While we have all been stuck indoors, mother nature took her sweet time healing and prospering. There were so many cool videos on the internet where wild animals would stop depan rumah lah, jalan-jalan lah. Cam best je!
And while I sat at the balcony during the lockdown, I could see how clear the sky was. During this MCO we didn’t have much of a haze. It made me realise that we didn’t always appreciate the fresh air as much as we could and should.
Knock Knock. Who’s There? Air Pollution!
But now that most of us are out and about again, I can’t help but feel a little sad that everything might revert back to how polluted it was.
At least 4.2 million deaths every year are caused by air pollution because it is linked with diseases that can kill. And it’s even worse for our adik-adik yang muda-muda lagi because their lungs are still growing and developing. So, air pollution can create long-term health problems for them, but it also affects adults too!
Another impact of air pollution is that it threatens our ecosystem – whether its within our cities or outside of them. NGL – I used to believe that there was no air pollution in rural areas, but don’t let the blue skies and serenity fool ya! Air pollution isn’t always depan mata – it can damage our ozone layer which makes it an invisible threat to everyone, everywhere. I mean, I know ya’ll already know our climate change issue is already such a big threat, tapi air pollution only makes it worse!
So despite how air quality kinda improved during the Movement Control Order (MCO), air pollution is still worsening in many parts of the world. So, we all need to work together to reduce air pollution and get back our sweet sweet air!
Everyday Ways to Beat Air Pollution
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Some of these are so simple, you could (and should) start doing them today!
1. Shut that engine off.
Vehicles on the road are one of the main causes of air pollution. Vehicles give out a lot of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, and other pollutants. We all know how bad the traffic jams are here, so you can imagine how many cars there are on the road and just how bad that is for our air. Carpooling with your friends and using public transport will help cut down on the emission of gas and lessen traffic jams too! So good for everyone lah! Also, kalau you tengah tunggu dalam kereta dekat drive-thru ke apa, don’t forget to also turn off the engine when the vehicle isn’t moving to minimise air pollution. Kalau panas, just roll your windows down and tahan skiiiiit je.
2. No more garbage burning.
Have you seen your neighbours burning rubbish behind their house? It obvs isn’t good for the environment! Incineration is the process of getting rid of waste by burning it and it causes loads of dangerous gases to be released into the air. And bukan your neighbour je: a lot of factories do this too, unfortunately. Rather than burning your sampah, try recycling. Divide your trash by paper, plastic, glass and cans. Recycling can not only help with air pollution but also water and earth pollution too. You can earn a few nice ringgits as well through sending your recyclable things to recycling places.
3. Air out your home.
We always assume that the air outside our house is worse than the air inside our house. Surprise gais – ni tak semestinya betul yaaaa. Indoor air pollution is also a thing that can lead to a wide range of health issues! When you don’t ventilate your rooms properly, you tend to keep in bad air. Things like cleaning products, paints and perfumes, pesticides, deodorants and cleaning products contain dangerous chemicals. These chemicals can also cause headaches, chronic respiratory problems, asthma, and allergic reactions. Disgosting... So make it a habit to air out places, especially rooms where air gets trapped. This makes sure there’s good airflow so none of you or your family members are breathing in polluted air!
4. Choose healthier candles.
Candles are super cute to have and they can really change up the mood in your rooms. But do you know there are ingredients in them like paraffin that are bad for you? Too much incense and candle burning can actually cause problems in your lungs! So if you’re looking for incense and candles, avoid those made from petroleum, coal and bleach. Buy safer candles that are made from natural and non-toxic ingredients like soy and beeswax instead. And walaupun cantik dan wangi, avoid weird dyes and perfumes too as they may contain chemicals that contribute to air pollution! The goal for 2020 is to keep our rooms cute and non-toxic <3
5. Hoard all the plants!
Finally, my favourite anti-air pollution solution! Plants aren’t only pretty: they give out that good good air! Plants are the earth’s natural filtering system. They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis. They’re so good at absorbing all the bad pollutants on the surfaces of the leaves and their roots. Honestly, they are so useful and do so much, I’m about to cry just thinking about it. It’s very sad that a lot of trees are being cut down, so we gotta do what we can – and that is having our own cute garden! Fill it with your favourite sweet, smelling flowers that’ll help the air and mother earth recover from all sorts of pollution. Don’t forget to put some plants inside your home too to clean your indoor air ‘cause why not?! You can never have too many plants, really!
Clean Air For Airverybody
Kesimpulannya: let’s not take our newfound freedom for granted. I know it’s great to have a more relaxed MCO now, but we should use this opportunity to make better choices. I mean, think of how strong your ‘gram game will be if we had clear blue skies all day err day?
But seriously. Clean air doesn’t just help mother nature: it’s important for us too. Together, let’s work on having a world that’s fresher and healthier for everyone.