Whilst net zero and carbon neutral deadlines grow ever closer, air pollution has been largely overlooked in recent years. However, it is responsible for up to 36,000 deaths in the UK every year. This year’s Clean Air Day theme focuses on the issue; ‘Air pollution dirties every organ in your body. Take steps to improve your health this Clean Air Day.’
In March 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the UK has broken legal limits on toxic air pollution, for a decade. This comes as no surprise – levels of nitrogen dioxide remain illegally high in 75% of urban areas, mostly due to diesel vehicles. Whilst there are promising solutions on the horizon, we have not acted quickly enough.
Referred to as the silent killer by the World Health Organisation, its effects are often not attributed to toxic air. But air pollution can no longer go unnoticed, as the world continues to take a dangerous turn towards climate change.
This national Clean Air Day, we look at what we can do on a local level to clean up our air, and restore public health.
Make the switch to green energy
Sulphur dioxide emitted from the combustion of fossil fuels (such as coal and petroleum) is one of the major causes of air pollution. Buying green energy for your properties, business and/or home can help to reduce the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels, and support the national shift to renewables.
If you want to go one step further, installing onsite renewable generation is as financially rewarding as it is environmentally beneficial.
Become more energy efficient
The UK’s housing and building stock is famously draughty, contributing to a large chunk of the country’s carbon emissions. Efficiency measures keep heat from escaping and electricity from being wasted – cutting your utility costs, and burning fewer fossil fuels along the way.
Drive less or go electric
Vehicles with gasoline and diesel engines burn petroleum to release energy, and emit harmful pollutants into the air. The shift to greener transportation options requires numerous infrastructural changes such as greener, walkable spaces, bike lanes and EV charging stations. By making the shift to more sustainable living in our communities, we can help drive change across the UK.
Shop local and organic
The use of insecticides, pesticides, and fertilisers in agricultural activities has grown significantly in recent years. Not only have these been linked to water pollution and health issues, they also emit harmful chemicals into the air.
By supporting farms with sustainable practices, you are helping to drive the shift towards greener agriculture. Also, by shopping local, you can rest assured there is less transportation involved. Further cutting down on the environmental footprint of your weekly grocery shop.
Practice sustainable waste management
Landfills can generate large amounts of methane, a toxic greenhouse gas that is highly flammable and very hazardous. This is yet another reason to be conscious of how much waste we are creating, and where it is going.
Use green cleaning products
Indoor air pollution, while often overlooked, can also be damaging to your health. Try to use cleaning supplies and paints containing little to no toxic chemicals. This will become easier as companies across the globe strive to fill the growing demand for green products.
How can Monarch help?
Reaching a green future as quickly as possible is vital for the both public health, and the welfare of the planet. And while larger changes are of course welcome, making small consistent changes to your daily routine and your business strategy can help to make significant progress.
At Monarch, our goal is to build a holistic sustainable strategy for your organisation that integrates efficiency across your energy and utility portfolios. We strive to find the greenest, most efficient and cost-effective solutions for your energy, water and waste.
We work with several housing associations, educational organisations, corporates, and property management companies to reduce their utility costs – and optimise their energy and carbon management. Helping them to stay compliant and ahead of the curve, as the UK transitions to a net zero economy.
If you are interested in building a greener future for your business, contact us at Monarch today.