“Our world is in the grip of a dangerous carbon habit,” UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon Ban said in a statement to mark the celebration of World Environment Day today. “Kick the Habit” (the ‘carbon’ habit) is the international slogan for the event that promotes a movement towards a low carbon economy. World Environment Day, conceived in 1972, is the United Nations’ principal day to mark global green issues and aims to give a human face to environmental problems and solutions.

Not only humans but also art works seem to participate at this global fight against pollution and carbon consumption. It was early this morning in Rome when joggers and dog walkers alerted the police because around 150 statues across the city were wearing anti-pollution masks over their mouths!

The night-time operation was organized by environmental activists and involved statues of Roman emperors lining Via dei Fori Imperiali near the Colosseum, famous magistrates around Rome’s Palace of Justice, and Garibaldi’s generals on the Gianicolo Hill. Statues in Piazza del Popolo and along two bridges across the Tevere River were also dressed in the protective gear.

The activists had also hung no-entry road signs around the necks of the statues bearing the chemical symbol for carbon dioxide. It’s incredible but nobody realized what was happening: even if it was during the night these statues are at least four meters high!

Activists said the masked statues were protesting with them against carbon dioxide emissions from cars and appealed to the European Commission to issue new regulations for the reduction of the greenhouse gas.

In order to celebrate World Environment Day people in dozens of countries are conducting activities to educate the public, motivating to curb greenhouse gas emissions. To imagine a global solution it’s necessary to act locally, starting with our ability to make the difference. Simple actions are required as, for example, switching to energy-saving light bulbs, traveling by public transportation or bicycle, and washing clothes at 30 degrees Celcius instead of 60 degrees Celcius.

See also:
50 Simple Things
My Carbon Footprint

Image courtesy of PapaPaolo at Flickr under Creative Commons