Take fresh steps to breathe better this Clean Air Day

20 June 2018

Everyone deserves clean air, and we can make a difference ourselves with simple, easy steps at home, at work and out and about.

Today is Clean Air Day. Coordinated by Global Action Plan, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the very real health and environmental risks from air pollution.

Health issues arising from poor air quality affects the health of millions, and it’s a problem which shows no sign of going away unless we all take action.

The air we breathe is affected by a range of pollutants. Traffic is the obvious culprit, but power stations and agricultural and industrial processes are also a large contributor.

Inside, fires, cooking and cleaning products are large offenders, not to mention the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by furnishings, paint and electrical equipment.

It is certain that the most effective way to reduce air pollution is to stop or reduce our use of the things that cause it in the first place, for example, driving cars where possible, using electricity or cleaning our homes with chemical products.

However, assuming we can only have so much control over what is emitted into our air, what else can we do to find clean air to breathe?

The Clean Air Day website has a wealth of information on measures you can take to breathe better air.

Among them, it suggests turning off car engines when idling, avoiding walking around busy city streets at rush hour, seeking out side streets to walk along instead of main roads, opening our windows whenever we can, to circulate our indoor air and avoiding strenuous activity at times or in places of high pollution.

As well as avoiding bad air, how about creating fresh air? We at Urban Planters have long been proponents of the power of office plants and house plants to improve indoor air quality and there is a wealth of research to support this.

Plants remove toxins from our indoor air and replace them with oxygen, creating fresher, cleaner air in our homes and workplaces. As we spend on average 90% of our time indoors, it is important to ensure our indoor atmospheres are as healthy as possible, especially where ventilation is poor.

In offices, educational settings, hospitals and homes, indoor air quality is under threat from closed windows (thanks to air conditioning), electrical equipment, furnishings and general poor air circulation. Just a few of the right plants in a room can change the quality of the air.

Studies have shown that even half the recommended amount of plants in a room can reduce VOC levels by 50%. What’s more, a simple spider plant in an enclosed space has been found to remove 96% of carbon dioxide from the air.

So it is clear that indoor plants have a role to play in providing cleaner healthier air for our indoor lives.

For more information on Clean Air Day, go to https://www.cleanairday.org.uk/

To find out more about how plants can improve your air quality, visit https://www.urbanplanters.co.uk/benefits-of-plants/