The last few decades have seen an unprecedented explosion in industry, as well as in technology. These two factors have led to a huge increase in the amount of resources we’re consuming, when it comes to fossil fuels and also when it comes to trees. Trees play an important role in our ability to live on this planet, with important filtering qualities when it comes to oxygen and carbon dioxide.
As a consequence, air pollution is more of a problem than ever; and it’s not confined to a single country. There are dozens of ways you could be exposed to air pollution throughout the course of your standard, daily life. If you live in a built-up, metropolitan environment, it’s even harder to avoid.
Air pollution has a significant part to play with regards to your overall health. There are ways you can reduce your exposure to air pollution, however, which can have a huge benefit in the long-run on your respiratory system. Read on to discover our top three.
This point is probably the first step a lot of us took when we began to work on reducing our exposure to air pollution. The thing to realize is that some perfectly normal-looking outside areas can actually harbor a lot of potentially harmful chemicals.
If you run outside, for example, it might be an idea to reconsider your route. Any street with cars on it is going to be full of polluted air, so if you could substitute any roads like that for green areas like parks or rivers, you’ll be able to significantly cut back on the overall amount of air pollution you’re exposed to. Similarly, if you live next to a large manufacturing site or a busy highway, trying to stay inside during busy periods can be a good idea to keep in mind.
Even though technology’s harmful effects on our air got a head-start, technology being developed to combat those issues is beginning to catch up. One instance of this happening is the concept of portable air purifiers, which work to strip the most dangerous chemicals out of the air and as such reduce the risk of any negative impacts on your health.
Studies have shown that air purification methods, like portable air purifiers, can have a positive effect on stress hormones. So air purifiers don’t only work to clean the air, they actually have a concrete impact on the levels of stress experienced by the people who are using them. There really isn’t a good reason not to use an air purifier, especially as they’ve become relatively inexpensive. It’s a low-maintenance way of consistently contributing to purer air in your workplace or home.
Making sure that your own air pollution footprint is as small as possible is the final of our three favorite methods for reducing exposure to air pollution. There are a number of ways to do this; among the most commonly cited are using a bicycle instead of a car, taking public transport whenever possible, and reducing the time you spend on airplanes to an absolute minimum. While these are all great tips, there are other things you can do to further improve your air pollution footprint that can take place in your own home.
One of the best examples of domestic changes you can make is reducing how much you wash your clothes. More than half of the total environmental effects a product has is accounted for by the washing and drying of that product. There have been some textiles developed in order to require less washing; Polygiene, for example, is a finish for products that promises clothing which doesn’t need to be washed as often as regular garments. Available in a number of different categories, this can be an excellent way to reduce your environmental footprint in your own house and goes a long way towards minimizing your exposure to air pollution.
While these three ways don’t on their own constitute a complete list of things you can do to reduce your exposure, they’re among the best ways to get started on the process. What makes them especially beneficial is the fact that even though they’re very easy to get started on—you don’t even need to leave your house for two of them—they’ve also all been shown to have a significant environmental impact: for the better, of course.
If you’ve got a tip for reducing air pollution exposure we didn’t cover, why not let us know what it is in the comments? We’re always looking for new ways to improve our list.
In collaboration with Good Air Geeks, www.goodairgeeks.com