Simple ways to reduce air pollution

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Breathing clean air is a right for everywhere and everyone. This year’s World Environment Day theme is focused on how we can inspire action to #BeatAirPollution.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates air pollution causes 7 million premature deaths worldwide every year and 9 out of 10 people breathe polluted air every day. In 2016, 91% of the world population were living in places where the WHO standards for air quality were not met.

At the H&H Group, our sustainability approach is aligned with our mission to make the world healthier and happier. We’re committed to reducing our carbon footprint, as a company, and encouraging our team to do the same.

Air pollution may seem complex, but we can all do our part to reduce pollution. Here are some simple ways to improve air pollution inside and outside of your home:

INSIDE: Tips to reduce air pollution at home:

Did you know the average person spends 65 percent of entire life inside their home? Follow these tips for a healthy home with improved air quality.

  • Bring back nature into your home and invest in indoor air purifying plants such as peace lilies, spider plants, aloe vera, and snake plants. They’ll not only look great but help improve your homes air quality.
  • Make your house a smoke-free zone. Experts say cigarette smoke is the most common pollutant in homes, with the danger being the smoke settles into fabric areas such as carpets and blinds. Forget “second-hand smoke” this is called “third-hand smoke” and can cause serious lung and heart problems.
  • Remove shoes at the door. Declare your home a “shoe free” zone as shoes track into the home all sorts of toxins from the outside that could impact your indoor air quality.
  • Dust surfaces and vacuum frequently. When allergens are inhaled or come into contact with eyes, they can trigger an immune response that leads to an allergic reaction.
  • Wash your bedding weekly in hot water. Sheets should be washed often to remove a build-up of debris, dust, and sweat. Use hot water to kill all germs.
  • Keep a lid on scented candles. Sadly, burning candles indoors could be harming the environment and causing you to breathe in dangerous toxins. Most scented candles are made from paraffin wax – and previous studies have found these can release cancer-causing chemicals that can also be harmful in people with respiratory conditions such as asthma.
  • Choose non-toxic paints and furnishings.
  • Use “green” environmental cleaning products as chemical household cleaners’ fumes can cause inflammation and trigger allergies. Save money and pollution by making your own cleaning products where possible. DIY Window cleaner: Mix equal parts of distilled white vinegar and water.
  • Carpool, use public transportation, bike, or walk whenever possible.
  • Reduce your consumption of meat and dairy to help cut methane emissions
  • Refuel your car in the evening when its cooler. The best time to refuel is in the morning or late evening. Why? Oil expands with the rise in temperature, this expansion causes lesser energy generation, if fuelled in the hot time of the day.
  • Compost organic food items and recycle non-organic trash
  • Save energy: turn off lights and electronics when not in use
  • Conserve electricity and set air conditioners no lower than 78 degrees.

OUTSIDE: Everyday tips to reduce air pollution.

We encourage you to join the World Environment Day Mask Challenge and show how you have fulfilled your pledge to reduce air pollution on June 5th. Use #WorldEnvironmentDay and #BeatAirPollution in your social media posts and don’t forget to tag @UNEnvironment.