What can I do about air pollution? If you're asking yourself this question right now, that's just great! Because we are all part of the Environmental problem of air pollution, which also has the climate change accelerated. We blithely blow fine dust, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the air we breathe. Regardless of whether the motivation is environmental protection or our own health - each of us can also be part of the solution to constant, unwanted, daily passive smoking.
In this article, I would therefore like to show you what you can do to combat air pollution in the future. Let's go!
Here is a brief overview of the tips from this article:
- Reduce car trips
- Avoid and separate waste
- Generating green energy and heat
- Save electricity and heat
- Take a vacation in Europe
- Celebrate New Year's Eve without rockets
- Reduce meat consumption
- Quit smoking
- Support petitions
- Avoid air polluted environments
What can I do about air pollution?
In urban areas, the number of people suffering from respiratory diseases is increasing dramatically.₁,₂ Around 520,000 people died prematurely worldwide in 2014 as a result of air pollution. In Germany alone, the man-made environmental problem has cost 80,000 people many years of their lives.₃
Even if this environmental problem is harming us rather insidiously and almost unnoticed, we naturally want solutions! So the question can only be: what can each and every one of us do to combat air pollution? Here are the promised 10 tips and answers.
1. reduce (your) car trips
Let's start with the most obvious. Passenger cars cause 60.7 percent of all CO2 emissions from road traffic in Europe.₄ Everyone who drives a car regularly inevitably contributes to this figure. The combustion engines in our cars constantly blow nitrogen oxides into the air. If you want to minimize your personal air pollution, learn to switch to more environmentally friendly alternatives, such as the Railroad or the Bike, to switch.
And if a car journey cannot be avoided, then there are ways and means, to drive sustainably by car. For example, by creating a Carpool with work colleagues and thus also reduce other people's car journeys. But also by reducing the weight in your car or turning off your car when it is not in use. A sensible alternative is also to switch to the Electric carthat is already environmentally friendly today, from production to disposal - and is becoming even more environmentally friendly as the electricity mix from renewable energies increases.₅
Also look at you with pleasure times this article on car free living an.
Worth knowing! Incidentally, the Microplastics-particles from the tire abrasion of cars by definition as particulate matter!
2. produce less waste and separate it properly
Around 40 percent of all global waste is incinerated in waste incineration plants or open fires.₆ This means that, among other things Fine dust, Mercury and Harmful hydrocarbons released.₆ The reduction of your personal waste volume and the proper waste separation, therefore, logically contribute to reducing air pollution, as fewer pollutants are released into the air.
Read the article about the Zero Waste Lifestyle inspire. If you like, you can also download for free my Download Zero Waste E-Book "All Arguments Against Zero Waste.
One more thing! At the same time, the amount of recyclable material increases - while soil pollution caused by heavy metals is reduced. A valuable tip for a fundamentally sustainable life!
3. generate energy and heat sustainably
Around 85 percent of Germany's greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to the conversion of energy sources, e.g. into electricity and heat.₇ Nuclear energy, lignite-fired power plants - far too emission-intensive. Fuels such as natural gas, on the other hand, are lower in emissions. But more sustainable is definitely Power generation through renewable energies and the Heat generation with geothermal energy.
Switching to a green electricity provider and converting your home heating system to geothermal energy is definitely worthwhile.
4. save electricity and heat
But what good is environmentally friendly electricity and heat generation if we waste far too much of it? That's why another important tip in the fight against air pollution is to consciously save electricity and heat. For example, you can already minimize your electricity consumption by using warm Cool meals outside the fridge, not in it can. And you can save heat energy by investing in a stronger Thermal insulation of your house.
For this you are welcome to look at my best tips for saving energy on if you could use some more inspiration.
5. go on vacation in Europe
A flight to Tenerife on vacation has a similar impact on the global climate as a whole year of driving.₈ But it's not just the Greenhouse gas emissions at high altitudes, but also the Noise emissions are a problem. What can each of us do about it now? Fly less. What's the alternative? Not least the Corona pandemic has taught usthat you can also enjoy a wonderful vacation in Germany and other European countries. Without an airplane - at the same time this sustainable behavior also saves you money for the expensive flight tickets.
Sometimes there is no other way, of course. Appropriate to this I have you the article Fly as sustainably as possible written. The article about the Zero Waste Journey will help you to reduce your personal contribution to air pollution. Take a look!
Worth knowing! Cruise ships emit exhaust gases such as particulate matter, soot, nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. In fact, shipping is the main cause of air pollution in Europe.₉ So of course you should also avoid cruises if you want to do something about the environmental problem.
6. celebrate New Year's Eve without rockets and firecrackers
The Fine dust pollution in Germany is higher at the first second of the new year than at any other time of the year. However, rockets and firecrackers not only blow noisy pollutants into the air, they also end up as Waste in nature. So you could hardly do more harm to the environment.
