World Ozone Day; What can you do as a consumer?

September 20, 2022

The Consumer Council of Fiji joins the rest of the international community in marking World
Ozone Day to highlight the importance of safeguarding the Earth’s protective ozone layer and
reiterate that collective action is the best way to solve major global challenges.


World Ozone Day is celebrated every year on September 16 as a tribute to the signing of the
Montreal Protocol on Substances depleting the Ozone Layer. It was on this date in 1987 when
this protocol was signed. The day is observed to drive awareness of why, and actions on how,
the depletion of the Ozone Layer must be prevented.


Why is this a consumer issue?


Several activities and products which contributes to ozone depletion falls within the ambit of
consumer goods/services. This entails purchasing and using goods and services which produces
harmful CFC’s which damages the ozone layer. For instance, burning of fossil fuel; prevalent
by our growing use of vehicles. Therefore, as responsible consumers, we must engage in
sustainable consumption and production to ensure we have minimal damage on the ozone layer.
How can we as consumers protect the ozone layer?


As consumers, it is our responsibility to ensure that our consumption and production practices
does not negatively affect the environment and the planet. Hence, whether it be deciding what
to buy, how to properly and safely use the products bought or disposing it, we must always
consider its implications on our planet and the ozone layer.


The following are some of the ways in which we as consumers to stop the depletion of the
ozone layer:

  1. Minimize the use of cars. Fumes from vehicle release gases such as carbon monoxide
    which greatly damages the ozone layer. Therefore, consider using alternative means of
    transportation such as bicycle or walking. If you use a car to a destination, try to carpool
    with others to decrease the use of cars in order to pollute less and save.
  2. Do not use cleaning products that are harmful to the environment and to us. Some
    cleaning products contains harmful chemicals which would contribute to ozone
    depletion in the future. Hence, ensure to do some research on the cleaning products you
    purchase.
  3. Buy local products. In this way, you not only get fresh products but you avoid
    consuming food that has been transported long distances. As the more distance
    transported, the more nitrous oxide is produced due to the medium used to transport
    that product.
  4. Read product labels. Before making purchases, read product labelling to determine if it
    contains HCFCs or CFCs. Certain products such as propellants contain such
    gases/chemicals which should be avoided.
  5. Buy air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment that do not use HCFCs as refrigerant.
    Also, regular inspection and maintenance of air-conditioning and refrigeration
    appliances must be conducted to prevent and minimize refrigerant leakage.
  6. When you buy a new appliance such as a refrigerator, look for products that are labelled
    ‘ozone friendly’ or ‘HCFC free’ or have an energy efficiency label.
  7. Incorporate fans. Using fans can reduce your need for extra cooling.
  8. When buying new equipment, look for ‘ozone friendly’, ‘HCFC free’ or ‘energy
    efficient’. Remember: if it is energy efficient, it will not only help save the environment
    but will also reduce your energy bills!
  9. Insulate your walls, doors and windows properly for improved energy efficiency and
    prolonged life of equipment such as air conditioners.

Let’s make sustainable choices which protects our planet

For complaints/queries, consumers can contact the Consumer Council of Fiji via the following
mediums:
✓ The Consumer Council of Fiji Mobile App (available on Google Play Store only);
✓ National Consumer Helpline Toll Free Number 155;
✓ Email: complaints@consumersfiji.org;
✓ Complaints portal on consumersfiji.org; or
✓ Visit our office at Level 5, Vanua Arcade, Victoria Parade, Suva


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