Ozone is a colorless gas that can be a lung irritant when it is present at ground-level. When it is in our atmosphere, however, it helps to shield us from the dangerous radiation that the sun’s rays produce. These solutions to ozone depletion can help to reinforce this shield so that it stays in place for future generations.
1. Limit fossil fuel powered transportation.
Transportation networks account for up to 70% of the greenhouse gas emissions that nations like the United States produce. By limiting the burning of fossil fuels, we remove the gases that can interfere with ozone production, thereby encouraging the shield to replenish itself. Something as simple as taking the bus to work or school instead of driving just one day per week can have a profound effect.
2. Prevent any use of CFCs.
For over 40 years, it has been known that the chlorine in CFCs breaks down the ozone layer at a rate of 100,000:1. Continuing to update agreements such as the Montreal Protocol and the Vienna Convention can help the world continue to be on a path toward recovery. Avoid any products, including pesticides, which could encourage a CFC release.
3. Embrace renewable energies.
Coal-fired power plants helped to fuel the industrial revolution. They have also helped to acidify our oceans and contribute combustion-related CFCs into our atmosphere. By switching these power plants off and replacing them with renewable energy options, such as solar or wind, the ozone layer will have an opportunity to recover.
4. Embrace sustainable land-use options.
Trees and other forms of plant life absorb carbon out of the atmosphere and replace it with oxygen. Practices such as deforestation therefore encourage ozone depletion because there aren’t the natural tools in place for restoration. Implementing sustainable land-use which offers quick-growth crops while reducing deforestation could be an immediate solution to ozone depletion that we could implement.
5. Purchase recycled products whenever possible.
Recycled products require fewer natural resources to be consumed in their creation. This saves us energy and encourages the planet to heal at the same time.
The solutions to ozone depletion are relatively easy to implement, but we must be willing to accept these changes. We only have one planet. If we don’t take care of it, future generations may not have the same opportunities we do to make a life for themselves.