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.
- 4.2 million deaths every year as a result of exposure to ambient (outdoor) air pollution
- 3.8 million deaths every year as a result of household exposure to smoke from dirty cookstoves and fuels
- 91% of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits
- 50 percent of childhood deaths by pneumonia responsible for air pollution
- More people die from air pollution than HIV and Malaria
- 2 billion people do not have waste picked up many burn it
What we can do:
Bring the theme into your midweek or Sunday Service. Here are some liturgical and sermon materials you can use from Green Anglicans:
Reduce our carbon emissions, remembering that much of our electricity is produced from fossil fuels.
Plant trees which soak up air pollution “The leaves of the trees are for the healing of the nations!” Rev 22:2
Get involved with tearfunds #rubbishcampaign to force corporates such as Cocacola to take responsibility for the plastic waste they produce. https://www.tearfund.org/about_you/action/
Organise a litter pick up.
Here are some materials from United Nations Environmental Programme https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/get-involved/practical-guides/faith-based
Prayer for World Environment Day
Heavenly Father, we thank you for giving us this beautiful land: we have sunshine, rain, and air to nourish earth, sea
and sky. For our greed, our excessive exploitation and consumption of resources, polluting the air you have given to
us, we beg for your forgiveness. Give us hearts to cherish your creation, so that we can work together to protect the
land. We also pray for all countries in the world that they may work together to formulate better environmental
policies to improve our atmosphere so that we can again see the life-force provided to the world through the growth
of nature, and in so doing find a closer relationship with you. In the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen
Bishop Andrew Chan, Diocese of Western Kowloon, Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui
Together we can #BeatAirPollution and governments around the world are invited to take part. Explore this site to learn about the different types of air pollution and why they matter to you using infographics, quizzes, and stories from around the world.
World Environment Day can be a platform for faith-based organizations to lead the fight for cleaner air and a better environment in ways that tie back to their belief systems.
Discover how your faith-based organization can celebrate:
Here are some examples of actions faith-based organizations and faith leaders and followers can take:
Houses of worship such as Mosques, Churches, Synagogues and Temples can use solar energy for electricity and to supply local communities with the surplus energy produced.
Faith Leaders can use Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and other holy days to pray and preach on the individual actions worshippers can take to beat air pollution. Leaders can extract appropriate faith messages from sacred scripts connecting actions to pollution.
Around 50 percent of schools are owned by faith-based organizations. Therefore, schools’ administrations could include air pollution and environmental literature within their curriculum, adopt renewable energy on campuses, install energy saving devices and motion-detected lights. Schools could also shift to using electric buses.
Faith-based organizations own 5 percent of commercial forests on earth, which contribute to clean air for our planet. Faith leaders can encourage followers to plant more trees for every religious celebration they participate in or organize.
Faith-based organizations can consider working with food suppliers with an ecological supply chain or who could distribute food to those in need that would otherwise be wasted.
Faith practices such as the Lent, Ramadan and others, could be a time for faith-organizations to promote all yearlong sustainable practices and consumption.
In 2019, the end of the holy month of Ramadan is expected to fall on 5 June, coinciding with World Environment Day. The Quran tells us not only that we are the stewards of this Earth, but that we should not waste. This World Environment Day, let us all be faithful to the teachings of the Quran and do what we can to fight air pollution. Click here for suggestions on what you can do for Ramadan and Eid-Al-Fitr this World Environment Day.
For more ideas, view the full guide below