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Breathing clean air is a basic human right.

Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats to human health, alongside climate change.

Air pollution is an invisible threat. It negatively impacts people every day and it is especially harmful to children. We all breathe air, subconsciously, around 20,000 times a day but sadly, the air we are breathing is toxic.

car polluting the environment
#air pollution

A Silent Killer

Every year, exposure to air pollution is estimated to cause 7 million premature deaths and result in the loss of millions more healthy years of life. In children, this could include reduced lung growth and function, respiratory infections, and aggravated asthma.

In adults, ischaemic heart disease and stroke are the most common causes of premature death attributable to outdoor air pollution, and evidence is also emerging of other effects such as diabetes and neurodegenerative conditions.

This puts the burden of disease, attributable to air pollution, on a par with other major global health risks such as unhealthy diet and tobacco smoking.1

What's the situation in Australia?

Compared to many countries around the world, Australia has a remarkably high standard of air quality. Despite this, approximately 5000 people die each year due to diseases associated with exposure to air pollution in our country.

The 2015 National Clean Air Agreement has identified multiple risks of increasing air pollution and impacts of air quality in Australia, including: Population growth and ageing – the number of Australians aged 65 and over is projected to more than double by 2054–55.2

If you are wondering what the most polluted city in Australia is; well, at the time of writing this blog, the honor belonged to Manilla, NSW.

Astonishingly, the PM2.5* concentration in Warragul air is currently 4.1 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) released new guidance recently. Since the last 2005 global update, there has been a marked increase in the quality and quantity of evidence that shows how air pollution affects various aspects of health.

*(PM stands for particulate matter (also called particle pollution): the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye.)

Are you part of the solution or the problem?

Problem: The motor vehicle. It's a wonderful thing and in Australia they are an intrinsic part of our lives. We all use cars, mostly powered by combustion engines, as part of our daily activities – dropping kids off, shopping, commuting etc., but in doing so, the impact is significant.

For a person who commutes 20 km a day (10km each way) and who work 250 days a year, this means the commuting distance is 5000 km a year. A typical car emits 130g CO2 per km. 5000 kms produces emissions of 650 kg CO2 per year. This is a lot. Most families have more than one car.

Solution: Sustainable transport. There are many wonderful alternative transport options: Electric Scooters (e-Scooters), Electric Bikes (e-Bikes), active transport (walking, running, cycling) and even carpooling or clean public transport offerings. At URBNRIDZ we are not foolish enough to think that we can replace the car or combat air pollution on our own, but we are proud of the fact that we are part of the solution.

Not only do e-scooters reduce emissions in urban areas, but they are also quiet and do not contribute to noise pollution in cities. Like riding a bike or walking, e-scooters allow you to enjoy your surroundings without spoiling the experience with a loud engine noise.

Riding an e-scooter generates no exhaust fumes, since it is solely powered by an electric motor. This means you are contributing zero air pollution to your city when you kick off and go, and you are recharging your e-scooter with energy that is more carbon-neutral than petrol or diesel.

Call to action.

Re-consider your transport choices or mix of transport, and help solve air pollution. It is a very real issue. If you are wondering how, as an individual, you can do this consider cutting back to one car or using public transport as part of your daily commute. Perhaps consider active transport (walking or cycling) options or invest in an e-Scooter or e-Bike when popping to the local shops.

If you are a business, think about ways you can offset the carbon you are producing by investing in clean transport solutions that promote cleaner commutes. For example, if you are a hotel, consider offering electric scooters as an amenity for your guests. If you are a city, reward those who use clean transport to connect with public transport. If you are a transport regulator, consider ways in which you can offer subsidies which encourage people to leave their cars at home in favour of green or active transportation alternatives.

Air pollution is a silent killer and a global pandemic we live with every day. If what I have said is not enough to help change your mind, have a listen to the heartbreaking story by Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, who speaks about her seven-year-old daughter, Ella Roberta, whose asthma was triggered to a fatal point by air pollution.

URBNRIDZ is on a mission: Less congestion. Less road traffic accidents. Less Air Pollution. A greener planet!

@airquality @airpollution @congestion @sustainability @electricscooters @cleanertransport @micro-mobility @climatechange @e-scooter @onerideatatime @environment


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