5 ways to #BeatAirPollution this World Environment Day

This year’s World Environment Day, hosted by the UN on the 5th June, focusses in on toxic air pollution.

Air pollution damages the population daily, and with the facts available, we can’t pretend it isn’t happening. What we also can’t deny, is that humans are the root cause of the air pollution responsible for 4.2 million deaths a year.

air pollution 1

With an astonishing 91% of the population living in areas which exceed WHO’s guideline limits, it’s time to act.

Here are 5 things you can do to reduce air pollution:

 

Switch to sustainable travel

We’d love to see everyone #CleanUpTheirCommute by switching to sustainable travel. By filling one of the 34 million empty seats available on the commute, you could cut your carbon footprint by 10%. Or, while the suns shining, why not burn some extra calories and walk or cycle to where you need to be?

 

Turn off the car engine when stationary

Engine idling is a finable offence under Rule 123 of the highway code as it pushes air polluting exhaust fumes into the atmosphere around us.

Turning your engine off when stationary (except, for example, at traffic lights) is a quick and easy way to reduce your negative impact on the environment. The RAC offers tips on engine idling and dispels myths of stop-starting, here.

 

Switch to EVs

If having your own vehicle is essential to your lifestyle, or you need to travel in a taxi – why not make the switch to an electric vehicle. Pure electric cars have no exhaust and no tail pipe emissions. Even plug-in hybrids have ‘significantly lower emissions’ than regular petrol or diesel vehicles. The added benefit to you is EVs are cheaper to maintain and run too. A win-win!

 

Reduce your carbon foodprint

You read us correctly, you can reduce your carbon footprint by reducing your foodprint.

5 billion tonnes of CO2 is produced by crop and livestock production. It’s been suggested by Green Eatz that the production and consumption of 1 kg of lamb is the equivalent of driving from Cambridge to Reading – or 91 miles. 1kg of lentils? Just 2 miles!

If you often overbuy food, why not try out the Olio app and share your unwanted food with your neighbours?

air and methane

 

Think about your electrical use

A no-brainer which most of us had drummed into us from an early age – “Switch the lights off!”.

The Energy Savings Trust has estimated that households waste up to £86 a year on electronics left on standby mode or not in use. Not only does leaving lights and electronics on push up your energy bill, it also has a direct effect on pollution.

Think of it scientifically: to create electricity, fossil fuels must be burned for energy. The more of we use, the more we burn, the more we pollute.

You can’t save the planet alone, but if everyone makes a small change, we can make a huge impact together.

Find out other ways to #BeatAirPollution.

Laura Watling

Author Laura Watling

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