45 ways to prevent air pollution

Why do we want ways to prevent air pollution?  This short video gives a demonstration (and check the lists afterwards)

How do we stop this problem? Some ways to do so are so simple that you may not even think of them at the right time.

Energy Usage Pie Chart - Click drawing for more on air pollution

Other ways are a bit more demanding. There are lots of things in the three lists below. Find the right methods and techniques for you.

Where can we start reducing air pollution? It makes sense to attack this (or any) problem by examining and addressing the most important factors contributing to it.Handling air quality issues affecting most urban areas usually means taking care of transportation emissions. 

Be a Smart Drive. What does this mean?

Approximately half of the air pollution seen in cities comes from cars and trucks. So, we have identified two easy but very important ways to prevent air pollution – try to drive less and be a smarter, more conservative driver.

Cutting down on the number and length of trips by car can help cut vehicle air pollution. With gasoline and diesel prices being so high recently, many people have chosen to drive for less of a distance for their summer vacations and also to decrease the amount of driving they do in town.

If you adopt a few smart driving habits this will help reduce your car's total emissions as well as your driving expenses and maybe uncover hidden benefits like those listed below. Here are some other ways to prevent air pollution:

  • Carpool - take turns and save money on parking.
  • Shop by phone or mail instead of driving - why waste your time?
  • Telecommute to eliminate the use of gas today - you can enjoy a healthier, cheaper lunch at home that way.
  • Accelerate gradually - the engine will last longer, too.
  • Obey the speed limit - tickets cost even more than gas.
  • Get regular tune-ups for your car - support the smog check program
  • Keep the air filter in your car clean - perform other routine maintenance in a timely fashion
  • Shut off your engine while waiting for a train (or other long waits).
  • Walk or ride a bicycle when feasible - or try one of these cool electric bikes for fun.
  • Generally speaking, find ways to drive less, especially on days that have unhealthy air quality
  • Ride public transit when possible - and use the time to get some reading done
  • Use the cruise control when warranted - save leg cramps
  • Combine all of your errands into one trip for efficiency - look for your keys only once
  • Don’t overfill the tank at the pump - keep the tank at least half full between fills
  • Here's a strange one - get your city to spray the roads with sticky material to absorb pollution - London, UK as done this and it works well for controlling dust and other particulates.
  • Keep tires properly inflated - the car moves better that way
  • Drive slowly on unpaved roads to reduce road dust
  • Use a fuel-efficient car - time to get a hybrid.

Here's an interesting one. If there comes a day when the air is unhealthy and needs your immediate help, drive your newest car. They generally pollute less than older models.

What about saving energy at home?  Here's a list of ways to prevent air pollution by reducing everyday air emissions.

Believe it or not, when you save energy (and money), this helps to reduce air pollution. You know that whenever you use more gas and other fossil fuel, you add to air pollution, so use natural gas, gasoline and electricity wisely and conservatively. Equipment for  home electricity generation, such as solar or wind power, has become cheaper and more readily available lately...look into it when you get a chance.

The rest of the ways to prevent air pollution

How does electricity affect the air?  It is the power plant that burns fossil fuel to generate electricity in many parts of the world. For conservation at home, here are a few ways to prevent air pollution through reduced heat and energy consumption:

  • When you leave a room, turn off the lights
  • Whenever possible, purchase energy saving appliances and bulbs
  • Make it a priority to replace old, inefficient appliances.  Replace them as soon as a needed repair would cost about half the price of a replacement (or more).
  • Add extra insulation to your house
  • Use an EPA-approved fireplace insert or wood burning stove
  • Insulate your water heater
  • Dry your clothes on a clothesline anytime you can
  • Use fluorescent lighting where possible
  • Use a thermostat that will automatically turn off your heater or air conditioner when you do not need them
  • Use a fan Instead of an air conditioner,
  • Use a microwave to heat small meals
  • Install low flow showerheads
  • Create your own electricity at home - Store it and use it later. 

Beware of small stuff

When you breathe, very small particles can slip past the lungs' natural defense system. These include soot, dust and acid droplets.  Breathe in through your nose as much as possible to clean the air and reduce the effects of pollution.

Fog or smog on residential street

At its worst, this particulate air pollution gets trapped in your lungs and cause problems such as bronchitis, asthma attacks and other lung diseases. Here are some ways to prevent air pollution from entering your system and to protect yourself and others:

  • On days that there is unhealthy air, do not use your fireplace or wood stove
  • Avoid vigorous activity on days that have problematic air quality as doing so will help you control the volume and depth of your breathing during these conditions
  • Avoid using a leaf blower and any other kind of equipment that blows a lot of dust around. Try a broom or a rake instead.
  • Plant trees - They clean the air. Save trees too.
  • Same goes for house plants. Find out what types work best for your living space.
  • Obey environmental laws and regulations
  • Buy Eco-friendly products
  • Buy things based on the company's environmental policies
  • Use catalytic converters and other environmental preservation technologies
  • Don't Smoke
  • Dispose of unwanted dangerous goods properly - Such as paints, batteries and recycling electronics.
  • Help design your city so that population growth is controlled
  • How do professionals and industries prevent air pollution?  By using air pollution modeling ahead of time.

Speak Up For Clean Air

Everyone should try all available ways to prevent air pollution. Anything listed here will make a difference. Use any civic influence you have (communication with leaders, etc.)

to improve regional as well as national air pollution standards.

Support action for unhealthy air by writing to your local newspaper, or create a popular website. It would also be worth your while to let your elected representatives know that you support the Clean Air Act.

If you can make any changes at work these ways to prevent air pollution can help greatly...especially if other people learn a thing or two from you and follow in your footsteps. You can research and advocate changes to the cleaning supplies used; you'd be surprised how versatile vinegar and baking soda become when used for cleaning. Look it up online. It's extremely cheap too. Be aware of leaks in heating systems and pipes and have them checked, use electric or muscle-powered lawn mowers instead of gas, paint brushes instead of sprayers, non-halon fire extinguishers instead of traditional ones...I could go on.

Industrial operators could also help by implementing ways to reduce noise and light pollution from their facilities as well.

If your concern is industrial air pollution and you need dispersion modelling done, you might need professional consulting to identify and diminish the problems. Contact the experts at Calvin Consulting Group Ltd. Give Barry a call at at 403-547-7557 or email - barry.lough @ calvinconsulting.ca (remove spaces first).

Finally, here's a great video on REASONS to prevent air pollution.

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Read More about air pollution:

Air Pollution is Getting Better - in some cases.

Air pollution articles - for further reference

Air Pollution and Global Warming
- What's the connection?