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World Environment Day: 10 ways to beat air pollution in 2019

Air pollution in the city. Woman wearing face mask for protection.
Air pollution in the city. Woman wearing face mask for protection. Copyright Getty Imagesblackday
Copyright Getty Images
By Maeve Campbell
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Today is World Environment Day and this year's theme is about beating air pollution. Here's how you can make a difference.


The United Nations has historically designated today, World Environment Day, Wednesday 5th June. Since it began in 1974, the day has grown into a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries. On the one hand, today is a celebration of all nature has to offer, but on the other, it serves as a healthy reminder that we be more aware of our carbon footprints and what we can do to preserve the environment.

Just last month, The Guardian newspaper decided to ban the use of the term ‘climate change’, in exchange for ‘climate crisis’, to enhance awareness of the severity of the problems we are facing as a planet. Both governments and media outlets, internationally, are finally starting to take global warming more seriously, owing much to Greta Thunberg for inspiration. But enough is not enough. One of the most pressing problems we are confronted with is air pollution, which is why the theme for this year’s World Environment Day is ‘Beat Air Pollution.’ To celebrate, people all round the world have been making beautiful air pollution masks from all sorts of innovative materials. 

There are many ways we can tackle air pollution in our day-to-day lifestyles, so we’ve compiled all the most relevant articles we’ve ever written to help you figure out what you can do. For example, we all love to go on holiday, and flying often seems to be the only viable option when travelling around the world. But, what if you could fly cleanly?

1. If you could fly cleanly, would you? Everything you need to know about Carbon Offsetting

Photo showing carbon emissions of an aeroplane in flight

Our comprehensive article on carbon offsetting tells you all you need to know about how to fly cleanly. It’s all about donating to environmental projects such as tree-planting to offset the carbon emmissions of your flight – and it will hardly cost you anything.

2. Plant oil fuel, carpooling and ‘ultra low emission zones’

Looking out of a car window in the forest.

How the transport sector has started to go green and what you can do to decrease your individual levels of air pollution. This includes carpooling initiatives and where to buy the greenest car on the market.

3. From trash to trunks, a field guide to Voluntourism and other trends

Holidays involving ‘voluntourism’ are far more eco-friendly than the usual, more polluting, travel experiences involving travelling around in cars and taking, without giving, to the landscape you are briefly inhabiting. Here is a list of apps, brands, books and adventures to inspire you to pollute less on your travels around the world.

4. Flying cars: How close are we?

Flying car

The low-down on flying cars and whether they are merely a supernatural fantasy from an animation, or, in fact, a likely and necessary reality in the future. What would one look like and how would you fly it?

5. The best travel companies fighting air pollution

There are many ways you can offset your travels by choosing to explore the world with ethically sound travel agents, who are leading in the world of eco-tourism. This article is a list of companies we recommend to travel with, safe in the knowledge that you are offsetting your carbon footprint.

6. Why not sail? World-renowned sailor tells us about his experience on a boat

Sailing boat in Croatia

Sailor Alex Thomson tells us all about both the difficulties and rewards of sailing the world, and why you should do the same!

7. Choose to fly with Scandinavian airline, Finnair

Finnair aircraft

In 2018, Finnair was named the #1 safest airline to fly with in the world. Read all about the Scandinavian airline leading the charge in sustainable travel and why you should consider flying with them.

8. Consider a walking holiday with these top European trails

Trekking on a walking holiday

Ever thought of simply walking? Spending the bulk of your holiday on a walking trail is a super sustainable way of getting the most from your adventure abroad. From Scotland to Corsica, here are some of the most iconic trails you can go on.

9. How can you make your holiday zero waste?

Woman relaxing in a pool ion holiday in Greece

No one is stopping you from enjoying your holidays full stop, but why not consider how you can travel in zero waste style. These handy tips are sure to reduce your carbon impact and should be shared around with friends and family to increase awareness around environmental protection.

10. How to Cruise with a conscience

Cruise ship in the Unites States

What’s a great alternative to flying? Cruising. That said, not all cruises are environmentally friendly, so we’ve picked out the best eco-conscious cruise companies you can book, who are taking responsibility for their impact on the planet.

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