What is Air Pollution?
Air Pollution is one of the biggest contributors to the climate change we are currently faced with. It is the process by which various harmful substances are released into the Earth’s atmosphere.
These harmful substances are called Pollutants. They may include small particles, as well as chemicals like carbon monoxide, lead, sulfur dioxide, ground-level ozone, et cetera.
When pollutants are released into the air, inhaling them constantly could harm you and even lead to lung diseases, in which case you’d have to find a lung doctor.
Where do pollutants come from?
The majority of air pollutants are released by industries, factories, power plants, and vehicles. What does this mean? In one way or the other, everyone has a hand in polluting the air. Therefore, everyone has a part to play in reducing air pollution!
Climate change, a major effect of air pollution, is alarming due to the rapid increase in global warming. However, due to the Clean Air Act and its various amendments, emissions of major air pollutants have gone down by a whopping 50%!
But, there’s still a lot of work to be done. It’s not just about the government. We have our part to play. You also have your part to play!
What can you do differently?
So, how can you make a difference and save our planet? Here are some of the things that can be done to reduce air pollution.
- Reduce your use of automobiles
Automobiles — vehicles — make life easier for us, you would agree. But the bad news is: they significantly contribute to ground-level ozone. How?
Automobiles run on gasoline which is produced from burning coal and oil. The process of making gasoline leads to the release of pollutants like sulfur dioxides which increase pollution in the Earth’s atmosphere.
It’s difficult, if not impossible, to totally stop using automobiles, so you can simply reduce your usage. For instance, if you’re going somewhere nearby, walk there instead of driving. This even gives you room to exercise your body well by walking.
Another way to reduce your automobile usage is to only purchase vehicles that have good fuel efficiency, I.e., they convert more fuel into usable power and hence, release fewer pollutants into the air.
- Plant more trees
Recent studies have shown that planting crops could go a long way in reducing the carbon monoxide content in the air. Plants filter the harmful chemicals by absorbing them through the tiny pores in their leaves, digesting them through their stems, and then releasing them into the soil by their roots.
Some of the plants that are especially useful for this include bamboo palm, Chinese evergreen, Gerbera daisy, English Ivy, any of the Dracaena trees, and Peace Lily. You can also check out some other plants that help in this regard here.
If you find it difficult to start your garden or do not have the means, you can support any local garden initiatives in your neighborhood. Either way, your efforts count!
- Turn off the lights when not in use
The energy that the lights we use in our homes consume also contributes a lot to air pollution. You can make a difference by turning off your lights and other appliances when they’re not in use. You should also use energy-efficient lightbulbs and appliances. They drastically reduce the amount of pollution in your environment.
It might seem too insignificant to contribute to anything, but no effort is too little to make a difference! Besides, it’s better to take these little precautions than inhale polluted air and have to go see a lung doctor. You’re not only saving the Earth; you’re also saving yourself from more expenses.
Aside from taking these steps, you could also influence government decisions by looking out for, voting for, or even clamoring for legislation and policies that pay special attention to air pollution.
- Say no to plastic bags
Some other thing you can do to reduce air pollution is to say no to plastic bags. Why? When they’re disposed of, they take a longer time to decompose. In the process of recycling them for re-usage, they cause air pollution.
Essentially, air pollution is bad for you, your family, and the planet at large. They could lead to a lot of respiratory issues whose symptoms might not be immediately obvious.