Among many social problems humankind faces, pollution has always been the center of attention. Scientists and researchers have been devoting their time and energy to identifying the causes of pollution and its catastrophic repercussions. On a global political level, world leaders have been vowing to limit pollution by adopting effective policies in their respective countries.
But why is it that it still cannot be contained? Why do we always hear that it is increasing day by day?
Pollution is defined as contamination of the environment by adding any substance or energy. Unfortunately, we are not letting the environment heal itself as the contamination is much faster than the environment's ability to disperse the harmful substance. And this is why pollution has been increasing despite the efforts made by world leaders or scientists.
Pollution has been known to affect third-world countries the most and is a major cause of premature deaths since its treatment is very expensive. It is also one of the largest contributors to climate change, especially global warming, affecting biodiversity.
As an alternative to depending on authorities to plan and eradicate pollution, people need to realize how they contribute towards the daily deteriorating quality of life. We have listed some effective ways you can reduce pollution starting at home.
Energy sources that use fossil fuels are the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Opting for renewable energy has environmental as well as economic benefits. One of the popular solutions is installing renewable sources of energy like solar panels. According to Berkley's study, they cut carbon emissions by more than 80%. People in developed countries are now opting to build houses with integrated solar panels. Check out Solar Panels Wellington for more details of how this works.
Reduce Electricity Consumption
We understand that shifting to renewable energy can be expensive. But there are many other ways you can still help the environment. Reducing electricity consumption can reduce air pollution and conserve natural resources, creating a healthier living environment for people everywhere. Here are some of the ways you can reduce your electric consumption at home:
- You can switch off lights and appliances that are not in use.
- Avoid buying power-hungry appliances. Study the energy rating labels on appliances. More stars on the label mean the appliance is energy efficient.
- Opt for a fan instead of air conditioning—open windows for better ventilation.
- Rather than adjusting the thermostat according to the weather, it would help if you opted for dressing accordingly. Wear more layers when it's cold instead of increasing the room temperature. Similarly, wear lighter clothing instead of cooling the room.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reducing waste at home can help the environment. According to Environmental Protection Agency, each person produces an average of 4.4lbs of garbage daily. Reducing this waste means that almost 230 million tons of municipal waste are sent off to landfills, which causes air and water pollution. You have the power to limit this!
You can be creative and reuse and recycle wasted products again. You can brighten up your garden by using plastic bottles as bird feeders or plant holders. You can glam up old furniture and use it again. Be artistic, save the planet!
Use Filters For Chimneys
Using a good quality filter can stop hazardous, minute particles from escaping in the air and polluting the environment. These filters also prevent greasy molecules from accumulating around the chimneys' walls, affecting their performance.
Scientifically, plants reduce carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases from the air through photosynthesis. Similarly, plantation and vegetation lower the soil and air temperature. Evapotranspiration can cause a 1-5 °Celsius drop in the surroundings. Deforestation is the biggest cause of global warming. By planting more trees, you can reduce global warming and help the environment.
Opt For Healthier Alternatives
Various countries have placed a ban on cars that release high emissions. Instead, they've subsidized hybrid and electronic cars to control the level of pollution. Furthermore, some countries have also reworked their infrastructure, adding a lane for hybrid cars to charge moving.
Avoid using your car as much as possible as the car's exhaust releases toxic substances in the air, increasing the content of greenhouse gases in the environment. You can plan all your errands together and manage them all in one trip. You can also opt for public transport or carpool with someone who goes to the same area as you. If you want to help the environment and boost your health, use a bicycle!
Plastic is the biggest enemy of the environment. Plastic bottles that may seem extremely handy take 450 years to decompose, whereas plastic bags take over 1000 years to biodegrade. This prolonged decomposition time means that the plastic bottles and bags we have used or will use in the future will outlive us and will create havoc for generations to come.
VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds are emitted as gases from certain solids and liquids that have the potential to pollute the air and cause severe health issues. These are common household items like paints, cleaners, disinfectants, moth repellents, air fresheners, etc. Using air purifiers at home or switching to items with lesser VOCs can improve the Air Quality Index at home and the surroundings.
Consume Organic Food
Purchasing and eating organic food can give the environment time to recover. Fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides release toxins into the air. Food that is grown organically does not employ such measures. Similarly, avoid purchasing foods and items packed in plastic or tins. They contribute to more household waste. You can also help the environment by supporting local eateries and restaurants that use organic food items.
Pollution has hazardous effects on the environment as well as our health. Factories are still the largest contributor to pollution, but silently every individual is contributing too. By making a few changes in our homes, we can help the environment and protect it against harmful substances and toxins for ourselves and our future generations.