Here at James Waste, if we want to tackle the problem of global warming, it is essential we reduce our air pollution as much as possible. Air pollution is caused by chemicals and fossil fuels being emitted into the air that are harmful to humans, animals and the health of our planet.
There are two types of pollutants that are harming the air in our atmosphere. Firstly, there are primary pollutants. These are produced from cars and the combustion of coal. These gases and released and then pumped into the air, making it very unclean and damaging the atmosphere.
Secondary pollutants are pollutants that mix with the air and cause a chemical reaction which is even more dangerous than primary pollution as it contains chemical factors. Photochemical smog is a good example of a secondary pollutant.
So, what do we do about the pollution in our atmosphere? Well, the best thing for us to do is act! Below, are our top tips to help you reduce your own carbon footprint by reducing air pollution.
Use Public Transport
As relaxing and convenient as driving your own car can be, it has an enormous impact on air pollution. Cars release a lot of toxins that harm our environment. So, either fill your car with other people and carpool so that others don’t have to use their cars as often, or simply ditch your car altogether and start taking public transport. Or, if you are super savvy – ditch transport altogether and walk everywhere! Naturally, it depends where you live and whether you are local enough to work, school, or the shops.
However, if you find there is no getting away from driving as you have a long commute to work, then be sure you are driving smart instead of wasting petrol. We would always suggest, for your own safety and for the health of the environment, that driving within the speed limit is always the best option.
Start a Garden
Gardens are a wonderful way to reduce your carbon footprint and help reduce air pollutants in and around your home. Gardens give air the nutrients that it needs to be cleaner and there are so many plants, such as trees, that help to dispel pollutants in the air. Do your research, and find out the best plants for your garden!
Turn off Lights and Appliances
This is an old tip from my dad, when you’re not using something turn it off. Turning off the lights or other electrical devices can not only save you money on your electricity bill but it also helps you reduce air pollution as the more power you are using, the more energy you are wasting and the more you are polluting the air. So, get smart and save on electricity in your home.
By now you probably know that, here at James Waste, we are mega enthusiastic about recycling. But our enthusiasm for recycling is not the only reason it has made it onto this list, but recycling your waste can drastically reduce pollutants in the air as these products will be re-used instead of being burned, melted down or simply dumped in landfills. Stop being wasteful with products, make the most of everything you buy and get smart with your recycling.
Avoid Plastic Bags
Supermarkets around the country are encouraging us to avoid using as many plastic bags by charging us for them at the till. Plastic bags are incredibly harmful to the environment, damaging wildlife and emitting toxins into the atmosphere. Plastic bags also take years to decompose and, often, they do not compose at all! So, either re-use the plastic bags you have or completely avoid them and remember your reusable material bags when you head to the supermarket to do your weekly shop.
Avoid Hazardous Chemicals
Today, chemicals are everywhere. They are in our cleaning products, in our paint and in our batteries. But you can avoid the harm these chemicals cause by avoiding them completely or, with caution, using them sparingly. The strong smells emitted from chemical products that often give you a headache if you are exposed to them for too long are just as hazardous to the environment and greatly increase air pollution. So, try and avoid them wherever you can.
We all know that smoking is terrible for your health but it is also a well-known air pollutant. The smoke emitted from cigarettes is terrible for you, the people around you and the quality of the air in your home as well.
Organically sourced products are not transported as far for you to purchase and it also means you will be supporting your local economy. Organic products, from farm shops and in certain sections of your local supermarket, are better for your health and the environment. Purchase as many of your food products locally and try to go organic – it’s the best choice for your health and the environment.
Educate Those Around You
One of the most effective ways we can tackle the problem of air pollution is by educating those around us who may not know the true effects of air pollution on the environment. Let the people around you know about how they can reduce air pollution for themselves. Here at James Waste, we know it is important to lead by example. If others see you living a certain way and see how much it is having a positive effect on you, your family and the environment around you they may be encouraged to try it for themselves.
We hope you have found our top tips to reduce air pollution helpful. Let us know some of the ways you are living a greener lifestyle in the comments below, we always love hearing from you!