With a Green Team now in place at Microcomms, we’re making every effort to make changes, big and small, towards reducing our impact on the environment.
Wednesday 5th June is World Environment Day and the theme this year is focused on air pollution. Apart from the obvious health risks, air pollution damages our natural environment and decreases the oxygen in our oceans. We all have a role to play to keep our air clean and we wanted to share some ways in which you can make changes in your personal and work life, contributing to a more healthy living environment.
- Open the window when cooking or using cleaning products. Good ventilation is the key to avoiding air pollution in the home. It also helps to avoid the build up of air polluting moulds.
- Regularly service your boiler, not only for your own safety, but also to ensure it’s working efficiently, emitting less fumes into the environment.
- Think about how you do your cleaning – keep dust levels low, use fragrance-free or naturally scented products. If you can, switch to mild cleaning products and avoid aerosols. Mop hard floors regularly to pick up dust and pollutants that vacuuming and dusting might miss. Even better, steam clean floors to kill bacteria and allergens.
- Use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products whenever possible.
- Consume less energy. Gas and electricity contribute to air pollution – gas creates fumes when we burn it to heat our homes and electricity produced by power stations burning fossil fuels has the same result. There are lots of things we can do to conserve energy (lowering our bills too!), such as switching off lights, turning off computers (rather than putting then to sleep), filling the kettle with just enough water for what you need and only run the washing machine and dishwasher when there is a full load. It’s simply being more conscious about how you do things around the house.
- Consider switching energy suppliers. Choose renewable energy tariffs for your home supply to reduce the pollution produced by power stations.
- Recycle compostables. Rather than burning garden waste, which releases gases into the atmosphere, compost them and turn them into food for your garden.
- Wood- burning stoves look great and they’re cost, but burning wood produces lots of air pollutants. To reduce this, consider a Defra – approved stove, use authorised fuel and only light when you really have to.
- Eating a healthy diet reduces the risk of developing health problems that can be made worse by air pollution.
Out and About
- Walk or cycle when possible. Did you know drivers can be exposed to more air pollution than pedestrians or cyclists? As well as cutting down the amount of pollution we make, we can reduce our exposure to air pollution and get some exercise too!
- Use quieter streets when walking or cycling as it can lower exposure to air pollution by 20%
- Switch off vehicle engines when stationary (if safe to do so). This will make the air cleaner for you, other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.
- Regularly service vehicles which not only ensures that they are safe to drive, but also helps them run more efficiently and cleanly.
- Ensure car tyres are inflated properly. This means vehicles run more efficiently and use less fuel.
- Driving more slowly reduces emissions.
- When fuelling vehicles, be careful not to spill any fuel and tighten the fuel cap securely.
- Hot temperatures and fumes create ground-level ozone – reduce the effect and refuel early in the morning or when cooler, where possible.
- Think about travel miles for personal deliveries. Consider using a pick up point rather than having couriers make special trips to your office or home.
- Going abroad? Research the most carbon efficient airlines using the Atmosfere website which profiles 200 of the world’s top airlines for carbon efficiency and lists carbon friendly tour operators, travel agents and offers top tips on how to travel with a climate-friendly conscience. For instance, be realistic about how often you need your room serviced. Changing towels and bed linen is not something we do at home everyday, so why would we do it on holiday? Just think of all the extra water, electricity and detergents that are used unnecessarily! It’s easy to get involved in World Environment Day.
Simply make a commitment to making a change, however big or small, that will positively impact the environment! Take a photo or make a short film of yourself fulfilling your commitment and post it on social media using hashtags #WorldEnvironmentDay #BeatAirPollution and tag UNEnvironment.
Together we can beat air pollution!