How to Prevent Pollution? Simple Things You Can Do Today
It is necessary to know how to stop pollution to save our planet and ensure the health and well-being of people. Air and water are poisoned with dangerous chemicals, and if nothing is done, the Earth will lose its beauty and diversity. In this article, we’ll show you some of the ways you can do to stop pollution or at least reduce it.
5 ways to reduce environmental pollution
1. Choosing a vehicle
- If possible, walk or cycle. Refuse using your car for short-distance travel – it is a great way to improve your environment. If you are not far away and the weather is fine, walk or bike. This will not only help you stop pollution, but you will also get good physical activity;
- Use public transport. Traveling by bus or subway will help reduce your carbon footprint because you won’t be driving your own car. If public transport works great where you live, use it. This will allow you to take your mind off the road and read, or just relax;
- Combine trips. Daily travel by private car has a negative impact on the environment. Therefore, when you need to travel on several things, try to combine your trips into one. It also saves you money, as starting a cold engine uses 20% more fuel than driving;
- Arrange with neighbors or colleagues to take turns taking each other to work and the children to school. Do this if you don’t like or are uncomfortable with the idea of using public transportation or walking. This will reduce your carbon footprint and save money on gasoline. Moreover, such joint trips will help you build friendships with neighbors or colleagues;
- Have your vehicle serviced regularly to ensure proper engine and component performance. Keeping your vehicle in good condition will reduce carbon emissions and help prevent other vehicle problems;
- Drive carefully as hazardous driving contributes to environmental pollution. Driving safely will also save you money by reducing fuel consumption;
- Buy a hybrid or electric vehicle. Electric cars run exclusively on electricity and therefore do not emit any emissions. The hybrid vehicle has an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. Both electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles help reduce pollution. Although a hybrid vehicle uses gasoline, it saves fuel and produces fewer emissions (compared to conventional vehicles).
2. Choosing food
- Buy locally sourced products whenever possible. Transporting food around the country and around the world consumes a significant amount of fuel, resulting in air pollution. Therefore, buy locally sourced produce and grown on nearby farms, not food that is sourced from other regions. If a farmer or gardener sells their own produce, ask how they grow it to learn about their efforts to prevent pollution;
- Limit or avoid consumption of animal products made in large factories. This refers to meat, milk, cheese and eggs. Such enterprises pollute the environment a lot – the waste of them is comparable to the waste of a small town. To help protect the environment, do not buy or eat food of animal origin from large factories. If you can’t give up animal products, reduce your intake, for example, to 1-2 times a week. If you want to be even more helpful in your fight for a cleaner environment, consider becoming a vegetarian or vegan;
- Eat organically grown fruits and vegetables. Such products are grown by farmers using production methods that do not harm the environment. For example, these farmers do not use chemical pesticides that pollute groundwater. By purchasing organically grown fruits and vegetables, you are contributing to the development of organic farming practices. Look for fruits, vegetables, and other foods labeled “Organic”;
- Grow fruits and vegetables yourself. Create a garden or vegetable garden on your own plot and you will contribute to the protection of the environment. Plants and trees convert carbon into oxygen, which reduces air pollution. Besides, the fruits and vegetables you grow will replace store-bought foods that take a lot of fuel to transport. If you’re unfamiliar with gardening, start small. To begin with, plant some tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers on your site. When you get experience and skills, gradually expand the area of your garden.
3. Choosing an energy source
- When leaving the room, turn off the lights and electrical appliances. To save more energy, you can unplug electrical appliances from the outlet or connect all electrical appliances to the surge protector so that when it is turned off, all electrical appliances are turned off at once;
- Make small changes that will result in significant energy savings. It is recommended to do the following: Set the water heater temperature to 50 ° C. If you have a water heater, then it takes 14-25% of all the electricity you consume. By setting the indicated temperature of the water heater, you will save a little electricity. Air dry your clothes. You will reduce your annual carbon footprint by 1000 kg by air drying your clothes instead of an electric dryer. Air dry the dishes or dry them with a towel. The dishwasher consumes 2.5% of all your electricity consumption. Therefore, you can wash dishes in it, but do not use the drying cycle. Use energy-efficient light bulbs. LED bulbs (they are more durable and safer than fluorescent ones) will save up to 75% of the electricity that is spent on lighting your home. They also generate less heat than conventional incandescent bulbs;
- If you have the ability to regulate the room temperature, set the thermostat to 25 ° C during the warm season, and 20 ° C during the cold season. You will save energy by properly adjusting your heating and air conditioning systems. In the cold season, you take an additional blanket at night, and the thermostat temperature can be lowered to 15 ° C. On hot days, use fans rather than air conditioning, as the latter consumes significantly more electricity;
- Improve the insulation of your home. To do this, seal the gaps around the window frames or replace the old frames with new ones. In winter, you can use special tools. If you have old-style frames and not double-glazed windows, they can be glued for the winter so that the heat does not leave your home. If you decide to change window frames, look for ones that are ENERGY STAR marked. These frames and glasses meet specific heat conservation requirements;
- Think about alternative energy sources. If you live in your own home or are planning to build one, consider installing solar panels or a wind turbine;
- Consider switching to a different energy source. This means switching from a non-renewable source (such as gas) to a renewable one (electricity). For example, if you are designing your own home, consider installing an electric boiler instead of a gas one. In a city apartment, you can replace the stove with a gas oven with a stove with an electric one, if the wiring allows.
