There is one more extremely important awareness event to close out the month of March: Pollution Awareness Month. Directly preceding Earth Day in April, Pollution Awareness Month keeps the health of the planet as its number one priority. While “going green” is a broad term and lowering a carbon footprint can be done in a variety of ways, this awareness event focuses specifically on the human action of injecting waste and harmful byproducts of production into the environment.
As is always preached at the AwarenessMonths blog, whenever you are gearing up for a cause the most important thing you can do is educate. When it comes to the topic of pollution, the process of educating people in your community should be relatively easy. This is so because of the fact that the effects of pollution are visible in the environment, and they affect all walks of life. Humans should understand, for instance, that the dumping of waste into the oceans and other bodies of water has a direct effect on the quality of the water we drink, cook, and bathe with. You can demonstrate the effects of water pollution by showing people a simple graph like the one below.As you can see, as people dump waste into the water it gets absorbed by the clouds. The clouds then carry the polluted water over land where it gets deposited in soil and in our reservoirs. This water eventually finds its way into the mainstream pipelines of our water supply where it comes through faucets and shower heads. This is the type of process that people do not usually consider the long-term effects of. Hence the reason why it is crucial to educate them during Pollution Awareness Month.
Now water pollution is not the only form of contamination that can be seen in the environment. Another major health hazard is air pollution. Air pollutants come in a variety of forms and are emitted by many different sources. Some of the major gaseous air pollutants are sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NO + NO2), and ozone (O3). These substances are usually put into the atmosphere from power plants and other factories, though the effects can be measured in lower levels on an individual basis.
Once these chemicals are circulated into the environment, they severely compromise the quality of air that humans and other animals breathe. This ultimately leads to a long list of health problems including: reduction in lung function, irritation of the eyes, nose, and mouth, onset of asthma, respiratory disease, weakened immune system, cancer, and death. These facts seem pretty grim, but making the public aware of them is the only way to put a halt to the amount of pollution currently being put forth on our planet. And the best way to get people to pay attention to these facts is by explaining to them how the effects impact their lives specifically. So, in schools, at work, at town meetings, and in the community, letting people know about the hazards of pollution will help make a difference during Pollution Awareness Month.