If you want to do something about air pollution, then you should visit the next Turn of the year rather consciously sustainable.
7. reduce your meat consumption
With a share of around 45 percent, agriculture, particularly the Factory farming₁₀ Around 15 percent of all greenhouse gases caused by humans worldwide are attributable to livestock farming. That is as much as is produced by all ships, airplanes, trucks and cars combined.₁₁₁
Alongside animal ethics, this is one of the main reasons, why i live vegan - so simply completely abstain from animal-based foods and consumer goods. Perhaps you think it would be difficult for you to stop eating meat and other animal products such as eggs or cow's milk in the future. Then here are some articles that will make your decision much easier:
- Do not drink cow's milk - Why?
- Give up eggs - Why?
- Become a vegetarian -How it works
- Start into vegan life
Tip: At first I was a vegetarian for environmental reasons. Since I started the Dominion film (documentary about factory farming), I am, however Vegans for the animals. I have seen and internalized the suffering of animals. It doesn't fit in with my moral values. And that's why it's been extremely easy for me to give up animal products ever since.
8. stop smoking
Air pollution in cities is said to cost 3 years of life. Smoking adds a little more than 2 years to this.₁₂ Smokers also cause increased particulate pollution in their surroundings - and not only put a strain on their own health, but alsobut also those of their friends, family members and colleagues, all of whom are passive smokers. Is it worth it?
If you're going to smoke, then at least smoke alone - and outside on the balcony. For health and environmental reasons, however, you should definitely stop smoking. In the linked article you will get crucial tips that will help you.
Tip: At Cigarette butts harm the environment you can find out once again in detail why quitting smoking is also worthwhile from an ecological point of view.
9. start and support online petitions
You want to do something against air pollution? Then you can also Start or support online petitionsthat are dedicated to a specific grievance. For example, start or share a digital signature campaign for Speed limits, Driving bans or a car-free city. If you can persuade other people to join, you can make a big difference and increase the pressure on politicians.
10. avoid air polluted environments
You now know how you can minimize air pollution. But what can you actually do? to avoid constantly breathing in polluted air? I was inspired by the video embedded above, which I would like to recommend to you. You can take the following tips to heart, for example, to avoid higher levels of pollutants in the air:
- Use side roads (especially if you are traveling with children).
- Avoid rush hour for your own activities (e.g. when you go jogging)
- Spend more time in green parks (in urban areas)
- Walking on the sidewalk outside
Can you think of other tips to minimize or avoid air pollution? Then write me as always happy to a comment under this post.
We can all actively do something about air pollution
Driving less, flying less, eating less meat - that sounds a lot like giving up. But don't worry - all of these things can also be replaced in a more sustainable way. I hope that this article has given you plenty of tips on how to reduce your personal contribution to air pollution. Feel free to share this post with people who should also know these tips.
Do you have any questions or can you think of any other ideas for cleaner air? Then just write me a comment.
₁,₂ Welt der Wunder: Air pollution, YouTube, 18.12.2014, Web, 28.10.2020 at 10:32 a.m., in: http://y2u.be/L262S3uvcVs.
₃ German Medical Association; aerzteblatt.de: More than 80,000 deaths from air pollution in Germany (as of 12.10.2017), available at https://t1p.de/ee51. [28.10.2020].
₄ European Parliament: CO2 emissions from cars - facts and figures (as at 18.04.2019), available at https://t1p.de/4c1j. [28.10.2020].
₅ European Parliament: Why is the Parliament calling for new sources of EU revenue? (as of 24.09.2020), available at https://t1p.de/ku3h. [28.10.2020].
₆ MMCD NEW MEDIA GmbH: Waste fires pollute the air - worldwide (as at: 17.08.2014), available at https://t1p.de/krgo. [28.10.2020].
₇ Federal Environment Agency: Energy-related emissions (as at: 11.03.2020), available at https://t1p.de/kuar. [28.10.2020].
₈ NABU Deutschland e.V.: Tax on aviation fuel urgently needed, available at: https://t1p.de/z6mo. [28.10.2020].
₉ NABU Deutschland e.V.: Air pollution from ships, available at https://t1p.de/nhzc. [28.10.2020].
₁₀ German Medical Association; aerzteblatt.de: Mass animal husbandry main cause of particulate matter (as at: 17.01.2019), available at https://t1p.de/7o7p. [28.10.2020].
₁₁ Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): livestock's long shadow environmental issues and options, available at https://t1p.de/2044. [28.10.2020].
₁₂ DER SPIEGEL GmbH & Co. KG: Air pollution in cities costs three years of life (as of 04.03.2020), available at https://t1p.de/zkno. [28.10.2020].