To mark the launch of the #AirWeShare campaign, Hubbub charities offer five ways we can help avoid or reduce air pollution
Launched this week, the #AirWeShare campaign is headed by Hubbub, a charity that seeks to interest "mainstream users" on important sustainability issues. In addition to providing practical advice on how people can protect themselves and their families, it seeks to build a coalition of companies interested in testing new ways to reduce air pollution.
To learn more about how individuals are exposed to air pollution, Hubbub has conducted 10-person air quality monitoring in London, in partnership with King's College London. Participants with different hobbies, professions and travels carried portable air pollution monitors for a week.
Observers have found levels of black carbon, which is most likely in the urban environment from the exhaust. Black carbon is strongly associated with AP 2.5, which is known to be harmful to human health. Hubbub says the results show how each person experiences different pollution – and that everyone can do something on their day to reduce their exposure.
One of the participants, A-level student Kacie Curtis, told Positive News: "The study found that I am most exposed to air pollution while waiting for my bus to school. This is a busy road and there are so many big cars that go by just one person so it's not surprising that the area is polluted.
"This is really worrying, although you see messages about the links between air pollution and teenage mental health problems, and I want to do more to prevent people from being so ridiculous to drive anywhere."
Dharmika (pictured center) is involved in air quality monitoring while traveling in London
5 things people can do to avoid or reduce air pollution from the Hubbub
1. Use less cars
Wherever you switch easily, choose public transport instead of taking a car on a trip or traveling between meetings. If you walk or ride a bicycle, you can help maintain clean air, be in shape, and are usually less exposed than you would in a vehicle.
2. Transfer the route of your trip
Traveling on the back routes, away from the busy roads, can significantly reduce exposure to contaminated air. Try downloading the Citymapper application for transportation and selecting a "quiet route" when looking for ways to get from A to B.
3. Changing delivery habits
About 40% of us are getting jobs in the city center, which directly creates more vehicles on the road, which means more traffic and pollution. Click & Collect is an easy and free alternative.
4. Burn less home
Burning fuel in our homes contributes to pollution. By keeping your home cozy and insulating it well, you can turn off the thermostat by helping to reduce pollution and save money on energy bills. If you have to burn solid fuels to heat your home, make sure the fireplace meets the legal requirements and use smokeless fuels.
5. Listen to your voice
Join a local change group like Mothers and the Air Team, or contact your employer or local MP to ask them what they are doing to clean our air.
To learn more about the #AirWeShare campaign, click here
Selected image: Ruben is among the people who recently took part in monitoring air quality with Hubbub
All photos: Hubbub