The environment will continue to deteriorate
until pollution practices are abandoned.
~ B. F. Skinner
In my last two posts, I have discussed the causes of air pollution and how it affects human health. The discussion is general and easy to understand. I feel we must try first to understand the basics of the causes and effects of air pollution before going deep or the complex part of it. I haven’t discussed the complicated chemical reactions taking place in the atmosphere due to the presence of innumerable foreign particles. The very basic composition of air is easy to understand and we know that it is composed of oxygen, nitrogen, moisture which are not harmful. But the other gases which are emitted to air due to natural calamities and human activities are raising concerns. It is said that more than 3500 unwanted particles are floating in the air to degrade its quality! These particles react with each other to produce new harmful particles- to understand it simply. There are photochemical smog, ozone molecules and other organic compounds which are forming due to chemical reactions daily to harm us. With air pollutants being such a widespread epidemic, it’s imperative that we come together as Earth’s inhabitants to become part of the solution too instead of discussing the problem only.
One solution among many is to raise awareness through public campaigns, education, through social media etc. Awareness creation is the number one factor to consider because it will make people realize and understand the sources and effects of air pollution. To educate people about the sources of air pollution and its harmful effects make the solution half done because then the citizens will take personal or collective initiatives to reduce air pollution.
What can we do to reduce air pollution?
- Conserve energy- Remember to switch off lights, fans when not in use.
- Use the lights which consume less energy like LED bulbs or fluorescent light.
- Use of less electricity will require thermal power plants to work less or less fossil fuel will be consumed to produce electricity. Hence, less pollution. THINK.
- Limit driving by carpooling, biking/cycling, walking or avail public transportation.
- If you are obsessed with your own car then limit the number of trips you take in a day. Try to finish all your work in one go.
- Students must be encouraged to avail public transport to reach to college. Or if they stay nearby then they must use their bicycles to reach to the destination.
- All the educational Institutions must see that their students understand the importance of a clean environment and take part in awareness programs.
- Keep your vehicles well maintained or tuned. Get the emission tests done periodically. There must be strict laws to monitor the quality of automobile exhaust.
- To reduce air pollution, the control over the number of vehicles running on roads every day is very important. The lawmakers must put thoughts in this direction to reduce air pollution.
- Switching over to hybrid cars, the electric vehicle is a good idea. Even use of solar energy to drive vehicles must be encouraged.
- Move away from fossil fuels- encourage and advocate the use of cleaner energy like solar, wind and geothermal.
- Plant trees as much as possible. Conduct programs to plant trees- utilise the environmental day, earth day, water days etc.
- Run your dishwashers and washing machines when they are fully loaded.
- Avoid spilling gasoline or any other liquid fuels while filling them in your vehicles.
- Use the sprays and paints which are free of harmful chemicals, see the label of “low VOC” before buying them.
- Create awareness to check population growth too. Our need can be checked with a reduced population.
- Make small groups with the people who are interested in green activities. Conduct community programs to spread awareness among adults to small children.
- The mining activities must be controlled with stringent laws. Also, the demand for metals and metallic items can be reduced with proper advocation.
- Practice- Reduce, recycle and reuse. Take the pledge of “simple living”, use fewer items, switch over to “zero-waste” policy.
- There is no limit to man’s need and greed. Once the need and greed are controlled, pollution too can be controlled.
While you read all these solutions, try to relate to any one you did recently. Just try to remember when you took part in any campaign or program of environmental awareness/ protecting environment. Also, please post comments with your ideas of pollution solution.