Help Protect the Ozone Layer

The Ozone Layer and It's Depletion

The ozone layer is considered as nature's umbrella. It is a thin, fragile shield that efficiently and effectively filters all harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It protects the earth and the entire ecosystem from the damaging rays of the sun. The creation and destruction of ozone molecules that composes the ozone layer is a natural phenomenon in the atmosphere. But because of certain man-made chemicals that were released in the atmosphere the balance of creation and destruction was altered. These chemicals are called Ozone Depleting Substances or ODS. ODS are compounds with halogen elements like chlorine and bromine. When these substances are released in the atmosphere, they destroy the ozone molecules and eventually deplete the ozone layer.

In 1985, scientists identified a thinning of the ozone layer over the Antarctic which became known as the "ozone hole". Scientific evidence shows that man-made chemicals are responsible for the creation of the ozone hole and are also likely to play a role in global ozone losses. ODS have been used in many products which take advantage of their physical properties (e.g. chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) have been used as aerosol propellants and refrigerants).

Effects of Ozone Depletion

UV-B (the higher energy UV radiation absorbed by ozone) is generally accepted to be a contributory factor to skin cancer.If you are wondering why is the ozone layer important, then the answer lies in the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. The ozone layer is responsible for absorbing the ultraviolet rays and thereby preventing them from passing through the atmosphere of Earth. Ultraviolet rays of the Sun are associated with a number of health related and environmental issues. The most important of these is the association between ultraviolet rays and an increased risk of developing several types of skin cancers including malignant melanoma, basal and squamous cell carcinoma. Even the incidents of cortical cataracts can also increase significantly with the increased exposure to ultraviolet rays.

(The Ozone Layer Over Time.
Image Credit: Institute for Studies
in Development, Environment,
and Security.)

Another observation in this regard is that a decrease in the ozone in the stratosphere can lead to an increase in the ozone present in the lower atmosphere. Ozone present in the lower atmosphere is mainly regarded as a pollutant and a green house gas that can contribute to global warming and climate change. However, researches have pointed out that the lifespan of atmospheric ozone is quiet less as compared to stratospheric ozone. At the same time, increase in the surface level of ozone can enhance the ability of sunlight to synthesize vitamin D, which can be regarded as an important beneficial effect of ozone layer depletion.

How to protect the Ozone Layer

There are many ways in which we can help protect our ozone layer. With these simple rules we can create a chain of consciousness that will make manufactures stop creating non-environmentally friendly products. Let's make these simple ways be part of our daily life.

1. Try to use products which are labeled 'Ozone-friendly'.
2. Avoid buying and using aerosols and sprays composed of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC).
Avoid buying insulating material made up of CFC.
4. Check the freezer and car air-conditioning. If they do not function properly, have them
repaired because they may have leaks
5. Reduce the use of heating and air-conditioning.
Replace halon fire extinguishers with alternatives (e.g. carbon dioxide or foam)
7. Buy energy saving gadgets and bulbs. You will reduce levels of pollution and money.

Saving Buhisan Watershed Through Tree Planting

Why save the Buhisan Watershed?

The Buhisan Watershed located in Buhisan, Cebu City, is one of the two sources of surface water distributed by MCWD (Metro Cebu Water District) to households and industries in Cebu City. Sad to say, the amount of water supplied by the watershed has steadily declined mainly because of deforestation and unsustainable practices done by the people. Aside from the amount of water that it can generate, it is also a viable eco-tourism destination, where people can take a visit and enjoy the beauty of nature. Aside from the amount of water that it can generate, it is also a viable eco-tourism destination, where people can take a visit and enjoy the beauty of nature. Because of these, there is a need for us to be responsible enough to save the watershed, not only for the present generations but for the next generations to come.

What can be done?

How can a simple individual do his or her part in saving the Buhisan Watershed? There are lots of things to be done and should have been done. As the main cause of the scarcity of water supply is deforestation, the best thing that could be done is definitely to reforest it, that is, by planting trees and more trees.This is the easiest way that we can do in order to repay mother nature for the adverse impacts we contributed. Have you done your part? Or will you do it?

Tree Planting

I am proud to say I have done and have been doing my part. Yes, I have already planted trees. A lot of them. I have planted trees in several parts of Cebu. More importantly, I have done my part in saving the Buhisan Watershed. I have planted trees in there and I'll be planting more trees if opportunities will come. Again, I am lucky enough I was able to do this because of my company's Corporate Social Responsibility program. Every time there are activities geared towards the protection and preservation of the environment, I just can't help but grab the opportunity. How about you?

Stop Global Warming

What is global warming?

Vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real and it's happening faster than ever. It is not a natural occurrence as it is a result of human activities. Global warming refers to the increase in the average temperature of earth. It is caused by releasing what are called greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. Most of the activities we do every day from turning the lights on, cooking food, or heating or cooling our homes and offices rely on energy sources like coal, gas and oil that emit carbon dioxide and other gases. More carbon dioxide is now in the atmosphere than has been in the past 650,000 years. This carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere, acts like a warm blanket, and holds in the heat. This is a major problem because it destabilizes the delicate balance that makes life on this planet possible. Just a few degrees in temperature can completely change the world as we know it, and threaten the lives of millions of people around the world.

The reason we exist on this planet is because the earth naturally traps just enough heat in the atmosphere to keep the temperature within a very narrow range, keeping our planet habitable. However, human beings have begun to tip that balance by overloading the atmosphere with heat-trapping gases from different human activities. If we don't start fixing the problem now, we’re in for devastating changes to our environment. We will experience extreme temperatures, rises in sea levels, and storms of unimaginable destructive fury. Recently, alarming events that are consistent with scientific predictions about the effects of climate change have become more and more commonplace.

Environmental Destruction

The massive ice sheets in the Arctic are melting at alarming rates. This is causing the oceans to rise. That’s how big these ice sheets are! Most of the world’s population lives on or near the coasts. Rising ocean levels, an estimated six feet over the next 100 years or sooner, will cause massive devastation and economic catastrophe to population centers worldwide.
The United States, with only four percent of the world’s population, is responsible for 22% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. A rapid transition to energy efficiency and renewable energy sources will combat global warming, protect human health, create new jobs, protect habitat and wildlife, and ensure a secure, affordable energy future.

Health Effects

In a recent chilling assessment, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that human-induced changes in the Earth's climate now lead to at least 5 million cases of illness and more than 150,000 deaths every year. Temperature fluctuations may sway human health in a surprising number of ways, scientists have learned, from influencing the spread of infectious diseases to boosting the likelihood of illness-inducing heat waves and floods. Also, as temperatures rise, disease-carrying mosquitoes and rodents spread, infecting people in their wake. Malaria, dengue, fever and encephalitis. These diseases are not usually heard in emergency rooms and doctors’ offices. But if we don’t act to curb global warming, they will be.

Things We Can All Do

Unless we take steps now to curb global warming, our way of life, our planet, and our children are all in grave danger. But don't give up hope! Each of us can make simple things that will reduce or stop global warming.
  • Spread the word and share the learning by sending this link to family, friends, and colleagues to let them know about global warming and what they can do.
  • Buy green products and donate to environmental organizations.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Buy energy-efficient electronics and appliances.
  • Reduce your use of fossil fuels. Support clean and renewal energy
  • Protect native forests as "carbon storehouses"
  • Plant a tree, protect a forest.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle!
By taking these simple steps, you'll be on your way to help stop global warming and save Mother Earth!