National Pollution Control DayBeating air pollution at home and outside. How can we change our ways to fix our air
According to the Environmental Performance Index(EPI) 2014, nearly a quarter of this world breathes polluted air. Six years down the line, the situation has only worsened. Indoor air has also become as polluted as outdoor air. Staying indoors is not an option anymore to avoid pollutants. In fact, air purifiers and masks have become a norm in metro cities. This might seem like a ‘solution’, but the reality is far from it. While psychologically one might feel like they are breathing in pure air, minute particulate matter, fumes and other pollutants.
Beating air pollution at home has become as important as outside. Although there are several reasons to fear the consequences of this situation, health might be the most prominent reason for anyone to care for this situation. So, here are some easy tips to keep you and your health safe from those dangerous pollutants.Outdoor air pollution
While combating outdoor air pollution is a huge challenge it’s one that we have to quickly resolve. The most prominent contributors to outdoor air pollution are energy, transport, agriculture, industry, and waste. These broad issues can be faced with some broad measures.
- Reducing vehicle emissions: Increasing the use of public transport, switching to electric cars, promoting cycling and walking, etc. can bring down vehicle emissions. Even in a personal capacity, we must look at living close to work so that we can cut down our carbon footprint.
- Renewable sources: Promoting energy efficiency in buildings, and by increasing the use of renewable energy resources like solar, wind and hydropower. Our dependence on coal-generated electricity spells disaster in the long run. We must aim to reduce electricity consumption, switching off fans and lights when not in use, picking energy choosing well-ventilated homes are few ways to reduce electricity consumption.
- Segregation and disposal of waste: Intelligent waste management systems with strategies to reduce, separate, recycle and reuse/reprocess waste.
- Wearing a mask: Not just a surgical mask, but an anti-pollution mask or at least a damp scarf must be used to protect yourself from the dust and pollution.
- Plant trees: Although indirectly, planting trees can bring in a gradual change. Projects like Urban Forest in Bangalore are a step in this direction. By increasing the trees per capita, the project is adding a much needed green cover to the city.
But not just outside, the space inside our homes is also becoming polluted, tobacco smoke, candles/incense stick, etc. are common causes of indoor pollutants. Although indoor air pollution isn’t as intense as outdoor pollution, it needs to be noted that the effects are just as bad. Particulate matter can cause asthma, bronchitis and set off a series of allergic reactions that can become very uncomfortable to manage. Within your home, you can start making small changes, for instance
- Make your home a no smoke zone: Cigarette smoke contains more than 4000-minute pollutants including tar, ash and other pollutants that can increase the risk of asthma, cancer, breathing problems, heart attacks, strokes and more. Make indoors a smoking-free area is one way to combat indoor pollution.
- Look for proper Ventilation: Over ventilation can bring in dust particles and no-ventilation can lead to building up of toxic chemicals. The right amount of ventilation is recommended for breathing safe air. Scientifically planned ventilation can directly reduce the number of pollutants.
- Indoor plants: Indoor plants can improve air circulation with more production of oxygen which in turn helps in better breathing. Snake plants, spider plants, aloe vera plants are great to offer.
- Install an Air purifier: If you are in the search for an air purifier, look for one with a HEPA air filter. As it is able to remove harmful pollutants through a 3-step purification process.
By changing a few things, we are ensuring healthy and happy lives not just for ourselves but for future generations. Join the revolution in creating sustainable spaces using technologies and design. Alembic is a proud recipient of green building certification among many other sustainable measures that have been undertaken to protect the earth.