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How to prevent air pollution?

No one has yet solved the air pollution problem for good – it’s been with us since the industrial era, and there’s no indication that it’ll be gone soon. However, in theory, there are solutions that could become a remedy for it if only the polluters joined forces. In our article, we’ll try to put them all together.

Why isn’t the air pollution problem solved yet?

Air pollution is a complex problem – but at this point, it’s also quite well understood. We know the mechanisms of the smog and acid rain formation and their composition depending on the type. We’re also conscious of the influence of particular pollutants – from sulphurous dioxide to aromatic hydrocarbons – on our health and environment. The sources of air pollution are also no mystery.

So, it seems like we’ve got all we need to start fixing this pressing problem. Unfortunately, in practice, it’s not that easy. As a society, we’ve found ourselves dependent on electricity use – and at this point, it’s difficult to fulfil the demand for it with renewables only. We need to develop infrastructure and technologies that will be efficient and affordable enough to replace fossil fuels on a larger scale. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

The main sources of air pollution

In order to understand how to stop air pollution, let’s take a closer look at its causes. There are two types of sources of air pollution – natural and anthropogenic. The first one is mainly a result of volcano eruptions and wildfires. They’re usually incidental but can affect human health anyway. The anthropogenic ones include:

  • industrial activity
  • transportation (exhaust fumes)
  • fossil fuel burning ( for energy production, heating, and other purposes)

The last factor is the most problematic when it comes to air pollution – it causes a release of carbon oxide, sulphurous oxide, and other harmful gases into the air. That’s why replacing fossil fuels 100% as soon as possible should be the priority of all the countries worldwide. That could not only stop the development of the air pollution problem but also reverse climate change.

How to supply the demand for fossil fuel? Alternatives

Renewables are the future – most fossil fuel potentates have already acknowledged that fact a long time ago. Many cities worldwide are currently undergoing an energetic transformation – some, like Melbourne, have proved that it’s possible to fulfil the demand for energy with renewables only.

However, now all the metropolises are as sunny as this Australian city. The unequal distribution of renewable resources is one of the problems to solve as the world is heading towards green energy. Some areas lack solar exposure, wind, or access to geothermal and tidal energy. For now, in such cases, the only alternative is nuclear energy. It has some staunch supporters, but some problems it generates are hard to overlook, with nuclear waste as the first one on the list.

For now, solar seems to be the biggest hope. It’s the most democratic renewable source of all the existing ones since all the areas have access to it to a certain extent. Photovoltaic technology is also developing at a fast pace and is getting cheaper and cheaper.

How can you help with solving the problem?

Every contribution matters. If you start implementing these eco-friendly habits in your daily life, others may follow your example. What can you do?

  1. Try using public transportation instead of driving everywhere
  2. Share a car ride with someone
  3. Move to bike or electric scooter
  4. Invest in photovoltaic installation and try to be partially or fully independent from the electricity network
  5. Start using energy-efficient bulbs (for example, LED) or solar lamps (perfect for the garden)
  6. Switch to less polluting heating systems (oil or electricity instead of coal-burning)
  7. Choose vehicles with more efficient engines or switch to electric
  8. Install particulate matter filters and add Adblue to your engine system to make your exhaust fumes better quality

The change begins from the smallest steps!

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