Ever since the beginning of lockdown, air pollution has decreased worldwide. Sites like Dealchecker show that global pollution levels have changed dramatically within the last few months. However, we still have a long way to go. Everyone is responsible for making choices that affect the quality of the air we breathe. Simple tasks like driving to work, mowing your lawn, lighting the fireplace at home, even small things like using aerosol deodorant, add pollution to the air in substantial quantities.
While no one person can fix the world’s air pollution or climate change problems, the choices we make every day still matter. By examining your daily habits and making changes in your home and your daily consumption, you can take actions that will preserve the planet and improve the lives of future generations. Here are tips for making changes that will help reduce your carbon footprint:
Avoid aerosol sprays: Aersolos like deodorant that we use every contribute to smog. The same is true of other substances like paints and solvents. Whenever you can, choose a water-based product, keep containers tightly sealed and always paint with brushers and rollers instead of sprayers. Buy roll-on or stick deodorants and use fragrance sticks instead of sprays to make your home smell better.
Avoid charcoal lighter fluid: If you have a charcoal barbecue or fireplace, use an electric lighter and a combination of modern lighter fluid or newspaper to get the flame going. When it comes to the barbecue, modern gas barbecues produce far fewer emissions than older, charcoal-based models.
Buy energy-efficient appliances: Modern appliances come with energy efficiency ratings. When purchasing a new washing machine or dishwasher, try and buy something with a rating as close to A++ as possible. Also, energy-efficient lightbulbs cause much less pollution than regular lightbulbs.
Adjust your thermostat: If you turn your heating down a couple of degrees in the winter and up a couple of degrees in the summer you will not feel a difference. However, this small change in temperature will produce much less air pollution and will save you money on your energy bill.
On the Road
Drive less: Every motor vehicle on the road creates pollution. Try and find ways to do more while driving less. For example, you can drive with friends to the store and everyone can shop together. Alternatively, you can look for alternative routes to and from work with public transportation. If you do not need to travel far, you can try walking or cycling which produce no pollution at all.
Keep your car well-maintained: Cars produce less pollution when kept in good condition. Even small things like keeping your tyres properly inflated will make a difference to your car’s emissions. Older cars also produce more pollution than modern models so if you have the chance, consider trading an old car in.
Consider buying a low-emission car: Electric and hybrid cars are steadily gaining in popularity. Electricity is cheaper than petrol so the only downside to owning an electric car is finding a charging station. However, charging stations are becoming more common and before long, there will be no downsides to owning an electric vehicle at all.
Do More with Less
Getting rid of air pollution is about taking lots of small actions that add up to a great result. By changing small habits every day you can make a difference in the quality of the air you breathe. Lockdown has shown that our air should be much cleaner so it is time for everyone to play a part and make that dream a reality.