World Environment Day: Mask Challenge

As part of its World Environment Day (WED) campaign this year, the United Nations (UN) has launched a "mask challenge" to focus attention on air pollution. The idea is to create a face mask, take a picture of it, and then post it on social media from May 24 through June 5 (#MaskChallenge).

This year's WED theme is "beat air pollution" and the masks symbolize the need for cleaning up the air that we breathe. According to the UN, "approximately 7 million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution, with about 4 million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific." The UN also is encouraging participants to chose a personal strategy for reducing air pollution and to share it with others.

World Environment Day, celebrated each year on June 5, was created during the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden. The UN designates a specific "host country" for its WED celebration each year. This year's host country is China, which is well known for having horrible air polllution. China is taking steps to try and reduce emissions.

Join the movment to beat air pollution. See the UN's list of ideas for actions you can take today!

Thinking about taking on the mask challenge? Here is a colorful and creative video created by the UN to inspire you: