World Environment Day was June 5th, and this years theme was on fighting air pollution. So in the spirit of World Environment Day and all people looking to make the world a little more sustainable, here are five easy things you can do at home to help stop Air Pollution.
As smog and air pollution are so heavily associated with car exhaust, this suggestion was bound to make the list. The most obvious way to combat this is to walk, bike, or take public transportation whenever possible, but if you do need to use a car and don’t already own a hybrid or other more eco-friendly car, there are ways you can still help. Making sure your car is up to date and the tires are inflated properly will make sure your car is operating at peak efficiency, which helps to lower gas use. The biggest uses of gas are when starting up the car and when idling, so try and take one big trip instead of multiple smaller trips when possible. Slow, gradual accelerations also help. Finally look for low sulfur fuel or e85 (ethanol blend) fuel in compatible cars.
Still Get Rid of Your Aerosols
Aerosols used to have chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons, which was destroying the ozone layer. These were banned in the 70’s and luckily the ozone started healing. That said, most all aerosols are terrible for the environment. While it might be easy to see how spray paint or something else clearly dangerous is toxic for the environment, even more “innocent” looking stuff like air fresheners, sun spray, and deodorant still are polluting. Aerosols have been linked to smog, asthma, weather disruptions, and disturbingly, air fresheners even seems to produce formaldehyde. Even if aerosols are now ozone proof, they’re still not green, especially when non-spray versions of most aerosol products easily exist.
Avoid Airplanes When Possible
It might not surprise you to learn that environmental wunderkind Greta Thunberg has gone vegan to help the environment, but did you know she also refuses to fly? While no one probably thinks of airplanes as being green, most people don’t realize just how bad airplanes are when it comes to producing greenhouse gasses. Air travel produces a bigger impact per passenger per mile, is used for much longer distances than other transport options, and is the most C02 intensive mode of package delivery. This means that a small industry produces a disproportionately huge greenhouse effect. Now, some air travel can’t be avoided, but if you have another option for travel, take it.
Choose Recycled or Upcycled Products
It’s easy to understand that buying recycled or upcycled products will help stop plastic junk from getting into our oceans or toxic chemicals leaking out of landfills, but buying these repurposed products are also really important for air quality as well. Every step of a products manufacturing process uses energy, from initial material digging/growing to the final production, so being able to eliminate steps through creative reuse goes a long way to reducing the CO2 footprint of whatever you’re buying.
Plant a Forest the Size of Ireland and build a Skyscraper Sized Air Filter
Well, no, these are probably not feasible. But both of these things were recently done by China, the location of this year’s World Environment Day activities. It is refreshing to see a country that was once the poster-child for air pollution change course so drastically. But anyway…
Plant Air Purifying Plants
While Ireland and skyscraper sized CO2 catchers might be a tall order, plants have always been the best air purifiers out there and there are plenty of ones you can easily grow, both indoors and outdoors. Some of the best include snake plant, bamboo, peace lilies, spider plants, poinsettias, chrysanthemums, aloe, and acrea palm. Many of these plants are super easy to grow, so get your green thumb on!