All You Need is the Air that We Breathe

May 25, 2020

All You Need is the Air that We Breathe

Too often we are afraid to watch the news in fear of upsetting ourselves. For hours, we have sat waiting for a stroke of good news throughout the rainstorm of bad. Well, your search for positive news has led you here and we intend to give you some!

Sit back and get ready for some good news!

Education

We are much more informed than we were years ago, especially the younger generations. I bet your neighbor’s kid in elementary school knows more about pollution than the average adult. If you visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s website, you will find many clear, interactive graphics and facts on the 2019 AirTrends report. Websites such as these make learning about world issues accessible and almost fun. Facts do not always have to be shrouded in a cloak of a boring Times New Roman, 12-font essay.

The Global Education Monitoring (GEM) report explained that people with more education are more likely to be concerned about the environment. That makes sense, but it does not mean that is the case for everyone. Access to air pollution information is abundant in this age of information. Therefore, education on the subject has increased.


Legislature

There are strong examples of laws making a difference in air quality. Below are cities that have made monumental changes:

  1. London has had a Clear Air Act in place since 1956, according to BBC. By 1968, the air quality had “substantially improved”. Currently, the city has imposed a Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London, which older vehicles need to pay a fine to enter.

  1. The CCA reports that Beijing, China has improved its air quality with the implementation of legislation. The Clean Air Action Plan created some very impactful changes!

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  1. 35 city mayors across the world pledged to give their citizens cleaner air in the C40 Clean Air Cities Declaration. The CCA states that these cities are agreeing to “implement substantive clean air policies by 2025”.

The world needs change and it needs it fast in terms of air pollution. Legislature is a great way to keep people on track, but commitment needs to come from all places, not just government.

Extra Info: If you want to learn more about the cleanest cities in America, here is a list from the American Lung Association!


Technology

We live in a world of innovation. Intuitive minds are getting credit for their magnificent ideas. Here are some inventions intended to battle air pollution:

  • Did you know that there is a tower that sucks up dirty air for free? The Smog Free Tower, created by the Studio Roosegarde, “cleans 30.000 m3 per hour and uses a small amount of green electricity” 
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  • Bikes are healthier for the environment, but what if they also cleaned the air? Photosynthesis Bikes, created by Lightfog Creative & Design, do just this! A filter on the front of the bike takes in dirty and sends back clean air to the rider.

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  • Gravity Labs at MIT created AIR-INK. Carbon soot from car exhaust is collected to create ink for pens and markers…. Amazing, right?
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How Can We Do Better?

The US economy has seen economic growth with the enactment of air pollution initiatives, according to the EPA. Environmental research opens jobs for people, as well.

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However, you do see a sturdy growth with vehicle miles traveled. Yet, with many people stuck in their houses, it can be assumed that vehicle emissions have been lowering. If remote work becomes the new norm, vehicle emissions might even curve down. Companies such as Apple and Twitter have already made preparations for stay-at-home work for the rest of 2020, according to USA Today. Even if companies alternated the days their employees worked, the decrease in work travel emission would decrease tremendously.

We are nowhere close to saving the planet that we know and love, but we have countless individuals striving to get closer. With resources given to the right planet-saving people, who knows what could be accomplished. Making donations can make a tremendous impact. We are not powerless against pollution. It is time we take a stand and fight for our planet!