Air pollution is a continuing issue in the developed world and although we’ve come a long way from burning lumps of coal and industrial fog there is still much to be done. Big government proposals are one-way pollution is being tackled, but this kind of scale is hard to get your head around. Fortunately, there are things you can do on an individual level that all add up to cleaner air.
Cleaner Methods of Travel Can Reduce Air Pollution
The car is a lifeline for many people and although cleaner types of fuel – such as battery power – are being introduced the internal combustion engine is still ubiquitous. Now we’re not suggesting you trade in your set of wheels entirely but using an alternative method of travel when possible will help reduce your personal air pollution.
Walking – or a mobility scooter – is obviously the cleanest way to get about when you need to travel locally, but longer journeys require some extra help. If your destination is reachable by public transport in good time then this will help drop the number of cars on the road. Or, if you’re feeling spritely and the weather is good, you could dust of the bicycle and get to your destination with pedal power. Finally, if you really need to use the car frequently, make sure it’s maintained well with clean oil and properly inflated tyres as this will help economy.
Being Frugal with Your Utilities Can Reduce Air Pollution
Another area of daily life that can help reduce your personal air pollution is being frugal with your utilities at home. Although there is gradual shift to the use of renewable energy an enormous amount of electricity, water, and gas use is still provided by fossil fuels. Simple adjustments to your routine or how you use utilities in certain conditions can make a noticeable difference.
There are of course the little things like using lamps instead of lights and switching any off when leaving the room. Other small adjustments like not leaving the tap running or always closing the fridge door will also help incrementally. Then there are slightly bigger changes, such as only using heating on the very cold days and when you run out of layers to put on. Ultimately, it’s about changing your mindset from one focused on convenience to one that focuses on economy, this will help reduce your consumption and lower your personal air pollution footprint.
Reusing Instead of Replacing Can Reduce Air Pollution
Our consumptive behaviour is a huge contributor to air pollution due to the emissions caused by manufacturing of new goods. By reusing items such as bags, coffee cups, and other consumables it not only reduces your personal air pollution but it also reduces plastics waste. You’ll also save money by doing this as you’ll avoid charges like those for a 5p bag, or you might get coffee cheaper at certain cafes by bringing your own cup.
An extension of this is purchasing goods with less packaging. For example, if you’re in the supermarket choose a ready meal with a simple sleeve rather than a whole box or, pick up loose fruit without using a bag. This can help reduce your personal waste and air pollution. If this was collectively adopted the demand to manufacture extravagant packaging would go down, causing less emissions.
These simple changes can help you reduce your own air pollution footprint. Many will say that is insignificant, but the more people that do it the more it adds up.