With net zero and carbon neutral targets taking centre stage, air pollution has been largely overlooked in recent years. This could be because much of the action required to reduce emissions across the country is sure to improve overall air quality. But, be that as it may, dirty air is an issue that requires its own attention. Especially considering the UK’s dangerous levels of toxic air pollutants.
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. Though not surprising, considering levels of nitrogen dioxide remain illegally high in 75% of urban areas. This is mostly due to diesel vehicles. A problem that has promising solutions on the horizon but has not been acted on quickly enough.
It is bad news for public health, especially during a global pandemic that attacks the respiratory system. Even without Covid-19, a new review shows that air pollution may be damaging every organ and virtually every cell in the human body. The World Health Organisation has called it the silent killer, as its effects are often not attributed to toxic air.
This National Clean Air Day, we look at what we can do on a local level to clean up our air.
Make the switch to green energy
The sulfur dioxide emitted from the combustion of fossil fuels like coal and petroleum is one of the major causes of air pollution. By buying green energy for your properties, business and/or home you help 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 drafty and contributes 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, but 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 your food’s environmental footprint.
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?
The gases in the air make up a complex chemical balancing act. Although transportation emissions are often the focal point of clean air campaigns, simply reducing one source of pollution is not enough.
Our goal is to build a holistic sustainable strategy for your organisation that integrates efficiency across your energy and utility portfolios at Monarch. We strive to find the greenest, most efficient and cost effective solutions for your energy, water and waste.
We work with several housing associations, education 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.