The mere thought that there exists a layer that is strong enough to slash through the Sun and destroy life on Earth is enough to send chills down the spine. However, the fact that there also exists another layer strong enough to stop the former one is comforting. But what happens when the protective layer begins to diminish – little by little, right under our noses? One of the biggest phenomenon’s that marked the late 70’s was the observation of the depletion of the ozone layer. What is alarming is the fact that there is a remarkable decrease over the polar regions of the Earth. It is also the root cause of people developing health hazards like skin cancer and damages to plants and plankton as well as cataracts. Many governments have banned various harmful chemical releasing products in an attempt to prevent ozone depletion.
The ozone depletion has led to a worldwide concern
The ozone layer is our warrior against the mighty Sun that is bombarding earth with harmful UV radiation . Over the years, we are trying our best to protect it by taking many lucrative ways. Ozone is basically a gas also referred to as O3 which is formed and reformed constantly in our Earth’s atmosphere. If it were not for the ozone layer, our Earth would be barren with slight traces of life.
The main reason for the destruction of the ozone is due to man-made halocarbon refrigerants such as CFCs, halons and freons. When these are released into the atmosphere they produce ‘ozone depleting substances’ or ODS. These harmful substances strike the ozone and splits it apart.
It is also being said that the southern hemisphere of the Earth could have an additional 20% depletion of the ozone that could result in natural calamities like tornadoes, avalanches, fires, tsunamis etc. Here are five ways in which we can contribute to protecting the ozone layer and our precious Earth and how to prevent ozone depletion:
1. Limit private vehicle driving
One of the easiest ways to reduce damages caused to the ozone layer is by limiting the use of vehicles. This is because vehicular emissions eventually result in the release of smog. This in turn also damages the ozone layer causing it to deteriorate. If you are looking for ways on how to prevent ozone depletion, then you do have certain effective option. You can choose to take the public transport or use a bicycle. Another great way to restrict the use of car is by opting for Car Pooling. If you do want to use a vehicle, then it is recommended to switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle. Even better, you can opt for vehicles that run solely on solar power. Scroll to the end of the article for a list of the same.
2. Use eco-friendly household cleaning products
Usage of eco-friendly and natural cleaning products for household chores is a great way to prevent ozone depletion. This is because many of these cleaning agents contain toxic chemicals that interfere with the ozone layer. A lot of supermarkets and health stores sell cleaning products that are toxic-free and made out of natural ingredients.
3. Avoid using pesticides and prevent ozone depletion
Pesticides may be an easy solution for getting rid of weed, but are harmful for the ozone layer. The best solution for this would be to try using natural remedies, rather than heading out for pesticides. You can perhaps try to weed manually or mow your garden consistently so as to avoid weed-growth. Or else, try Urban Aerofarming, which requires less water, less space and little to no amount of pesticides. To know more about Urban Aerofarms, scroll down. You can check out the different DIY ideas to make your own eco-friendly pesticides at home to prevent ozone depletion.
4. Developing stringent regulations for rocket launches
The world is progressing at a drastic pace. As we progress on various scientific discoveries, the need of the hour also requires people to travel out of space. The number of rocket launches has increased drastically. This in turn is equally damaging the ozone layer in many ways. A study shows that the harm caused by rocket launches would outpace the harm caused due to CFCs.
At present, the global rocket launches do not contribute hugely to ozone layer depletion. Due to the advancement of the space industry, it will become a major contributor to ozone depletion. All types of rocket engines result in combustion by products that are ozone-destroying compounds that are expelled directly in the middle and upper stratosphere layer – near the ozone layer.
5. Banning the use of dangerous nitrous oxide
In the late 70’s the world was taken by surprise with a study that triggered a red alert pertaining to the destruction caused to the ozone layer. It had all the necessary information that helped us to understand what exactly was going on. Even the facts and figures mentioned in the study clearly pointed out towards the alarming rate of how the ozone layer was being depleted.
