It’s hard not to be conscious about the effect pollution is having on the planet, and also, on our health. It’s also hard to not get a little overwhelmed by it all – how exactly can we help? How do I look after myself? Why doesn’t Google tell us just one right answer?!
We feel that living a cleaner lifestyle shouldn’t have to feel hard. So, here are five simple tips on how to do our bit to combat Bristol’s air pollution.
James Cordon-it-up and carpool
Bristol has excellent public transport routes – particularly after the introduction of the metro bus that stops at Frenchay Campus, and uses bio-fuel as an environmentally-friendly alternative.
So why not carpool with your pals, walk as much as you can throughout Bristol, or take one of the many cycle routes through the city. This will not only help limit air pollution, but it will also save you some money in the process.
Use environmentally-safe cleaning products whenever possible
When we think of pollution, the first thing that springs to mind is pollution generated from transport. But, it shouldn’t be forgotten that air pollution is generated from a whole host of things including cleaning products.
Head to the Zero Waste area of our Shop on Frenchay Campus, where we stock environmentally-safe cleaning products, or come along to our Sustainability 101 workshops, which focus on making little sustainable changes that can make a big difference on our health and the planet. Find details about our next one here.
Use the power of people to make a change
British Heart Foundation has recently launched the campaign, ‘Full of It’, which calls for the Government to pay more attention to reducing the serious effects of air pollution on our bodies.
Their research has found that living in the worst hit areas of the UK could be as deadly as smoking over 150 cigarettes a year. They’ve also found that toxic air particles can remain in your bloodstream for at least three months, and these can potentially have an effect on the normal electrical functioning of your heart.
But there’s some hopeful news here too. British Heart Foundation is asking that the Government adopts the World Health Organisation’s air quality limits into the law to protect the nation’s health, and you can join them. Head to their website and use their letter template to ask your MP to help make a real change.
Understand when to avoid the city centre
Levels of pollution fluctuate rapidly throughout the day, so it can be difficult to recognise when you should be avoiding Bristol’s congested air.
There are a number of helpful apps that you can download, which help tell you when pollution levels are high. These include Plume Air Report, which tells you the pollution rates in real-time, and advises when is best to do certain activities, such as exercising outside. The app can also predict how pollution is going to develop throughout the day.
Eat clean foods
Another overlooked system of pollution is the pollutants that find their way into the food we eat. Meat is known for its added chemicals, so going vegetarian or vegan for just a couple of meals a week can really make a big difference. Eating organic is also a good way to monitor the healthy qualities of your food. To call something organic by law, the food has to follow specifications regarding pesticides. Therefore, organic foods should be cleaner for your body, limiting the effects of pollution on yourself.
Making simple changes can hugely affect your health quality and the environment around you for the better. If you want to find out more, read about British Heart Foundation’s new campaign.