With a lot of fun, delicious food, gifts, and festive spirit, Diwali also brings smog and air pollution in Delhi with it every year. The major cause is toxic smoke emitted from crackers. The air quality deteriorates to the “hazardous” level and with it follows the diseases and infections. With the high levels of pollutants in the air, it is time to follow some precautions and save yourself from falling ill. This deteriorating air quality poses serious health risks to everyone. Here are a few tips you can follow to protect yourself and your family from air pollution in Delhi.
“Pollution is a necessary result of the inability of man to reform and transform waste.“
- Always Wear a Mask Before Stepping Out
Always remember to put on a mask before stepping out. However, roadside masks are equally dangerous. Choosing the right mask that can filter all the dust particles from the air you breathe in is very important.
Avoid surgical and comfort masks as they don’t allow proper respiratory protection. Masks N95, FFP3 and Masks N99 are considered good and are easily available in markets. So, make sure to wear an anti-pollution mask to prevent inhaling toxic air, as it may lead to lung problems, severe cough, and other ailments.
“The environment will continue to deteriorate until pollution practices are abandoned.“
2. Use Indoor Plants
Plants are known as nature’s air purifiers. Indoor plants can help you in keeping your house clear of air pollution. Indoor plants such as Alovera, Bamboo Palm, Warneck Dracaena, Spider plants, Golden Pothos, Chinese evergreen, among others are best in keeping air purified with the house. Also, most of these plants don’t require direct sunlight, regular water, and can easily grow up to 12 feet in the room temperature.
“Environmental pollution is an incurable disease. It can only be prevented“
3. Increase Intake of Immune-Boosting Food
A good diet can protect you from the ill effects of extreme air pollution by improving your immunity. For this, your diet needs to be rich in nutrients. Include anti-inflammatory food items, help detoxify, and improve immunity.
Remember to include of immune-boosting food items like gooseberries, red bell peppers, broccoli, ginger, honey, garlic, neem, green tea, flaxseed oil, vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, spinach, yoghurt, almonds, turmeric, vitamin E-rich food, oatmeal, carrot juice, among others. You can also add jaggery, basil leaves, and honey to your morning cup of tea to boosts immunity and flush out the air pollutants from your system.
“Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.”
4. Stay Hydrated
Pollution is not only harmful to our lungs and skin; it is harmful to our eyes too. Extreme pollution affects our eyes, causing allergies and damage.
It is always recommended to stay hydrated as it will aid inadequate tear formation. Drinking eight to ten glasses of water in a day will be very helpful in fighting pollution. One can also increase the intake of vegetables and fruit juices. However, avoid excess coffee and tea. Keeping the body hydrated is the foremost thing in these times, and drinking more water is advisable.
“Our planet’s alarm is going off, and it is time to wake up and take action!”
5. Avoid Bikes and Auto-Rickshaws
Prefer closed mode of transport over travelling in open vehicles such as two-wheelers and auto-rickshaws. You can opt for the metro, buses, and cars or adopt carpooling. Fewer cars on the road mean reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved air quality.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
6. Keep Your Home Ventilated and de-Humidified
Dust mites and mould grow in moisture. Moulds can cause illnesses like cold, cough and other fungal infections. It is recommended to keep your home well ventilated to avoid excess humidity and mould growth. It also helps to ensure that your home gets fresh air. However, don’t keep the doors and windows open when it’s very cold and the pollen count is high. Afternoon time, 3-5 PM is the best time to ventilate your home as the PM 2.5 levels are lowest at this time of the day.
7. Avoid Smoking Indoors or Quit Smoking
Smoking is not only harmful to the smoker only. It adversely impacts others too. It is one of the main sources of indoor pollution. The best way is to quit smoking at all or avoid smoking inside the house. As indoor air is one of the primary sources of respiratory diseases, cigarette smoke and other irritants build up inside your home and cause allergies, asthma, and in some cases lung cancer to you and the rest of the family too.
“The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved.”
8. Get an Air Purifier
Having air-purifiers at your home and office in the current toxic air is another solution to face the problem of air pollution. Investing in an air purifier is a must if you have children, elderly, pregnant women or asthma patients in your house. It is a better investment than a visit to the doctor.
“What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”
9. Avoid Going Outdoors at Night
The pollution level in Delhi varies depending on the traffic patterns and the neighbourhood. But in general, the pollution level is at its highest when the temperature is low, i.e. at night. Because of inversion pollutants from cars and factories get trapped under a blanket of warm air. Yet, if it’s a must, then remember to use masks and closed transport.
10. Use of Biodegradable Tableware
According to a report in the Business Standard, the post-harvest custom of stubble burning in villages in Punjab and Haryana is contributing to 20-30% of Delhi’s air pollution.
The good news is that these agriculture wastes can be used as raw material for manufacturing biodegradable tableware. This eco-friendly disposable tableware is stronger than plastic tableware and unlike plastic, are backyard compostable.
Stubble burning has become a custom because there is no demand for this as a raw material. The farmers need a sustainable solution to replace their stubble-burning methods which could also be profitable for them. Thus by replacing plastic tableware with these eco-friendly disposables, we can kill two birds with one stone.