How Can You Help?
In spite of everything that has been done by international organisations and governments to eliminate the use of ODS, this target can be successfully achieved only if individuals contribute. The general public can help in this global effort in a number of ways.
As responsible citizens
• Buy only those products (spray cans, refrigerators, fire extinguishers etc.) that are labelled 'ozone friendly' or 'CFCfree'. The seller should be consulted in case of doubt.
• Maintain appliances containing ODS regu larly to prevent the release of ODS into the atmosphere, hiring trained personnel for all servicing of existing equipments to ensure efficiency and prevention of leakage.
• Replace ODS in appliances with ozone friendly substances wherever possible. In some cases a retrofit, which involves replacement of some existing equipment, may be required.
• Dispose of old appliances (eg refrigerators) responsibly, making sure the ODS (such as CFCs and HCFCs) are removed carefully by technicians and submitted for recycling or re-use.
• Return unused ODS-containing products such as CFC-containing aerosols or halon-containing fire extinguishers, and use ozone-friendly substitutes instead.
• Inform other people about the importance and ways of protecting the ozone layer.
• Eliminate methyl bromide as pesticide and soil fumigant, and switch to safer and more effective alternatives available today (such as integrated pest management).
As servicing technicians
• Regularly check and fix leaks, and ensure that refrigerants recovered from air conditioners, refrigerators, or freezers are not accidentally released into the atmosphere
• Inform consumers about alternative environment-friendly technologies
avai lable today, and encourage thei ruse
• Start a refrigerant recovery and recycling programme in the community.
As company or office workers
• Identify existing equipment that use ODS and develop plans to replace them with cost-effective substitutes-suppliers should be consulted to make this process more effective. Companies might be eligible for financial and technical assistance from the Multilateral Fund.
• Inform other staff members and stakeholders about the harmful effects of using ODS, alternative technologies avai lable, what your office is currently doing to help protect the ozone layer, and how they can get involved in such replacement or retrofit programmes.
• Take steps to start an overall environmental programme in the office.
The benefits of the Montreal Protocol, including avoided cancers, cataracts and crop damage, exceed the cost of the investments in this issue by the international community. This poster won the first prize in a UNEPsponsored contest in 2002.