Across 2,000 households in the UK, 70% were found to breach all three World Health Organisation limits for air quality. Scary stuff. But the good thing is we can do something about it.
Air Pollution in the UK: How Bad Is It and What Can We Do About Air Quality?
A new online tool by COPI (Central Office of Public Interest) allows you to quickly check the levels of toxic pollutants according to a postcode address. Check your pollutions levels here.
It uses data produced by researchers at Imperial College London.
Its findings are disturbing. The air we are breathing is not safe according to WHO guidelines.
94% of Great Britain has pollution that exceeds background pollution levels. So even areas without lots of major roads are still being affected.
One third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease are due to air pollution (WHO).
So What Can We do About Air Pollution?
Remember when the roads went quiet during lockdown? Air pollution levels fell drastically. In fact, CO2 emissions and other pollutants plummeted across the world.
The solution is realising that cleaning up our air requires us to be on the same page for a bit. It's the air we ALL breathe, after all.
Improving our air quality starts with reducing our reliance on carbon intensive transport like planes and cars instead opting for active travel (walking, biking, even paddleboarding!) and using public transport where possible.
Awareness is important too. The tool developed by COPI is eye-opening. Imagine if these air pollution figures were displayed on property listings. This is what COPI are calling for to better inform renters and buyers.
The World Health Organisation say that: "Air pollution is closely linked to climate change - the main driver of climate change is fossil fuel combustion which is also a major contributor to air pollution - and efforts to mitigate one can improve the other."
Here are some great resolutions for battling climate change, air pollution and for helping people and planet.
Fashion and Air Pollution
Buying preloved at your local shop or online is much better than buying new. This is especially when compared to shopping with fast-fashion giants like Shein who have been criticised for shipping their goods by cargo plane. They do not hide this and in fact boast about having a plane on standby on their website.
Fashion accounts for 10% of global carbon emissions, with greenhouse gas emissions at each stage of production, manufacturing and transportation.
When you buy preloved then nothing needs to be produced or manufactured. And depending on where you buy your second hand fashion there may be very little impact in terms of transportation when browsing a vintage shop or collecting an online order.
Here are ten more great reasons to shop preloved for the sake of workers, your wardrobe and our planet.