Air pollution is an increasing threat to our wellbeing, especially in cities. However, there are things we can all do to limit the amount of pollution we produce and to minimise our carbon footprint. If you’re looking for ways to protect the environment from pollution then there are lots of different things you can try, including our 10 ways to reduce pollution.
What is air pollution?
If you want to prevent air pollution then it’s important to be clear before you start on what it actually is. Air pollution is generally defined as the presence in the atmosphere of substances which have harmful - or even potentially poisonous - to health.
What causes air pollution?
Air pollution can be caused by the following:
- Factories and industrial outputs.
- Transport emissions – buses, cars, trucks, planes etc.
- Individual smoking – this also includes vaping and shisha pipes.
- Agricultural activities – farming can release ammonia from insecticides, pesticides and fertilisers.
- Mining operations – when minerals are extracted from the earth dust and chemicals are released into the air.
- Domestic pollutions – due to paints, cleaning products, building resources and similar.
What are the effects of air pollution?
Air pollution can have impacts both on our environment and on our health.
The two main health impacts of air pollution are respiratory disorders and heart diseases. In fact, the World Health Organisation claims an estimated 4.2 million deaths occurring prematurely each year are linked to air pollution via conditions such as heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and respiratory infections.
Climate change can be impacted by air pollution as carbon dioxide is a common output of pollutants. This pollution can also lead to an unpleasant atmospheric effect known as acid rain where the pH of rainwater is turned acidic by the pollutants. The combination of these factors can then have a negative impact on wildlife.
How to protect the environment from pollution: 10 straight-forward things you can do
Once you know the effects, you’ll be much more motivated to find out how to save our environment from pollution. Try these 10 steps to get started:
- Don’t smoke indoors or quit altogether if you can.
- Keep lots of plants around the house, particularly those know for cleaning the air.
- Monitor pollutants in your own home and tackle them with an air filter.
- Avoid using lots of harsh chemicals when cleaning.
- Walk or use public transport instead of driving.
- Use a suction fan to remove cooking fumes from your kitchen.
- Avoid paving over your garden – keep things green as much as possible.
- Make yourself an idyllic rooftop garden if you’re short of space to grow your plants.
- Eat locally-sourced food to prevent your meals travelling miles to get to you.
- If you’re sensitive to pollutants, wear a mask when travelling through polluted areas.
Now you know how to save the environment from pollution you can start making these differences in your own life. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do everything at once. It’s about taking small sustainable steps to help you do your bit to keep the air cleaner for everyone.
To reduce how much air pollution you’re contributing:
- Eat locally produced food that's in season to reduce the distance your food has to travel.
- Walk, cycle or use public transport wherever possible.
- Fill your house with plants and grow as much greenery as you can in your garden.