How to Reduce Air Pollution in Cities

Air pollution is an obvious reality in the world, although large cities have the highest levels of pollution. Poor air quality affects our health much more than we can imagine, so we must take measures to take care of ourselves and not suffer from diseases.

Reducing air pollution is everybody’s job and that is why in this post we tell you what we can do to avoid pollution. In addition to these small individual actions that we propose, we also have the possibility of breathing a purer environment in our home or workplace if we use systems of renovation and air hygiene.

What is environmental pollution and why is it produced?

The pure air we breathe in the mountain has large amounts of oxygen, so it is very beneficial for our health. However, as we move away from nature and into the cities, the levels of environmental pollution increase considerably. That is, the amount of oxygen in the air is greatly reduced and, instead, large concentrations of ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and other harmful particles appear. The exposure of people to these substances causes health problems that can be aggravated in the population at risk (children, the elderly, people with asthma or respiratory insufficiency) and that can worsen if the quality of the air we breathe is always bad.

On the other hand, the processes to convert fossil fuels into energy that are carried out in the thermal and light power plants and other transformation processes used in the industry, also contribute to the contamination of the environment.

Therefore, all these emissions do not help reduce air pollution. In addition, the lack of rain that we suffer mainly during the summer, does not help to solve this problem. The water cleans and purifies the environment because it carries away the harmful particles. When there is a drought, our contributions to reduce pollution in the air do not have such obvious effects as in the rainy season.

Pollution and health: how does it affect us?

The World Health Organization (WHO) says that 1.3 million people die every year in the world due to air pollution. In fact, more than half of those affected by this figure lived in developing countries. What happens in these areas is that the legislation hardly regulates traffic or industry and the air is very polluted. Although the pollution figures are not so alarming in Spain, we must try to reduce air pollution to preserve our health. What are the consequences of prolonged exposure to pollution?

– Increase in the population that has allergies.

– Development of heart diseases.

– Increase in people suffering from respiratory diseases such as asthma or insufficiency.

– Increasingly alarming numbers of people affected by some type of cancer.

How to prevent environmental pollution: proposals and actions

Every day it is more usual that pollution in the world is the subject of some news. This really worries throughout the country, but especially in cities such as Madrid or Barcelona. The increase of vehicles circulating in the streets, the transformation processes of the factories (industrial pollution) and the absence of rains worsen the situation. City councils are aware of environmental problems and try to find solutions. That’s why in some areas they limit the speed and number of vehicles that can travel. These are the actions carried out in other European cities to reduce pollution.

However, reducing environmental pollution is everybody’s job and we have many measures in our hand to solve pollution. Any small action that respects the environment contributes to improving our quality of life.

– Recycling is a way to reduce pollution because we take advantage of resources and avoid some manufacturing processes that generate harmful gases.

– Using public transport contributes to a single vehicle carrying many people, so we pollute less than if each one goes in his own car.

– Sharing transportation is also a good way to reduce pollution.

– If we think about changing the car, it is best to choose one of low consumption or electric. In case we prefer a traditional one, we must bear in mind that diesel is the most polluting.

– All vehicles need revisions, at least once a year. In this way we can verify that ours does not contaminate more than allowed and we will repair it immediately if we detect any irregularity.

– Walking or cycling are the two least polluting ways to get around.

– When you are going to use products with sprays, such as those used to kill mosquitoes, make sure that the packaging is respectful with the environment and, therefore, does not release greenhouse gases. This is the symbol that indicates that it is an ecological container.

Reduce air pollution at home: how to get it

How to avoid air pollution in our home is an issue that worries us frequently, especially if we have children. The pollution of the city also affects the homes and workplaces that are located there. That is why it is important to reduce indoor air pollution. In addition to the actions that we have already mentioned, there are other measures that we can apply at the domestic level that will help us breathe a clean and healthy environment when we are at home:

– Ventilate the house daily.

– Have indoor plants.

– Do not smoke in closed spaces. It is preferable to go out to the terrace or to enable a smoking area that is isolated from the rest of the house and that is easily ventilated.

– The air purifiers are perfect to clean the environment and make it healthy. In addition, they help prevent allergies and improve the symptoms of those who suffer from them.

– If you have air conditioning at home, do not overuse its use and make sure you put it at an ideal temperature to keep the rooms cool without having to go cold.

Final Words

Now you have the keys to avoid pollution, both in your city and at home. Follow our recommendations to reduce air pollution and enjoy a clean and healthy environment. Take care of your environment and preserve your health and that of those around you.

What can I do to protect the environment?

The water

Water is a precious resource. To reduce your water consumption, you can:

  • Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth or washing your hands.
  • Install a faucet aerator or low-flow showerhead, which can halve the amount of water you use.
  • Keep a carafe of water in the refrigerator so that you always have fresh water on hand. It will save you from running tap water.
  • Wait until the dishwasher is full before turning it on.
  • Take shorter showers.

Toxic products

Many chemicals are harmful to humans, animals, plants and the environment. It is therefore important to minimize their use and dispose of them appropriately. Try to remember:

  • Read the labels carefully and avoid as much as possible the toxic products.
  • Use natural products such as vinegar and baking soda for cleaning, or one of the many non-toxic products on the market.
  • Do not dispose of electronic devices such as cell phones or items such as batteries, propane tanks and paint containers in the trash. It is important to bring them to a specialized collection center.


Most municipalities in Ontario have recycling programs. It must be maximized to divert as much waste as possible from landfills. There are also other ways to reduce the amount of waste you produce. Here are a few :

  • Buy durable and reusable products rather than disposable or substandard products.
  • Repair broken or damaged items before buying others.
  • Avoid buying products with a lot of packaging.
  • Buy bulk products as much as possible.
  • Bring your own reusable grocery bag to reduce the use of plastic bags.

The garden

Pesticides are now banned in Ontario because they are considered toxic to the environment, humans and animals.

You can find in gardening centers or on the Internet (see links below), tips on natural ways to control pests in your garden. Also, when adding new plants, choose species that need little water. Native plants are generally satisfied with a minimal amount of water and are well adapted to our environment.