We’ve all heard of the term “ozone layer depletion”. But what exactly do we know about it? The hole in Earth’s ozone measures a staggering 24.5 million km² in size. To put it into perspective, this is around 33,000 times the land area of Singapore!
As we commemorate World Ozone Day, also known as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, let us take the next few minutes to better understand the harmful effects of a damaged ozone layer and how we can do our part to help minimise the environmental degradation.
When our ozone layer is compromised, the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) light rays enter our atmosphere. This means that we become vulnerable to diseases like retinal damage and various forms of skin cancers. Aside from its impact on humans, our flora and fauna also face imminent danger. With more harmful UV rays reaching Earth’s surface, plants are unable to adapt as quickly and their growth is hindered. Animal communities also become afflicted with developmental challenges.
So, what can we do as individuals this World Ozone Day?
We can roll back on our consumption of meat and its by-products. The decomposition of farm manure produces large quantities of nitrous oxide while cows expel methane through burps as they digest their food. These are ozone-depleting substances and in consuming poultry, beef and dairy, we are inadvertently contributing to its overproduction.
Opt for public transportation or organise carpooling to minimise gas emissions that can contribute to air pollution.
Shop local to reduce the amount of nitrous oxide, an ozone-depleting substance, produced from travelling. Besides, buying local also guarantees you the freshest produce!
Amidst all the talk about ozone depletion, however, we also see a glimmer of hope. The 1987 Montreal Protocol, which Singapore has been a part of since 1989, aims to eliminate the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances. The use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have been completely banned on local shores and we are now making steady headway into phasing out hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in accordance with the initiative.
Ultimately, the Montreal Protocol witnessed a successful global cooperation to phase out these harmful gases, allowing humanity to avoid a major environmental catastrophe.
Thanks to the collective effort of our governing bodies, the ozone layer is reported to be on course to be healed within the next few decades.
At Marina One, we too are committed to the environment through the very design of our sustainable architecture. For instance, the green heart that lies at the centre of our biodiversity garden creates a comfortable micro-climate all year round regardless of Singapore’s tropical climate, keeping the building cool enough to live, play and work in without producing extraneous emissions.
However, our strive to minimise ozone layer depletion is far from over. But if the slow and steady healing of our ozone layer tells us anything, it is that we have taken a step in the right direction.
On this World Ozone Day, let us learn and remember what solidarity can do for us and be agents of change for our collective sustainable future!