International Clean Air Day: What it is & Why it Matters

Woman Celebrating Clean Air Day

In the United States, around 102 million people nationwide reside in counties with air quality concentrations above the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) recommendations.

This puts them at risk of health issues related to air pollution. As we approach International Clean Air Day, it’s important to learn more about global air quality and how it impacts those around the world.

International Clean Air Day stands as a beacon of awareness and action in a world where air quality profoundly influences our health and the environment. On September 7th, bring your attention to air quality and get involved with Clean Air Day activities. This year, the theme is "Together for Clean Air," emphasizing the need for solid partnerships, increased investment, and shared responsibility to combat air pollution.

Discover why it matters for our health and environment, the sustainable future we collectively strive for, and how to improve air quality by participating in Clean Air Day.

What is International Clean Air Day?  

International Clean Air Day is a United Nations observance day dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of clean air for human health, the environment, and sustainable development. Clean Air Day emphasizes the need for collective action in addressing air pollution and its detrimental effects on individuals and the planet.

Why is International Clean Air Day Important?  

International Clean Air Day is a vital global observance highlighting the urgency of combating air pollution. It underscores the connection between clean air, human health, environmental preservation, and sustainable development.

The day serves as a platform to encourage governments, organizations, communities, and individuals to come together.

That way, we can all take concrete steps to improve air quality. It also highlights the interconnectedness between clean air and various aspects of human well-being, including public health, economic productivity, and environmental conservation.

How Can You Celebrate International Clean Air Day?  

Celebrating International Clean Air Day involves taking meaningful actions to raise awareness, promoting clean air initiatives, and contributing to the reduction of air pollution.

Here's how you can participate: 

#1 - Educate and Spread Awareness 

Share informative articles, infographics, and facts about clean air's significance through social media and conversations. Raise awareness about the health, environmental, and economic benefits of clean air while also discussing the impacts of air pollution.

Discuss health issues linked to air pollution, like respiratory illnesses. Additionally, discuss how air pollution can impact the brain, and how collective actions can make a difference. 

#2 - Reduce Energy Consumption and Support Clean Energy 

Conserve energy at home and work by using energy-efficient appliances, turning off lights when not needed, and properly insulating buildings to reduce the need for heating and cooling. Advocate for and use renewable energy sources like solar, wind, and hydropower to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and decrease air pollution.  

#3 - Plant Trees and Maintain Green Spaces 

Trees absorb pollutants and release oxygen, enhancing urban air quality and providing shaded, pleasant community spaces. Participate in tree planting drives and park maintenance initiatives in your local community to support our environment.

#4 - Reduce Emissions 

Drive less, keep vehicles well-maintained, and consider switching to more eco-friendly commuting options like public transit, carpooling, biking, or walking. These choices reduce exhaust emissions, alleviate traffic congestion, and contribute to cleaner air.

#5 - Promote Green Practices at Work 

Another way to help is by encouraging environmentally friendly workplace policies. For example, encourage everyone to use telecommuting options, LED lighting, and digital documentation. This reduces energy consumption and promotes sustainability.

Learn about sick building syndrome and how stale air at work can impact your health. Then, you can encourage your employer to invest in air quality monitoring and promote green practices at work.  

#6 - Participate in Air Quality Events 

Join local clean air quality events, workshops, seminars, and discussions to learn more about air quality issues and solutions. Coordinate or participate in community clean-up drives to remove litter and pollutants from public spaces. 

#7 - Advocate for Air Quality Policies 

Next, it’s important to engage with local legislators to support and advance clean air regulations. Become an air quality advocate for stricter emissions standards, sustainable urban planning, and policies prioritizing air quality. 

#8 - Monitor Air Quality & Improve Indoor Air Quality

Monitor air quality with PurpleAir air quality monitors. Consider installing one at home and request your company to install them at the office. Staying informed about air quality with real-time data can help you to make decisions about improving indoor air quality.  

By installing your own PurpleAir air quality monitor and adding it to the PurpleAir Map, you can also contribute to community science initiatives. Google Maps even uses PurpleAir data for their air quality data layer. 

#9 - Support Air Quality Organizations 

Finally, you can contribute to nonprofits and volunteer with organizations focused on air quality improvement. Support their initiatives, campaigns, and projects aimed at creating cleaner air. Here are seven air quality organizations fighting air pollution, and here’s a great example of how community members are addressing air quality in Pittsburg. 

If there are no local air quality organizations focused on improving air quality, consider starting one this Clean Air Day.

In a world grappling with air pollution's far-reaching impact, International Clean Air Day emerges as a beacon of hope. This observance underscores the urgency of collaborative action to combat air pollution, safeguard health, preserve ecosystems, and drive sustainable development. Join us in celebrating Clean Air Day this year.

Worried About Air Quality?   

Monitor the Particulate Matter levels around the world with our free, real-time PurpleAir Map, or join PurpleAir’s mission to make air quality data accessible to everyone by investing in an air quality monitor for your home. Together, we can be informed and make changes in our daily habits and the community to improve air quality.