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No matter where you are in the world, air pollution is an environmental issue that affects everyone.
Here are some ideas you can try in your day-to-day life that will personally improve the quality of air you breathe — because small actions make a big difference:
Private transport is one of the world’s biggest sources of greenhouse gases, accounting for a quarter of all global CO2 emissions, with the figure rising each year.
Apart from the fact that walking and cycling produce zero emissions, these actions are also great for your health and fitness.
Public buses, trams, and underground trains are not only more affordable than driving one’s car, but they also help to drastically cut congestion and reduce one’s individual footprint.
If you’re often doing a journey to a similar location, such as school or work, as someone else locally, it’s worth considering car sharing. This will reduce emissions, fuel costs, and traffic congestions.
If driving your own car is an absolute imperative, consider investing in an electric vehicle. In the long term, electric cars are far more cost-effective than petrol cars, due to their lower maintenance fees and tax incentives. Additionally, electric vehicles have zero emissions, and can be quickly and conveniently charged at home.
By choosing to purchase local produce, invariably that produce has had to travel less distance to get you, which in turn, greatly decreases transport emissions. Apart from the environmental benefits, this also supports local businesses and the immediate community.
The smoke produced from wood stoves and fireplaces contains over 100 different chemical compounds, many of which are harmful and potentially carcinogenic. Indeed, wood-burning fires can produce about six times more particle pollution than a modern diesel lorry.
So, next time you find yourself thinking about lighting your fireplace, ask yourself — “is this really necessary?”.
A green roof or living roof, is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation. Not only do they look great, but they are also energy efficient and environmentally friendly. They purify the air, provide insulation in the winter and protect the house from heat in the summer, reduce ambient noise from outside, and serve as a habitat for local animals.
By changing energy suppliers for your house, the previous power that you used in your daily life, such as natural gas, oil and coal, will now be replaced with that of the sun, wind and water. Not only will this reduce your overall carbon footprint, but renewable energy is usually cheaper too.
Keep an eye and actively engage in local developments and national policy changes that are focused on improving air pollution. Start by lobbying your local MP to further pedestrianise major shopping streets, install electric buses and bike lanes, install green walls near schools and hospitals, as well as plant more trees.
By installing an air quality sensor on your own premises, you contribute immensely not only to your local community, but also nationally, in providing comprehensive air quality information. Thus, helping improve everyone’s chances of improving the air we breathe – because small actions make a big difference.