There are large parts of London that have been exceeding the legal air pollution limits for a number of years, until recently we never saw any action being taken to try and improve the situation. One of the most staggering protest that took place to highlight the air pollution situation was carried out by Greenpeace, they placed Mary Poppins wearing a gas mask in front of the houses of parliament. The message accompanying this picture was simple but hugely effective London had exceeded its annual air pollution limit in just four days.
In the past decade air pollution has exceeded legal levels no more than a week into the year, the air situation in the United Kingdom has worsened with urbanisation resulting in around 40,000 early deaths each year. The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan realised that action needed to be taken before the pollution got any worse, early actions saw cleaner bus routes introduced and increased charges to deter certain vehicles from entering London.
Although Sadiq Khan wanted to tackle this issue it was realised that radical changes were needed to see any major differences to the situation, this meant that the Ultra Low Emission Zone was to be introduced.
The environment within London was drastically worse than 10 years ago and still getting worse every year, people are increasingly facing health issues that have been caused by toxic air leading to a health crisis. However, despite all of the talk about major changes and new legislations being introduced there are small changes that can be made to make a big difference.
One of the simple ways which we can reduce the level of air pollution we are creating is by having more plants in our homes, plants will manage the levels of carbon dioxide that your house releases from things such as cooking, heating and deodorants. The other simple change we can make in our lives is to use eco-friendly or natural products, house scents or paint products can create potentially damaging air pollutants inside our own homes.
As well as these there are other small changes that could be enforced to help the situation such as anti-pollution bus stops, simply installing technology to bus stops that cleanses the air for people who are waiting. An alternative option is to install smog free towers which are created by Daan Roosegaarde, these towers suck up the polluted air and replace it with clean air. Test have shown that air around his towers are about 55 to 75 percent cleaner than the rest of the city they operate in.
Radical changes are undoubtably needed to combat the health crisis that we are facing in urbanised areas. However, we as people could consider the impacts that our everyday activities have on increasing the air pollution situation. Little things could make a big difference to the environment that we live in.