5 Steps That Can Reverse the Impact of Air Pollution
Air pollution is something we as individuals can impact as well as big steps tackled by governments. If everyone changed their lifestyles even slightly, we can make an impact on air quality. Putting pressure on governments at the local, national and international level also impacts air pollution as governments are encouraged to act.
Stopping air pollution and reducing emissions increases air quality and has an affect on health and climate change, but once it is stopped, the damage needs to be reversed. As pollution accumulates, the cost of reversing it increases, as do the human and environmental costs.
Measuring air quality is vital to tackling and reversing air pollution. The problem cannot be addressed if the problem areas aren’t found. Airly.org can help set up air sensors at the individual and local level. Knowing air pollution levels at such a localised area helps communities organise campaigns with real scientific data to take to government. It also helps individuals change their habits.
Rural Pollution Education
When most people think of air pollution, they think of very big cities, such as New Delhi, Beijing and Los Angles. Air pollution isn’t just an urban problem. It directly impacts rural communities with farming practices being a major contributor to air pollution. The countryside air may not be so breathable with crop fertilizers mixing in it in the same way cleaning products combine to create a noxious and deadly gas when mixed together in your home. Soil erosion and burning forests release dust and smoke into the air.
Educating people about the risks of rural air pollution to the environment and health helps people put pressure on governments to stop the more dangerous farming practices. The effects of air pollution cannot be reversed as long as the practices continue. Any efforts to clean up the air will simply hold it in balance.
Urban air pollution is more obvious. People are much more aware of it than its countryside counterpart. When air pollution hits the news, images of gritty and grimy cities accompany the report. Urban gardens and green spaces swallow CO2 emissions and make the air more breathable. Individuals can pull up paving slabs in their gardens and replace with grass, or low-maintenance wild flowers. Pressure can be put on local governments to protect parks and plant more trees. Also green buildings can be erected with roof gardens and energy efficiency.
Fossil fuels release CO2, whether they’re coming from a car’s exhaust or a factory’s smoke stack. Individuals can invest in renewable energy for their home, whether that is solar panels or mini wind turbines or any other renewable source. Walking and cycling aren’t only great exercise, but they cut down on short car journeys. Public transport can be used where possible and when it is time for a new car, buy a hybrid or electric car. Governments can offer incentives to individuals and businesses to cut emissions.