A mixture of various gasses such as Nitrogen, Oxygen, Helium, Hydrogen, Argon, etc. is known as air. Atmospheric motions maintain the uniformity of these gasses. Burning waste and fossil fuels, vehicle emissions, construction and demolition, waste, landfills, and many more factors can hamper the uniformity of the air. When the levels of these gasses exceed the desired limit, the air gets polluted and this is known as air pollution. There are so many ways that we can discuss how to reduce air pollution. Millions of people die every year because of air pollution. The air we breathe every day has many toxic and dangerous pollutants. Everyone should be responsible to reduce air pollution. Let’s discuss the 10 ways how to reduce air pollution.
What Are 10 Ways to Reduce Air Pollution?
1. Use of public transport:
Use Public Transportation to Reduce Air Pollution. Facts and figures don’t lie — our transportation needs produce 30% of all carbon dioxide gas emissions. We can use public buses instead of using private cars or vehicles. Let’s say a bus can carry 40 passengers at once; these 40 passengers can reduce the emissions of 40 private vehicles by using one public vehicle instead. Many public vehicles run on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas). CNG consists of a very large amount of methane (CH₄). CH₄ burns cleaner than some other fuels, reducing ash emissions. As a result, it reduces the number of fine particles in the air.
The introduction of new technology like E-Busses helps in reducing emissions, and therefore, air pollution. Traffic congestion produces high amounts of soot and carbon monoxide, which contributes to poor air quality. Using public transportation reduces pollution levels, as well as traffic jams on the road.
This is one of the 10 major ways through which we can reduce air pollution..
2. Buy Energy Efficient Vehicles Like Electric:
When purchasing a vehicle, consider fuel-efficient and alternative fuel vehicles. E-vehicles are much more efficient, and when compared to the price of energy. Charging an e-vehicle is less expensive than filling up liquid fuel for your travel needs. Using renewable sources of energy can enhance using e-vehicles, making them environmentally beneficial.
Since e-vehicles have fewer moving parts than petrol and diesel-burning engines, they require less maintenance. As a result, the annual cost of operating an e-car is much lower. Electric automobiles have lower licensing fees and road taxes than gasoline-powered automobiles.
Petrol and diesel- cars release toxic air pollutants which add to air pollution levels. Major pollutants produced by gasoline-powered cars include:
- Carbon Monoxide- CO decreases the ability of blood to carry O2 to different body organs. CO exposure causes lethargy, migraines, disorientation, and nausea. It delays cell growth, unnaturally small new foliage, an unusual withering of the greenery, and over-developed tissues in plants. Animal CO poisoning symptoms include cognitive damages, trouble with breathing, and sudden death.
- Nitrogen Oxides- NO irritate the membrane in the mucous. NO in high doses causes lung irritation in humans. It harms vegetation by destroying the leaves.
- PM10 and PM2.5 fine particulate matter- PM10 and PM2.5 are particles < 10 μm and < 2.5 μm in diameter, respectively. Exposure to particles can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat; cause respiratory infections, etc. in humans. PM exposures can lead to respiratory and heart diseases in both animals and humans. PM exposures block and damage the stomata. It further affects photosynthesis and respiration in plants. .
3. Consider “Going Green”:
“Going Green” means practicing an environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible lifestyle as well as making decisions to help protect the environment and sustain natural resources. These campaigns entail choosing to live a sustainable, environmentally friendly lifestyle. It helps in minimizing pollutants that enter the soil, waterways, and air. Going green minimizes air pollution and environmental pollutants. Going green can impact our body’s immunity to fight infections and expose us to infections and severe illnesses. Another benefit of going green is that it cuts the pollution levels that are released into the air and therefore into the environment. Going green can help your office/home/school become a healthier place. This can have a major influence on staff time and result in fewer employees/staff/students taking sick leave.
It reduces the chances of getting nervous or anxiety problems in humans. Going green, being one of the 10 ways to reduce air pollution; contributes to the preservation of forests, wildlife habitats, and the environment.
Further environmental advantages of going green include better air quality, better health, and less wastage. Recycling and using superior materials for construction and daily life minimize landfill trash as plastic, for instance, is non-biodegradable.
4. Plant a Garden:
Planting trees will help us get enough fresh air we need. Tress enhance air quality in many ways: they consume carbon dioxide and produce O2 via photosynthesis. They can actively collect pollutants on the exterior walls of leaves and the root system of the plant.
Increasing greenery is one of the most basic techniques to reduce the impacts of air pollution. Growing trees, bushes, an organic farm, indoor plants, etc. help us in reducing air pollution. They help to remove pollutants from the air. Plants help people concentrate better at home and work.
All living creatures require O2 for the respiration process. It also helps to preserve the ozone layer. Ozone layer protects Earth’s ecosystem from harmful UV radiation. That is why we must grow more trees and plants. Growing trees is said to be one of the most crucial steps among these 10 ways to reduce the air pollution.
5. Turn Off Lights When Not in Use:
Don’t waste energy and money. Be very careful and responsible to turn off lights at home when you or your family members are not at home or the lights are not in use.
Electricity generation plants employ fossil fuels, which contribute significantly to air pollution. Save a lot of energy by cutting electricity consumption, by shutting off lights whenever you leave a room.
Since light bulbs are the least productive type of illumination, switch them off when you are not using them. Only about 10% of the power is converted, which they require in lighting, while 90% is converted to heat. Switching off the light bulbs will also make a room cooler, which is incredibly useful in the summers.
