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US embassy and Students promote Air Quality Awareness in Delhi

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New Delhi, April 23, 2017: Hundreds of volunteers including students and officials of the US embassy were out on the streets here on Saturday to promote air quality awareness among people of the national capital and conduct a survey.

As part of the “Earth Day” activities, the US embassy, in cooperation with programme partner Clean Air Asia organised a two-day campaign ‘Better Air, Better Earth’ to promote air quality awareness.

The campaign involved volunteers from the embassies of the US, Sweden, Spain, the High Commission of Canada and Clean Air Asia’s Youth Clean Air Network (YCan), who were placed at various locations here to record PM 2.5 levels and take a perception survey.

The campaign would also be continued on Sunday when volunteers would record people’s perception of air pollution in the city.

“We are proud to support Clean Air Asia’s efforts to raise awareness about air quality in India. Projects like these really are at the heart of this year’s Earth Day theme — environmental literacy,” Richard Pinkham, Director of Programmes, New Delhi American Centre said.

Prarthana Borah, who is India Director of Clean Air Asia, said that the survey would help them to understand the views, opinion and perception of the people towards pollution.

“The campaign will also help in finding solutions for better air quality in the national capital,” she said.

“The campaign is involved in creating awareness on air quality through a variety of programmes, as well as local innovative solutions to meet the challenge of air pollution.”

Clean Air Asia’s Air Quality Researcher Vasundhara Bhojvaid said that various teams were formed to conduct the perception survey in the city.

“We are conducting survey in 15 locations in the city depending on the kind of pollution,” Bhojvaid said.

She added that they have divided and sent the team to five locations — North Delhi, South Delhi, Central Delhi, East Delhi and West Delhi.

Bhojvaid, who was leading a South Delhi team, said that based on research, they have picked up Satya Niketan observing the occurrence of dust due to metro construction.

Likewise, we have chosen other areas based on traffic, industry and other aspects, she said.

She said that students who have volunteered to be part of the campaign would ask people 13 different question related to pollution.

Manaswi Singha, a student of Delhi University and Nishant, an engineering student of Delhi Technological University, who were conducting the survey, said that they chose to be a part of the campaign as they wanted to create awareness and understand the real cause of pollution. (IANS)

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Earth Day 2018: Focusing on Ending Plastic Pollution

Earth Day 2018 focuses on Plastic pollution

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A demonstrator holds a placard as she participates in the March for Science rally on Earth Day in Mexico City, Mexico April 22, 2017. The placard reads:
FILE - A demonstrator holds a placard as she participates in the March for Science rally on Earth Day in Mexico City, Mexico April 22, 2017. The placard reads: "A country without science, research and education is a country dependent." Earth Day 2018, which is Sunday, will focus on plastics pollution. (VOA)

Each year on April 22, many people stop to think about the health of the world environment, as as if it were a New Year’s Day for nature, many make resolutions to treat the world around them more responsibly.

The day first celebrated in 1970 is approaching a half-century of existence with a movement that started in the United States and spread around the world. People celebrate the day with environmental action such as natural area cleanups, public demonstrations, tree plantings and, in 2016, the signing of the international Paris climate agreement, which aims to keep climate change in check.

The theme for 2018 is plastic pollution. Experts say a large mass of discarded plastic that has gathered in the Pacific Ocean, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, has grown to more than 600,000 square miles — more than 155 million hectares (600,000 square miles), or twice the size of the U.S. state of Texas.

FILE - In this photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a black-footed albatross chick with plastics in its stomach lies dead on Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Nov. 2, 2014. Midway sits amid a collection of man-made debris called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Along the paths of Midway, there are piles of feathers with rings of plastic in the middle — remnants of birds that died with the plastic in their guts. Each year the agency removes about 20 tons of plastic and debris that washes ashore from surrounding waters.
FILE – In this photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a black-footed albatross chick with plastics in its stomach lies dead on Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Nov. 2, 2014. Midway sits amid a collection of man-made debris called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Along the paths of Midway, there are piles of feathers with rings of plastic in the middle — remnants of birds that died with the plastic in their guts. Each year the agency removes about 20 tons of plastic and debris that washes ashore from surrounding waters. (VOA)

The patch developed in less than 100 years, as plastics have been in common use only since the 1950s. It is one of several masses of refuse found in the world’s oceans, brought together by weather patterns and water currents. Experts say many types of plastic that do not biodegrade can remain in the environment for up to 2,000 years.

Also Read: ‘Skip The Straw’: A Call For Earth Day

This year’s Earth Day focuses on getting rid of single-use plastics, promoting the using of alternative materials, recycling and developing more responsible behaviors concerning the use of plastics.

The environmental group behind Earth Day, the Earth Day Network, estimates that 1 billion people around the world recognize Earth Day in some way.  VOA