That’s what almost 40,000 people have declared just this week as the BreatheLife campaign threw down its first gauntlet:
This May, will you leave your car at home and walk, cycle or take public transport instead, to cut air pollution and get healthier at the same time?
The BreatheLife Challenge is a rallying cry for people around the world to choose a cleaner form of transport for the equivalent of a marathon (42.2 km/26.2 miles).
The ultimate goal: To collectively move 7 million clean-air kilometres for the 7 million lives lost each year to air pollution.
That’s is the equivalent of crossing the earth 150 times and reducing emissions by over 40 tons of CO2.
The challenge comes on the heels of a new report from the World Health Organization, which showed that more than 9 out of 10 people in the world breathe air that contains high levels of pollutants, resulting in an estimated 7 million deaths worldwide each year.
“These latest findings are a stark reminder for cities and governments worldwide that polluted air remains the single greatest environmental threat to human health,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment.
“Today’s launch of the BreatheLife Challenge is an opportunity to mobilize individual actions and raise awareness around the steps we can all take to make sure that the air we breathe is safe,” he said.
Traffic is one of the biggest sources of particulate pollution worldwide, which means that many urbanites produce and inhale their daily dose of air pollution by tailpipe.
Cities across the globe and private sector partners including the walking app Pacer and the bike sharing company Mobike have also joined the challenge and will be asking millions of their users to sign up to help create cleaner air where they live.
So, let’s get out of traffic, get up off our car seats, and get moving for cleaner air and healthier bodies.
Together, our small steps will have a big impact.