6. Avoid Plastic Bags:
Because they are very hard to decompose. Plastic bags are non-biodegradable. That means they cannot easily degrade over time. Dumping plastic waste in water bodies leads to the endangerment of various aquatic animals. These animals can include sea turtles, fish, etc. These aquatic animals eat plastic waste that can lead to suffocation or, can enter their digestive system. Digesting plastic bags is not easy; they are toxic and can lead to the deaths of marine life.
Animals such as cows can easily eat plastic bags while grazing. Multiple experiments have shown that cows that consume plastics eventually quit consuming their normal meal. Plastic harms their internal organs and accumulates inside their bodies. They gradually can’t generate milk, and even if they can, it’s tainted with dangerous compounds like carcinogens.
Proper disposal techniques should be used for plastic bags. Carry your bags instead of asking for plastic bags at shops. Make the habit of using jute or paper bags. .
7. Make use of Solar Energy:
Solar power can save a ton of energy for you and, on top of that, it could also end up saving you a lot of cash in the long run as well. Solar energy, being a sustainable source of energy, plays a crucial role in cutting emissions of greenhouse gasses. Furthermore, dealing with climate change is crucial to preserving human and wildlife, and habitats. Solar energy can help enhance air quality and minimize water usage linked with energy production.
When we burn fossil fuels for the production of energy, there are three major air pollutants released into the air. These pollutants are Sulfur Dioxide, CO2, and NO2. Sulfur Dioxide is responsible for acid rain; carbon dioxide adds to the global warming and greenhouse effect; while NO2 is responsible for acid rain and smog both. Solar panels and electric cars are two innovations that will help in reducing air pollution. Solar energy is clean, renewable energy; that is a substitute way to generate electricity without polluting the air and the environment.
8. Always Use Recyclable Products:
Buy recyclable products if you have access to them and the ability to choose them. Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle helps in cutting down solid waste generation. When we reuse a product, such as a water bottle, we will reduce the air pollution caused by burning the waste in landfills. Other harmful toxins that landfills emit are reduced as well.
Fabrication with recyclable objects saves hydropower while also reducing air and water pollution.
Four major reasons we should use recycling and recyclable products:
- Recycling saves energy: Producing goods from recyclable plastic reduces energy usage, than producing goods from fresh organic matter. Eg, paper made from recycled paper pulp consumes 40% less energy than paper made from pure wood fibers.
- Low demand for raw materials: When we make use of recycled products, the demand for raw materials decreases. This reduces the misuse of raw materials and energy usage as well.
- Preservation of natural resources: Recycling the paper helps in saving forest areas and trees. Plastic recycling helps in cutting down the production of new plastic, which will hence produce less solid waste.
- Conservation of wildlife: When we recycle, we reduce the demand for raw materials. As a result, less damage is done to nature and wildlife. So it helps in the conservation of wildlife and the ecosystem as well.
9. Quit Smoking:
Smoking is very hazardous to your health and the people around you. It leads to an increase in various disorders and early deaths than air pollution. This is entirely avoidable. Furthermore, medical problems caused by smoking appear at a younger age than chronic illnesses caused by air pollution.
Tobacco farming needs a larger area, water, chemicals, and workers, all of which are precious assets that could be used effectively. Closing tobacco manufacturing units are equal to removing more than 1 crore vehicles from the roads annually.
We can use smoking areas to reduce the effects of air pollution. A smoking area limits the range in which a person can smoke legally. As a result, the smoke’s effects are limited to a small space, aiding in the reduction of air pollution.
10. Educate Your Companions:
Let the people around you know about how they can contribute to clean air initiatives and educate them about all of the different ways. Air pollution education fosters the knowledge and behaviors required to challenge our thinking, beliefs, and judgments about sustainable development. The world has transformed over the last century because of new technology and urbanization. Our wellness is linked to the natural environment around us. Therefore, it is critical to educate people and children about pollution and its effects on the environment.
People need environmental education to gain a stronger perspective on environmental challenges and the ability to provide knowledgeable conclusions.
Responsibilities as an individual :
Reducing air pollution is not the responsibility of an individual. Everyone should be very sensitive because millions of people are dying every year. You can meet people, discuss issues, and share ideas on different ways you can do to reduce air pollution. In today’s complex world, with hazardous chemicals in everything we buy, e-waste filling our landfills, and the exponential increase in gasoline-burning vehicles on the highways, the idea of being able to reduce air pollution is not easy to imagine.
Effects of poor air quality on Humans, Plants, and Animals
This polluted air can be harmful to humans, animals, flora, fauna, and the whole ecosystem. Therefore, we need to reduce air pollution and maintain healthy living conditions. Humans are the main reason behind increasing air pollution day by day. Other natural reasons behind the increasing levels of air pollution include forest fires, or wildfires, shifts in the wind patterns, the sun’s positioning, etc. Human activities influence air pollution concentrations to a great extent, so it becomes our duty to reduce air pollution.
Poor air quality affects humans and the environment. It can hamper-
- Heart and breathing problems in humans.
- Tissue development and cell growth in early growing ages in humans.
- Growth in plants by disturbing the photosynthesis process.
- The skins of animals. Poor air quality can lead to skin cancer.
- The survivability of tree saplings.
- Environmental stresses such as harsh weather.
- Vulnerability of disease in plants.
So, these 10 ways to reduce air pollution should be practiced by everyone to live a healthy and sustainable life.
Also Read: How Air Pollution Affects Your Health