4. Recycle, reuse and reduce waste
- Buy used products if possible. In this way, you can help reduce the demand for new products that pollute the environment and save money. You can find advertisements for the sale of supported items online or in local newspapers;
- Buy reusable products. The use of disposable cups, plates, food containers leads to severe environmental pollution (due to the multiple increase in waste). Therefore, purchase reusable items;
- Buy goods in minimal packaging. The production of food packaging consumes a lot of raw materials and electricity. Buy groceries with minimal or no packaging (that is, by weight). Do not buy items packed in Styrofoam. This is a very common packaging material, but it is difficult to dispose of, which leads to its accumulation in landfills. Also, during its production, hydrocarbons are emitted into the atmosphere;
- Recycle anything that can be recycled. Whenever possible, avoid buying items that do not have an arrowed triangle on their packaging to indicate that they are recyclable. Also, avoid products made from several different materials (these products are difficult to recycle). Find out if your waste collection company offers recycling services. If not, there may be special centers in your city where recyclable waste can be taken. Find out on the Internet where you can take, for example, waste paper or plastic bottles;
- Buy products made from recycled materials. This will help reduce the demand for new materials that pollute the environment. Look for products labeled “Made from recycled materials.” Recycled products are often labeled with percentages indicating the amount of recycled material in the total raw material. Look for products that have high percentages.
5. Preventing the entry of chemicals into the water supply system
- Use fewer chemicals. The chemicals we use for cleaning premises, for hygienic care, and for washing cars are washed down the drain but often end up in the water supply system. Such chemicals are harmful not only to plants and animals that make up the ecosystem of our planet but also to humans. If possible, use natural analogs of chemicals. For example, to clean your bathroom, you can make a solution of vinegar and water or baking soda, salt and water. These natural ingredients are excellent cleaning agents, but they do not pollute the water when they are washed down the drain. Try making your own laundry detergent and dish soap. If you don’t have time, buy a detergent made from natural ingredients. If you cannot find a natural equivalent, use the lowest possible amount of chemicals;
- Do not use pesticides or herbicides. These chemicals are sprayed over the ground and are released into the groundwater when it rains. Pesticides and herbicides protect crops from pests, but they harm the environment by seeping into groundwater, which is essential for the survival of humans and animals;
- Do not flush medicines down the drain. Disinfection systems cannot completely remove drug residues from the water, which negatively affects every person who drinks such water. Each drug has specific disposal instructions. If you need to throw away your medications, find out how to do it correctly (don’t flush the medications down the drain!). It is recommended that some medicines be washed off so that they do not fall into the hands of a certain category of people (for example, children). But remember, this is an exception to the rule;
- Dispose of toxic waste properly. Some substances must not be thrown into the trash can, as they seep into the ground and pollute the groundwater. If you are unsure how to dispose of any toxic chemicals you have, contact your local authority for disposal. These services have lists of different types of toxic waste. Fluorescent lamps, batteries and similar items must be disposed of properly. In some countries, consumers are required to dispose of such products to prevent mercury from entering water and soil. Find out where you can take them in your locality;
- Conserve water. Remember that water is the most valuable resource, and its over-consumption has a negative impact on the environment. In your daily life, you can easily reduce your water consumption and improve the ecosystem of your area. Here’s what to do: Clean up water leaks in a timely manner; install water-saving tap nozzles; when washing dishes, cover the water; replace your old toilet with a newer one that uses less water; do not water your lawn too abundantly.
6. Involvement of other people in the struggle for a clean environment
- Find out which factories in your area are the most polluting. Search the internet for the information you need or talk to people who can tell you about it. Collect as much data as possible to get a better understanding of the current situation. Although individuals can fight environmental pollution to the best of their ability, businesses are its main source. Therefore, be sure to find out who or what is causing the main harm to the environment;
- Tell other people what you have learned. Even if some of them are worried about environmental pollution, many do not realize the seriousness of the problem or do not know how to solve it. Use the information you receive to educate people about environmental problems: the more people learn about environmental pollution, the sooner there is a way to stop such pollution;
- Write an article for your school or local newspaper. By publishing information on how to stop pollution, you bring it to people who have no idea. In the article, provide tips for protecting the environment that people can immediately use;
- Organize a protest action. Do this in front of a polluting facility in your area. Do your part in the fight against environmental pollution by teaming up with peers and educating others about environmental issues. Become a local environmental activist! Do not forget that the conduct of the action must be properly coordinated with the local authorities;
- Join an environmental group. There may be a pollution control group in your area. If not, organize such a group with your like-minded people. Get together once a week (or more often) to discuss environmental issues and plan for appropriate action. Encourage others to join your group via Facebook, Twitter, or regular ads. Arrange events where you will disseminate information about environmental pollution and actions to reduce it. Pay attention to P2AD, which provides confidential, free assistance to clients that want to reduce water and energy use, waste, and emissions.