone Layer and the Earth.
As plastics decompose they produce and discharge methane and ethylene. Shopping bags release a great number of methane and ethylene. High levels of methane can reduce the amount of oxygen breathed from the air which can affect us in various ways, for example: mood changes and vision problems, memory loss, slurred speech, nausea and vomiting, and headaches. When plastic is burned, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other hazardous chemicals are released, which is extremely harmful to the environment and the Ozone. Avoid plastic – especially single-use plastic – as far as possible to reduce the demand for plastic and the production thereof.
<h3> Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
These chemical compounds are commonly used in the foam, refrigeration, and air conditioning sectors that destroy the protective Ozone Layer and contribute to climate change. Buy refrigerators and air-conditioners that do not use HCFC as refrigerant, and service all air-conditioners and refrigeration appliances regularly to prevent refrigerant leakage.