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Minimize air pollution - What to do about it?

Minimize air pollution - 10 things everyone can do about it

What can I do about air pollution? If you are asking yourself this question right now, that's just great! Because we are all together part of the Environmental problem of air pollution, which also has the climate change accelerated. We blithely blow particulate matter, sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides into the air we breathe. Whether the motivation is environmental protection or our own health, each of us can also be a part of the solution to constant, unwanted, daily secondhand smoke.

In this article, I would like to show you what you can do against air pollution in the future. Let's go!

Here is a brief overview of the tips from this article:

  1. Reduce car trips
  2. Avoid and separate waste
  3. Generate green energy and heat
  4. Save electricity and heat
  5. Take a vacation in Europe
  6. Celebrate New Year's Eve without rockets
  7. Reduce meat consumption
  8. Stop smoking
  9. Support petitions
  10. Avoid air polluted environments

What can I do about air pollution?

In metropolitan 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 harms 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 about air pollution? Here are the promised 10 tips and answers.

1. reduce (your) car trips

Air pollution - What to do about it?

Let's start with the most obvious. Passenger cars cause 60.7 percent of total CO2 emissions from road traffic in Europe.₄ Everyone who drives a car regularly inevitably contributes to this figure. The internal combustion engines in our cars constantly blow nitrogen oxides into the air. Those who want to minimize their personal air pollution are learning to switch to more environmentally friendly alternatives, such as the Railroad or the Bike, to switch.

And if a car trip cannot be avoided, 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, from production to disposal, is already environmentally friendly today - and will also become increasingly so as a result of the rising electricity mix from renewable energies.₅

Also look at you with pleasure times this article on car free living an.

Worth knowing! By the way also apply the Microplastics-particles from the tire abrasion of cars by definition as particulate matter!

2. produce less waste and separate it properly

About 40 percent of all global waste is incinerated in waste-to-energy plants or open fires.₆ This results in, among other things. Fine dust, Mercury and harmful hydrocarbons 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.

Feel free to 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! Along the way, the amount of recyclable material also increases - while soil contamination by heavy metals is reduced. A valuable tip, therefore, 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 still lower in emissions. But more sustainable is definitely the Power generation through renewable energies and the Heat generation with geothermal energy.

Switching to a green electricity provider and converting your home heating to geothermal 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? Therefore, another important tip in the fight against air pollution is to consciously save electricity and heat. You can minimize your electricity consumption, for example, by using warm water in your home. Cool meals outside the refrigerator, not in it can be used. And you save thermal 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 does as much damage to the global climate as a whole year of driving.₈ But not only 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 make wonderful vacations in Germany and other European countries. Completely without airplane - at the same time this sustainable behavior also saves you money for the expensive airline tickets.

Sometimes there is no other way, of course. Appropriate to this I have you the article fly as sustainably as possible written. Also the article about the Zero Waste Journey will help you to reduce your personal share of air pollution. Have a look!

Worth knowing! Cruise ships emit exhaust gases such as particulate matter, soot, nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides. In fact, shipping is the main source of air pollution in Europe.₉ That's why you should naturally avoid cruises if you want to do something about the environmental problem.

6. celebrate new year's eve without rockets and firecrackers

Combating air pollution - What can I do?

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 harm the environment more.

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 farmingThe main cause of particulate matter pollution in Germany.₁₀ Livestock account for around 15 percent of all greenhouse gases produced by humans worldwide. That is as much as is produced by all ships, airplanes, trucks and cars combined.₁₁

In addition to animal ethics, this is one of the main reasons, why i live vegan - so simply completely renounce animal foods and consumer goods. Maybe you think that it would be difficult for you to stop consuming 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:

Tip: At first I was a vegetarian for environmental reasons. Since I have been the Dominion film (documentary about factory farming), I am however Vegan for the animals. I have seen and internalized the suffering of animals. It doesn't fit with my moral values. And that's why it's really been extremely easy for me to do without animal products since then.

8. stop smoking

Air pollution in cities is said to cost 3 years of life. Smoking adds a little more than 2 years to that.₁₂ Smokers also cause increased particulate matter pollution in their environment - 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, at least smoke alone - and outside on the balcony. However, for health and environmental reasons 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 will learn once again in detail why it is also worthwhile from an ecological point of view to stop smoking.

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 convince other people to join, you can make a powerful difference and increase the pressure on politicians.

10. avoid air polluted environments


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You now know how to minimize air pollution. But what can you actually do, to not constantly inhale the polluted air? I was inspired by the video embedded above, which I simply recommend to you. To avoid major pollution in the air, you can take to heart, for example, the following tips:

  • Use side roads (especially if you are traveling with children).
  • Avoid rush hour for 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 against air pollution

Driving less, flying less, eating less meat - that sounds pretty much like doing without. But don't worry - all of these things can be replaced in a more sustainable way. I hope that with this post I was able to give you lots of tips to specifically reduce your personal share of air pollution. Feel free to share the post with people who should know these tips as well.

Do you have any questions or can you think of other ideas for cleaner air? Then just write me a comment.

Stay clean,

Living plastic-free - Less plastic waste in the environment

PS.: Feel free to look further in the Environmental protection blog around! There you will also find out, for example, what you can do against overfishing of the oceans.

₁,₂ World of Wonder: Air Pollution, YouTube, Dec. 18, 2014, web, Oct. 28, 2020 at 10:32 a.m., in:

₃ German Medical Association; More than 80,000 deaths from air pollution in Germany (as of 12 October 2017), available at [28.10.2020].

₄ European Parliament: CO2 emissions from cars - facts and figures (as of 18 April 2019), available at [28.10.2020].

₅ European Parliament: Why is the Parliament calling for new EU revenue sources? (Accessed Sept. 24, 2020), available at [28.10.2020].

₆ MMCD NEW MEDIA GmbH: Waste fires pollute the air - worldwide (as at: 17.08.2014), available at [28.10.2020].

₇ Federal Environment Agency: Energy-related emissions (as of:11.03.2020), available at [28.10.2020].

₈ NABU Deutschland e.V.: Levy on aviation fuel urgently needed, available at: [28.10.2020].

₉ NABU Deutschland e.V.: Luftverschmutzung durch Schiffe, available at [28.10.2020].

₁₀ German Medical Association; Mass livestock farming main cause of particulate matter (as of Jan. 17, 2019), available at [28.10.2020].

₁₁ Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO): livestock's long shadow environmental issues and options, available at [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 [28.10.2020].

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate links. If you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!


Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

1 thought on “Luftverschmutzung minimieren – 10 Dinge, die jeder dagegen tun kann”

  1. We have a lot of particulate matter in the basement workshop that I want to filter out. It was very helpful to read here that high electricity and heat consumption can lead to increased air pollution. Hopefully I can find a fine dust filter that can clean my polluted air.

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