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[Monthly Event June] Daily Nifty Tricks to Reduce our Air Pollution Print.

by Rosa Domingos | 29-06-2019 09:16 recommendations 1

With the rise of air pollutants occupying the atmosphere, we see our skies darkening, our environment struggling to cope and our health impacted in a major way. Our lungs (plants and trees) are being cut down for the purpose of agriculture, urbanisation, industrialisation and mining. Is it me or is mother nature being side-lined for human growth?

Well, for so long has mother Earth’s call for change fallen on deaf ears. Not anymore. We as global citizens can take up the quest to clean up the air, with small tasks that will bring BIG outcomes! You might be surprised to learn how much your efforts can help so let’s so let’s think fast, think smart and reduce air pollution in our daily lives. Here, I listed a few things one can do or integrate in their life as their new ‘green’ regiment.

Let’s look as them shall we?

Firstly, we need to know where air pollution comes from and take care of our health, so that we are healthy enough to take care of Earth’s health.

We all know the main suspects of air pollution: carbon dioxide, methane and carbon monoxide. But compounds: ground-level ozone, particulate matter, lead, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides when combined, can lead to numerous health problems such as asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.

With air quality deteriorating annually. It is important to wear a mask to prevent inhalation of toxic air. 

 So where does this chemical reaction occur? Anywhere you have petrol vapours, car exhaust fumes, a large storage of chemical agents and factory or utility plant emissions. We need to reduce (1) the level of exposure to these sites and (2) get face masks. They not only filter the air you breathe in from pollen and other air pollutants, but come in array of shapes and colours. If you don’t have one, then a scarf will do! With these key elements and you can reduce the amount of ground-level ozone you are exposed to.

Using the train is a great way of reducing your daily emissions. 

The art of public transport. 

Road transportation is one of the biggest emitters of nitrogen oxides. This oxide is closely monitored as an air pollutant with an adverse effect on the healthy lung development and the overall lifetime expectancy. This is seen as harmful emissions from cars and can be felt especially in cities with heavy traffic.

So what can you do to reduce pollution emissions? We start by driving less, or carpooling. Having a carpooling team to take people to their destinations not only reduces the emission of nitrogen monoxide, but having one car to drive 5 people on a road instead of 5 people driving separately deduces traffic and saves money.

If you have the option, take public transport, walk or ride a bicycle to work/school. Even just one or two days a week can help reduce pollutant emissions and reduce the number of cars on the road. A wonderful way to reducing your daily air pollution emissions is by walking or cycling. Did you know that this is also great for your wellbeing? On average, you burn up to 300 calories will 11000 steps (which is equal to 7.5km of walking/running). Both of these activities also contribute to maintaining active lifestyle and improving your self-confidence and health.

Make it rather than buy it, and if you need to buy it, then buy it locally.

Another way to reducing daily air pollutant emissions is by:

Choosing to make your food rather than buying ready made meals as well as,
Buying items (such as your clothing, stationery, etc.) locally.

This is because the practice of mass-producing, packaging, and shipping goods to make them readily available to consumers is directly responsible for industrial emissions that pollute the air. Commercial stores tend to get their items shipped in from all over the world, greatly contributing to air pollution. Take a look around your house and figure out items you could make instead of buying (like pasta, chicken curry and rice).

You can never go wrong with fresh vegetables and fruits from your local farmer. 

Here are some places for buying local:

Shop at farmer’s markets. It is cheaper, way fresher and is grown locally, that’s for sure.
• Check the item tag. It will indicate whether something is local or not.
• Finally, try your absolute hardest not to shop online. The thought of buying something online is convenient for customers, but think about the boats, planes and vehicles that will need to move around just to get your item to you? If we can cut out the middle man, we move one step closer to reducing our emissions.

We can never forget the three R’s + C (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost). 

Let’s go back to basics with managing our household waste effectively. This is a good way to reduce air pollution. How? By Reusing, recycling and composting! They can have a big effect on your garbage output, which means less garbage goes into the landfills which is a big sources of air pollution (main emission being methane).

Reuse glass packages as containers for rice, flour, sugar or sweets.
• Plastic is reusable too, but do not use it too often as its chemicals can leach out onto food.
Recycle plastic, paper/cardboard, aluminium and glass as often as possible.
• Lastly, make a compost pile of your remaining organic stock waste.
 What’s nifty about these ideas is that after just months of maturing, you will have rich, black compost for your garden!

Still reading? Okay let’s continue...

Use natural air purifiers (indoor plants) and rethink your heating and cooling habits.

One of the most elegant and effective manners of improving your indoor air and also have a beneficial effect on our health, is keeping houseplants. Plants (like trees) have the amazing ability of metabolising air pollutants (CO2 for instance) from indoor air to release oxygen. Did you know that plants with bigger leaves (those that thrive in tropical areas) remove carbon dioxide and replenishing oxygen levels much more effectively than those of smaller leaves? 

