Diwali is called the festival of lights. But now, it has become a ‘gasping for clean air’ festival due to the worsening of the air quality because of the firecracker burning and stubble-burning pollution brought in Delhi from the neighboring cities by the westerly winds. The winter pollution, smog, not only affects the lungs, but can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. One can even experience a burning sensation in the eyes. This pollution can furthermore be held responsible for the worsening of respiratory diseases such as asthma. Therefore causing many chronic and long-term respiratory disorders. Hence, these 11 easy tips to tackle and save yourself from lung-choking Diwali pollution will prove to help combat Diwali pollution.
1. Check for pollution forecasts before planning your day
Always check the pollution forecasts so that you know when it is favorable for you to step outside without worrying about getting sick due to the bad air quality. Checking the pollution forecast and the AQI will also help you to take precautions and prevention methods so you can prepare yourself against the garroting air pollution levels.
2. Avoid outdoors as much as possible
When you already know and it is quite visible (Smog- air pollution and smoke reduces the visibility) that the air quality is not good, you must avoid going outdoors as much as possible. Go outside whenever it is urgent. Don’t plan outings, trips, or outdoor activities on such days.
3. Reduce wood burning and avoid trash/garbage burning in the open
Air quality in the winters remains poor for days. You should reduce fuel burning or limit the usage of wood combustion in fireplaces in your households. Garbage/trash burning in the open should be avoided at all costs, especially around those days. These activities only add to the already existing and deteriorating air quality, making the conditions more and more worse.
4. Go for sustainable alternatives
The use of fireworks increases air pollution, making the air toxic. The loud noise of firecrackers bursting causes anxiety in the elderly, children, pets, and stray animals. It can cause high blood pressure, headaches, sleep disruption, and a variety of other discomforts. Avoid burning candles, incense sticks and diyas indoors. Use alternatives such as LED lights instead, as they do not emit any kind of fumes or air pollution.
5. Avoid outdoor physical activities
When you do any kind of physical activity you breathe at a faster pace as compared to your normal rate of breathing. You inhale more oxygen and exhale more carbon dioxide. This happens because when you do any kind of physical activity, you need more oxygen for your muscles to work harder. So, when you do any kind of physical activity in extremely polluted air, you will breathe in more air pollution as compared to breathing in the same air.
6. Choose walking, cycling and Carpooling
Whenever you want to cover shorter distances, choose walking or cycling instead of using any vehicle. This will not only ensure your physical fitness, but will reduce the air pollution emissions if you would have chosen otherwise. Carpooling will reduce the emissions that will make a great difference in the emissions. This will also reduce the traffic jams as there will be less cars on the roads.
7. Know what you breathe
Knowledge is the key. You cannot save yourself from something if you aren’t aware of what you are facing. Air quality monitors will provide you with the knowledge and equip you with knowing the air pollutants around you. By monitoring the air quality around you, the nature of the air pollutants and the quantity in which they are present can be known. Get involved and voluntarily observe around you. If you think you should report someone causing unnecessary air pollution, you can report it on the Green Delhi App.
8. Carry your masks whenever you step outside
Carry your masks always with you. Know that WEARING your masks IS CARING. Insist your elders, parents, relatives to use masks as masks will help in preventing various cardiorespiratory disorders and illnesses. An effective anti-pollution mask can reduce the chances of heart attacks and lung diseases caused due to breathing in polluted air. It is one of the 11 easy tips to tackle Diwali pollution.
9. Spend an eco-friendly Diwali
This Diwali, go Eco-friendly! Use flowers and eco-friendly colours such as turmeric, kumkum, coffee powder, rice, flour, etc. instead of synthetic colours. Some fun ways to celebrate Diwali may include decorating your homes, distributing sweets and chocolates to family and friends, visiting places of worship, etc. Avoid burning crackers at all costs.
10. Follow the simple health advices
The AQI app (for android and iOS) as well as the AQI website will automatically give recommendations and health advice on the basis of air quality around you. It will come in handy when making plans for friends and family trips, or when you simply want to spend your day outdoors.
11. Plant indoors!
Indoor plants are known as natural air filters. They look good and give your indoors a fresh, warm, and homey feel to your houses. They will naturally filter out any air pollutants present indoors. There are some indoor plants known to naturally purify the air quality and enhance the overall air quality indoors. These include Golden Pothos, Aloe Vera, Bamboo Palm, Warneck Dracaena, Peace Lily, Azalea (Rhododendron Simsii), English Ivy, Weeping Fig, etc.
A must read: 10 best ways to reduce Air Pollution