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This World Environment Day Take The Mask Challenge And Help #BeatAirPollution

The United Nations Environment Programme started the mask challenge to start a conversation around air pollution – a public health emergency and make people take concrete steps for clean air

This World Environment Day Take The Mask Challenge And Help #BeatAirPollution

New Delhi: Picture this – A bunch of people coming together wearing a mask to make a statement. While some are wearing a mask with vegetables and fruits on it, the mask on a small girl’s face reads out ‘help’, some others are sporting a mask with a cycle made using paper on it. The objective of all these masks is to drive home the message to beat air pollution.

These individuals, belonging to different walks of life, have been brought together by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as part of their ‘Mask Challenge’, aimed at fighting for clean air. The challenge started by the UNEP on May 24 is in line with the theme of this year’s World Environment Day – beat air pollution.

Also Read: World Environment Day 2019 Anthem Is Out And It Says ‘Hawa Aane De’ To #BeatAirPollution

How To Participate In The Mask Challenge To #BeatAirPollution

The challenge asks people to take a photo or video of themselves wearing a mask and post it on social media. Individuals who don’t own a mask can don the creative hat and make their own mask. The challenge further asks participants to take this forward by tagging three people/organisations/companies and challenging them to further do the same.

UNEP Suggests The Ways To #BeatAirPollution

While sharing the photo on social media, contributors have to briefly mention about the actions they will take to reduce air pollution. Here are some suggested steps to beat air pollution:

  • Pledge to use public transport, opt for car pooling,
  • Switch to cleaner modes of transport which include hybrid and electric vehicles,
  • One can also choose to not use toxic-paints and furnishings which contribute to indoor air pollution,
  • Take small measures like turning off the vehicle’s engine when stationary,
  • Switch off electronic items when not required,
  • Cycling
  • Instead of burning waste, an individual can opt for waste segregation and composting of organic waste at the source. As far as non-organic waste is concerned, it can be sent for recycling.

Also Read: 1.2 Million Deaths In India In 2017, Courtesy Air Pollution

Mask Challenge Gets Entries From All Across The World

Bollywood actor and UN Secretary General’s Advocate of Sustainable Development Goals Dia Mirza participated in the mask challenge by wearing an anti-pollution mask and pledging to compost waste. The actor shared her entry for the challenge on social media and said, “Air pollution is the silent killer, causing 7 million premature deaths every year. Globally, an estimated 40 per cent of waste is openly burned. To #BeatAirPollution with @UNEnvironment for #WorldEnvironmentDay, I’m committed to composting waste. What will you do?”

Also Read: Fighting India’s Garbage Crisis: All About Composting

The impact of waste burning can be seen on rise in air pollution and poor air quality even in the mountains. Highlighting the same, the actor urged everyone to start managing waste at home by the way of segregation and composting. She added, ‘Stop anyone you see burning waste!’

Following Dia Mirza, actor Mohit Raina, took the mask challenge and pledged to beat air pollution by planting more trees and composting waste. The actor shared, “14 of the 20 most polluted cities are in India. I am committed to #BeatAirPollution by (planting more trees) (composting waste). What will you do?”

Also Read: #BeatAirPollution: Stark Facts About Air Pollution Crisis You Need To Know

Bollywood actor Kalki Kanmani too pledged to contribute to reducing air pollution by shifting to a more sustainable mode of transport and saving greenery.

To beat air pollution, Joyce Msuya, Acting Head of UN Environment, pledged to walk more and everywhere.

Keeping in mind the vehicular emissions that lead to nearly 4,00,000 premature deaths, a twitterati committed to using public transport, car sharing, cycle or walk to wherever and whenever possible.

Erik Solheim, former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, pledged to use public transport for clean air. He said, “Clean air is possible! Air pollution can be prevented! World Environment Day 2019 June 5th will inspire action to clean the air we breathe. From clean commute to planting trees. Solutions are here! I pledge to use public transport.”

Also Read: World Environment Day: Bollywood Comes Together And Asks People To Beat Air Pollution By Being Part Of The Solutions

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollutionclean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

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