A healthy atmosphere is key to a healthy life. Air pollution is a menace that is predominant in cities although appears in rural areas as well. It is the release of harmful gases into the atmosphere. When we do not take care of our atmosphere, the air we breathe become contaminated with toxic pollutants while may have adverse effects on our bodies and our ecosystem. There are several ways we can curb air pollution and these mostly depends on our geographical location and the cultural practices in those areas. Check out our carefully curated list that points out seven easy and simple ways to reduce air pollution:
- Renewable energy: You can switch to smokeless energy sources like solar electricity. Many people in Nigeria currently use petrol or diesel generators, which contributes to the carbon released into the atmosphere. Solar electricity may be expensive at first, but eventually caters for its initial investment. Solar electricity is also noiseless, more efficient and requires lesser maintenance. Yet, its most important quality is that it is environmentally friendly and does not contribute to air pollution.
- Trees can help filter out air pollution because they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and replace it with oxygen. This not only cut down on the amount of carbon in the air, it increase the fresh supply of oxygen. Planting more trees could increase the clean-out effect that trees have on atmospheric carbon dioxide. Plant trees and encourage others to do the same.
- Using chemical pesticides or fertilizers in farms can contribute to air pollution. Subsistence farming remains a dominant means of livelihood for many Nigerians in the rural areas. These smallholder farmers use pesticides and inorganic fertilizers to improve crop yield. Many fertilizers are a source of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. As a small scale farmer, you can use organic fertilizers such as compost, seaweed extracts, cow dung, or decomposing green manure. These examples ensure that the air around our farms and environs is clean. Clean air will ensure you fall sick less often and give us better agricultural yield.
- Many people still burn their waste and refuse. In rural areas, even in some city parts, the disposal by burning method has not stopped. Outdoor burning evidently pollutes the air and may be injurious to passers-by as well as people who live in that community. The smoke from outdoor burning can cause respiratory irritation for people especially those allergic to it. A safe way to manage our waste and refuse is to firstly reduce as much as possible the domestic waste we generate, then also try to make sure we patronize the waste disposal agents in our communities. This also allows for a business chain around recycling and reuse. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
- Keep your vehicle well maintained. A poorly maintained engine both creates more air pollution and uses more fuel. Replace oil and air filters regularly, and keep your tires properly inflated.
- 6. Try to stop smoking: Despite several campaigns against smoking, it has become a mainstay in many societies that fighting it is just futile. Unfortunately, there is a growing adoption of the smoking trend among young people in Nigeria. Smoking not only affects our well-being, it affects the health of others too. Smoking has been reported to cause cancer and respiratory diseases. Pollutants are usually released into the air during smoking which many (especially non-smokers) find offensive.
- Educate People Around You: You cannot do it alone, therefore it is important to talk to people around you on ways they can reduce carbon emissions in their daily activities. When more people become aware of the dangers of polluted air and how they can perform simple measures to reduce the pollutants in the air, we would enjoy cleaner air.
- Drive less. Walking, bicycling, taking public transportation, or working from home can save you money as well as reducing air pollution.
- Don’t idle your vehicle. If you stop for more than 30 seconds, except in traffic, turn off your engine.
These tips will help you reduce air pollution in your daily activities. Air pollution can cause pneumonia, headaches, and asthma. They can also lead to lung disease, brain damage and heart disease. Contribute to the reduction of air pollution and reduce the amount of harmful gases you let into the atmosphere. Be part of the solution not part of the pollution.
Learn more on air pollution and how you can reduce the release of harmful gases into the atmosphere. Clean air is important to having a clean health. Enjoin others to take the environment sustainability more seriously and also do more to ensure our atmosphere is less clogged with avoidable pollutants because our survival depends on it.