Nations around the globe got together in 1989 and formed the Montreal Protocol. The main aim behind this was to stop the usage of CFCs. However, the protocol did not include nitrous oxide which is the most fatal chemical that can destroy the ozone layer and is still in use. Governments across the world should take a strong stand for banning the use of this harmful compound to save the ozone layer.
Urban Aerofarms use less water, space and zero pesticides to produce food
Regions encompassing urban areas are a vital hinterland for sourcing major and minor food supplies. Expansion of the urban areas has led to sharp decline in the availability of this land so that we have now begun to develop ingenuous ways of confronting the challenge.
Urban agricultural systems called the Aerofarms involve an intelligent application of technology which not promises an alternative to traditional farming but also requires less space, less water and no pesticides. Aerofarms offer an indoor environment to grow a large variety of leafy greens and herbs in shorter period at room temperature by using LEDs in stacked units to maximize energy efficiency and use of available space.
Aeroponic methods use 20% less water than traditional means and do not use any pesticide. As soil is replaced by a proprietary reusable cloth growing medium, there’s no washing of produce required, resulting in an increase in shelf-life of the produce from one to four weeks depending on what’s being grown. Transportation costs are least since the produce is sold in urban itself.
Five eco-friendly vehicles powered by Solar Energy
Solar energy is limitless, an untapped potential that inventors solely use for generating electricity with solar paneled walls and roofs. However, recent events indicate that certain car makers would want to work with the idea of using solar panels in order to create the energy to power a car and its appliances.
While some manufactures plan on using these panels for a few appliances like air conditioners inside the car, others are working on the idea of using the limitless solar power to power the entire car. Inventors have invented several prototypes with the same purpose, out of which we bring to you the top 5 totally green concepts.
Riding this solar paneled car could probably get you some stares, thanks to its unique design that has plenty of solar panels rising above the roof of the vehicle when the sun is out. The solar panel in the Helios is extendable and can be retracted too if you are not in awe of driving around town in a car that looks more like an ostrich running around. Nevertheless, the car looks stylish enough (with the panels retracted) and can also be used to power your home when it is sitting idle in your parking lot.
Bentley Jekyll and Hyde
We didn’t have an idea as to why Bora Kim, the designer of the concept car called Bentley Jekyll and Hyde, decided to name it so until we heard that the car (the body in fact) can actually transform its shape according to the particular energy that it uses at that moment.
The Bentley Jekyll and Hyde can run on solar power in addition to being powered by electricity (if the need arises). On windy days, the car makes use of the wind energy to get its power, and transforms its shape in order to utilize this energy to the maximum.
YeZ Concept Car
Developed by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in conjunction with General Motors, the YeZ concept car runs solely on solar power and has solar panels fitted on its roof to tap the sun’s energy for power. The wheels of the car are fitted with miniscule wind turbines in order to charge its batteries.
The YeZ also has a provision to absorb CO2 and release Oxygen in its place into the atmosphere. Talk about making your surroundings greener as you drive around in the YeZ.
Powered completely by solar energy, the HXO is a zero-emission concept car designed by Wang Yanchao and Zhang Zhizhen. The car offers 3 connectivity and is shaped to provide an additional space for luggage.
The solar panels on the car absorb solar energy. This energy is used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen molecules. The hydrogen is then used to power the car. With zero emissions and zero operating costs, the HXO can surely give tough completion to other concept cars.
Designer Omar Huerta surely had another name for his project when he was on the verge of completing it; the Chameleon! For his concept car ‘Eve’ is capable of changing shades that reflect the driver’s mood.
The car uses a coated windshield to tap solar energy. Meanwhile, the body (made of an exclusive polymer mixture) uses the friction of the car’s wheels to generate electricity. Combined with the solar energy absorbed by the windshield, the generated electricity is more than enough to power the car. This is what makes it run with zero emission.