What can individuals do?

On 5 June 2019, World Environment Day will be on the theme of “air pollution”— a call to action to combat one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time. Hosted by China, World Environment Day invites us all to consider how we can make changes in our daily lives to reduce air pollution, which in turn can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and benefit people’s health too. China has demonstrated tremendous leadership in tackling air pollution domestically and its commitment to improving air quality can serve as an inspiration to countries around the world.

Discover how individuals can get involved

Nine out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air. Air pollution is identified as the most important health issue of our time, causing 1 in 9 deaths globally and an estimated 7 million premature deaths every year. Apart from causing respiratory diseases, air pollution is a major cause of heart attacks, lung cancer and stroke in people. Air pollution also harms our natural environment, decreasing the oxygen supply in our oceans, making it harder for plants to grow and contributing to climate change. But the good news is that air pollution is preventable. Solutions are known and can be implemented. The world needs to act now. 

Air pollution impacts all of us and we all have a role to play to keep our air clean. The sources of air pollution are many but if we act now, we can work towards eliminating dangerous pollutants that are costing lives, driving climate change, and weakening our planet’s life systems every day.

3 activities for everybody

  • Plant trees
  • Clean up trash 
  • Find ways to commute without polluting

Our Campaign 

Together we can #BeatAirPollution and everybody is invited to take part. Explore this site to learn about the different types of air pollution and why they matter to you using the infographics, quizzes and stories from around the world. 

Join us for World Environment Day

Phase 1

May 24th – June 4th

  1. Take a photo or video of yourself wearing a mask to post on social media. Don't have a mask? Get creative and make your own!
  2. In your post share the action you’ll take to reduce air pollution
  3. Tag 3 people/organizations/ companies to challenge them to do the same.
  4. Use #WorldEnvironmentDay and #BeatAirPollution in your social media posts and don’t forget to tag @UNEnvironment.

Phase 2

World Environment Day June 5th

  1. Take another photo or video of yourself fulfilling your commitment and post it on social media.
  2. Use #WorldEnvironmentDay and #BeatAirPollution in your social media posts and don’t forget to tag @UNEnvironment. 


For more ideas, view the full guide below
Coral images courtesy of The Ocean Agency, USFWS, Coral Reef Image Bank, XL Catlin Seaview Survey