Touch base with your environment. 

 Not only carbon dioxide, but other common indoor toxins that can be removed are: formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, trichloroethylene, toluene, octane and carbon monoxide.

Here are some examples of household plants you can get for yourself:

Peace plants,
Snake plants,
Spider plants,
Heartleaf Philodendron and,
Elephants Ears.

We have grown comfortable with turning on an air conditioner (A/C) when it’s too hot or putting on a heater when it’s too cold. But another inexpensive and emission reducing way to reduce air pollution is by swapping an electric blanket for a warm blanket and jersey; and also swapping an A/C for a hand fan or by just simply opening up your windows for fresher, breezier air. Heaters, electric blankets and air conditioners consume a lot of energy which means we are directly influencing its non-renewable production. The more we choose the environment, the better we become environmentally conscious.

Ensure that enough ventilation is established by opening up windows for clean, fresher air. 

Plant more lungs of the Earth. 

Trees around your house and in your neighbourhood help reduce air pollutants significantly. Researchers from the University of Southampton found that trees remove between 850 to 2,000 tons of harmful particles from the urban air each year. That’s amazing lung power!

We all need to start somewhere... 

Except of removing the particulate matter, trees also decrease levels of nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide and monoxide, ozone, benzene and dioxin. Some of the most efficient tree “air cleaners” are large-growing species with leaves. For example, common Ash, various linden trees, oak, and elms. You can plant trees along roads, schools, libraries, universities, the ideas are endless.

Hug a tree
Hug a tree :) 

You can think of trees as a protective shield formed by tree canopy. I mention this because trees prevent the spreading of air pollution over large distances. Then, they gradually filter the pollution at the spot without giving it much chances of contaminating neighbouring areas.

Avoid the use of aerosol spray cans where possible.

Aerosols (or atmospheric particulates) can occur naturally (such as fog, dust and forest exudate) and man-made (such as haze and particularly smoke). Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are found in consumer products such as paint, adhesives and spray cans and this is one of biggest polluters to our air.

And here is how, in the presence of sunlight, VOCs are capable of producing ozone gas in the lowest layer of the earth’s atmosphere. This can lead to degraded air quality and the occurrence of ‘smog’. You can easily reduce your emission by using paints and adhesives and spray cans that are tagged ‘eco-friendly’, these products use ingredients that are sensitive to the atmosphere.

A little bit of awareness never hurt nobody. 

Lastly, one way to continuously ensure that not just you but people around you are making their bid to reduce their daily air pollution is by sharing your ideas. We can do so by making people aware of what they can do. Whether it is planting trees, carpooling with your friends, taking a walk to reach a destination or just composting your organic waste.

Take action where ever you are! 

When these acts are voiced out in the form of awareness, we create a ripple effect. Where one person’s voice spreads out to friends, families, schools, and workplaces. We should never underestimate the power we have with our voice. Also, if you’re passionate about taking action to reduce air pollution, consider joining an organization whose goal is to do exactly that. You’ll learn more about the education and experience you need to help bring about lasting change and reduce air pollution where you live.

These three boys were ecstatic to have learned a thing or two about reducing their air pollution print. But what made me glad is that they knew what air pollution was because of being taught about it in school. 

They say old habits die hard, but I do hope that these ideas find a place in your life and hopefully never die. I hope they live on to reduce air pollution. For change starts with you and me... 

Everyday Health - https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/green-health/
Union of Concerned Scientists - https://www.ucsusa.org/global-warming/science-and-impacts/science/aerosols-and-global-warming-faq.html
Science Daily - https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111005110800.htm

Me and the kids!

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  • Dormant user Rosa Domingos
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  • Horticulturist Susmita says :
    Greetings rosa
    I hope you are doing well

    Thank you so much for this report
    Keep writing

    Green cheers
    Posted 15-03-2020 16:28

  • Rosa Domingos says :
    Thank you so much Eco-Gen!
    Posted 02-07-2019 14:05

  • Eco Generation says :
    Thank you for your participation in the monthly event!
    Posted 02-07-2019 10:10

  • Rosa Domingos says :
    Hey there Null,

    I am not sure whether it is your actual member username, forgive if I am wrong.

    Thank you so much for reading my article!
    Posted 01-07-2019 01:38

  • says :
    Wow! Rosa
    Posted 01-07-2019 00:59 Delete

  • Rosa Domingos says :
    Hey there Kushal!

    I hope you are well. Thank you for reading up kn my report :)
    I truely appreciate you time and consideration.

    Warm regards.
    Posted 29-06-2019 23:04

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello Rosa

    I do hope that you are fine and doing great with your works.
    Thank you for your report participating in the monthly report. This is a great report and great ideas to follow in daily life to reduce air pollution

    Green Cheers from Nepal :)
    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.

    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 29-06-2019 14:15

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