Nine in every 10 people in the world breathe air that violates World Health Organization guidelines. Inhaling polluted air can cause multiple health problems including respiratory conditions, lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. While you can’t change the state of the air you breathe every day, you can change your reaction to it with some easy but effective life hacks.
There are multiple and simple ways that can be used in everyday life to help prevent air pollution and improve air quality. Every time we use our air conditioners, drive to work or school, use coal to heat our homes, style our hair or even apply deodorants to smell fresh, we undertake activities and make choices that can increase air pollution.
Taking actions aimed at maintaining the air quality in our homes, workplaces, cars, and the environment, in general, can be important for our health and can considerably help reduce air pollution. Many ways can be used to improve the air quality in our environments and as such, prevent air pollution.
Clean your air
Ventilate your kitchen, bathroom
To avoid indoor air pollution, make sure there is a chimney in the kitchen and an exhaust in the bathroom. Smoke, harmful bacteria and mold tend to gather in bathrooms and kitchens, making these spaces breeding grounds for toxins. So you need to ensure that these rooms have proper ventilation and that the air is recirculated. Not many know that indoor pollution can be worse than outdoor pollution.
Use an air purifier
It’s well recognized now that indoor air can also be quite dirty and long-term exposure to such air can make you more susceptible to heart disease, respiratory problems, lowered immunity and even cancer. In any case if the air outside is bad, shutting yourself indoors doesn’t go far enough in keeping the air inside clean. The best thing you can do for yourself and your family’s long-term health is to invest in a good quality air purifier. You can find some good impartial advice on air purifiers over at Freshaire Guide.
Some plants such as Ivy, Dracaenas, Aloe Vera, Areca palms and Spider Plant are known to purify the indoor air and decrease air pollution. It helps to have them in homes and offices. While buying plants is a cost-effective way to control indoors pollution, make sure that the plants themselves are not toxic when consumed. Pets have been known to snack on plants around the home, which can be life threatening.
Clean your car air
While starting your car in the morning, roll down the window and let the air circulate. Then run the car AC in its indoor circulation mode. This reduces the PM 2.5 levels inside the vehicle.
Quitting smoking not only reduces air pollution and improves indoor air quality, but it also provides the best answer for overall health.
Smoking has been linked to lung diseases and lung cancer; increased risk of stroke and heart attack; cancer of the mouth, larynx, nasal sinus and tongue; and premature wrinkling of the skin among several other illnesses. Besides being bad for you, cigarette smoke has several adverse effects on your families health if they are inhaling the smoke passively.
Drive less, walk more or ride a bike whenever possible
This one is easier said than done, but if you can switch from driving into work to going by bus it can make a difference. Or walk your kids to school instead of giving them a lift. The use of cars and motorbikes highly contributes to air pollution by emitting noxious gasses into the atmosphere. Biking or walking to work or school especially if the work or school area is within a short distance is very advisable. Besides, it gives you a chance to improve your physical health and vitality.
Believe it or not, pollution can be four to five times higher inside you car than outside, so being in your car isn’t actually stopping the harmful pollutants reaching you.
Car pool with your colleagues or friends.
Pooling is yet another option to reduce air pollution but will also help to build relationships with them.
When buying a new car, choose one that is lowest-polluting and most efficient or even a zero-emission electric car.
More efficient cars produce less toxic emissions, and it’s even better to opt for zero-emission electric cars since they don’t pollute the air at all.
Regularly maintain your car and ensure the tires are always correctly inflated.
Well maintained vehicles emit fewer emissions and soot which translate to a lesser impact on the environment. Also, cars that have well-inflated tires tend to economize fuel thereby cutting back air pollution.
Use apps to avoid high pollution routes.
Staying informed about the air quality will help you make important decisions about protecting yourself from pollution. There are some cool free apps which provide you with round-the-clock and useful information about the pollution levels and air quality in the city you live in. Plume, Air Visual and AirNow are among the most popular free apps that give you the air quality rating in real time.
Plume Air Report tells you the pollution rates in real time, and when it is best to do certain activities. One of the best features of this app is the you can actually see how the pollution is going to evolve next.
CityAir tells you when the pollution level is high and is able to give you tailored advice to reduce both your emissions and your exposure to pollution.
CleanSpace Air Pollution app shows you pollution in the air, both inside and outside. It also shows you the impact of your clean travel choices. The unique thing about this app is that it allows you to see the levels of pollution inside, which is not always easy to find out.
A healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and healthy fats may offer protection against some harmful effects of air pollution.
Try going veggie for more of your meals.
It’s easy to forget just how many chemicals go into the food we eat, from restaurants to processed groceries, we consume a lot of unnatural pollutants. Going veggie for just a few meals a week can make such a big difference.
Meat can often contain different products to preserve it, and make it more appealing to consumers, which are harmful to your body. Also, the meat will have whatever pollutants that the animal was exposed to, particularly pesticides from their food.
Opt for organic food
While there has been debate about how good organic food actually is for you, by law to call something organic it has to follow specific limits regards pesticides and treatments. That means organic food will have fewer pollutants than other food.
Diet rich in vitamin C, omega fatty acids
Consume fruits rich in Vitamin C, Magnesium and foods rich in Omega Fatty Acids. A healthy diet will help you beat the ill effects of pollution by keeping your immunity up.
Have herbal ginger and tulsi tea. Having this healthy concoction once or twice a day is extremely healthy for minimizing pollution effects!
Jaggery to detoxify
Eat jaggery (aka gudd) to flush out pollutants from your lungs. You can simply have it raw or replace it with sugar in your daily preparations.
Use non-toxic or natural cleaning products
Adopt organic and naturally scented products instead of deodorants and artificial air fresheners can substantially reduce air pollution.
Use non-toxic or natural cleaning products. Most cleaning products contain harsh chemicals, which release toxic pollutants into your home.
To avoid toxins, you can create you own cleaning products using vinegar, lemon, baking soda etc. You can also start buying all natural and organic cleaning products. For example, using a natural loofah instead of your usual sponge. CHEM Trust, a UK charity that works to prevent pollution causing excessive damage to humans and wildlife, have a guide of toxins you should avoid, such as triclosan and parabens.
Be smart about exercise
While walking, jogging and other forms of exercise are vital to build stronger immunity and strengthen you cardiovascular system, you don’t want to breathe polluted air while taking a walk in the park. So avoid blocks that have a busy traffic flow. Instead head to a park which is away from the vehicular congestion. An indoor gym is also something you can consider on days the air is bad.
Up your anti-oxidant intake
Pollution means our exposure to toxins and free radicals are high and these can be ageing to skin, thanks to the oxidative stress this causes to the body. You can help this process by introducing more antioxidants into your diet.
Antioxidants react with free radicals and toxins to help stop the chain of damage in the body. Organic crops are 60 per cent higher in antioxidants, so going organic will help. But you can also look to eat more purple, red, yellow and orange fruit and veg, which tend to be high in antioxidants. Drinking green tea is also a good idea.
Try : Immun’Âge® , a potent powder containing high antioxidant levels from papaya.