Written by: Phindile Le Bris Sithole-Spong
As a bit of a nerd about all things health-related, I was seriously surprised when I opened my weather app one day and saw a warning that the air quality was poor. Living in France, the second biggest city near the ocean and nature, I always imagined and assumed that all these things meant that my health and those around me were in good hands. But alas, that is not the case. The reality is that climate change is real and affects us all in one way or the other. No matter where we live, how much money we have or how “developed” the country we live in is. Air quality is usually something that many of us worry about when the topic of climate change is discussed. Various searches across the internet define air pollution as the prevalence of particles in the air that are not good for human respiratory and overall health. This is caused by burning fossil fuels, industrial emissions, wildfires, openly burning garbage, construction and demolition, to name a few. And while alone, these might not cause significant air quality issues, put together, and done constantly, poor air quality problems start to arise.
So what exactly can we do about this:
While some of the major issues can only be resolved at a governmental and industrial level, ensuring that we have a clean and breathable planet is in all our best interests. This is why I have compiled two lists of how to improve air quality in your city and your home.
Three ways to improve air quality in your city:
- One of the easiest ways to improve air quality in your city or any city you visit is by using public transportation or bicycles to get around. If either of these is not possible, then carpool with colleagues and friends to and from work and other locations.
- Another great way to improve air quality in your city is by buying local products and produce. This is because of the energy and fuel used to transport products and the food we eat. So instead of buying fruit and vegetables from the other side of the world, look for products grown in your region or country.
- Adopt gardening where ever and whenever you can. As we all know, plants are a great natural air cleanser. This is why having plants is a good way to improve air quality in your city.
Three ways to improve air quality at home:
- In the same way, planting more greens on your balcony or in your garden is a great way to improve air quality, and so is having plants in your home. These help to detoxify and clean your house for better air quality.
- Another step toward better air quality in the home is through regular and thorough cleaning of your home especially places like carpets and couches that tend to hold a lot of dust. I have invested in a robot vacuum cleaner I use daily throughout the house. Not only does it have strong suction to help keep my carpets clean, but I am always surprised by how much dust is in the vacuum dust bag after each cycle. If a robot is not for you, then a simple vacuum cleaner or a good shake outside will do.
- Lastly, a great way to improve air quality in the home is through the use of cooking vents. These not only catch any splatter and food thrown around when cooking, but they also surprisingly help with the overall air quality in the home.
So whether you are a health junkie like me looking to make your home and city more breathable, or someone with respiratory issues, I hope this article gives you some ideas of how you can do your part to improve air quality indoors and outdoors.