In the month of July, we are tackling a different issue, maybe the most important one when it comes to preserving the environment in Skopje. That is air pollution.
The situation in Skopje
The situation in Skopje, especially in the last few years, has escalated out of proportion and at the end of 2017, Skopje was declared as one of the most polluted cities in Europe and the world by media and news agencies like Deutsche Welle and USA Today.
The quality of the air in Skopje have dropped drastically, especially in the past years due to the bad infrastructure and planning of the city. A lot of trees were cut down and parks disappeared, being replaced by new building blocks, reducing the air flow in the city, causing the fog and smog to stay in the city for longer periods of time.
The situation is especially bad during the winter months when the pollution is even worse thanks to industrial emissions, smoke from wood-burning stoves and exhaust fumes from old cars.
Statistics have shown that the air pollution have caused more than 1300 premature deaths per year in the city. The concentration of particle pollution (PM) in Skopje is more than ten times higher than the air quality standards set by the EU.
Balkan Green Energy News reports that the Skopje has the highest concentration of fine particles in the air (PM 2.5) of all European cities, according to the latest study by the Finnish Meteorological Institute and the Macedonian Institute for Public Health (IPH).
As part of our BE THE CHANGE campaign, we want to put in our contribution in trying to solve this immense problem and threat. Our goal is to inspire the people around us and try to set an example in the community.
So our solution to the pollution is an initiative to motivate people to use their bicycles in their daily commuting, especially for going to work.
A good portion of our employees in Skopje already use their bikes throughout the year and our goal is to keep motivating them and inspire the others to start doing the same.
In association with Nomad Mobility, we are fighting the air pollution in our city and encouraging others to do so. Vox Teneo and Nomad have supplied vouchers and arranged for discounts in their shops for buying new bicycles and gear, as well as repairs and maintenance of the bicycles to all our employees.
We are also planning to join already existing initiatives by other organization that have the same cause and goals as us.
We hope that others will be inspired by us and our movement and join in. Start with yourself. Be the change you want to see.