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Category ArchiveAir Purification

Poor air quality is a huge issue – by Alexa Gill & Anna Koor of Let Pompey Breathe #letpompeybreathe

Let Pompey Breathe is back again to talk about air pollution. You can read all about our campaign to reduce air pollution in Portsmouth and find more information on the petition we are currently collecting signatures for here. Today (21st of June) is Clear Air Day and we want to talk about ways you can protect yourself from air pollutants and how to join in the fight for clean air.

Communication is key

Poor air quality is a huge issue, and it can seem overwhelming to think about how we can tackle it, as individuals. Dealing with this growing problem requires a joint effort, we need councils, local business and residents to work together. Education and engagement is critical, there still seems to be a disconnect between people’s understanding of the consequences of dirty air and its impact on our health. With an estimated 40,000 premature deaths a year across the country due to outdoor air pollution, according to a report from the Royal College of Physicians, it’s become a national health crisis. So we need to build awareness of the problem. Some suggestions are:

  • Talk to your friends, family and colleagues about air pollution and what they can do to help reduce it and to protect themselves from it, particularly the vulnerable including young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems.
  • Approach your employer about how they plan to address poor air quality. Could they set up a cycle to work scheme, update their transport policy or change suppliers?
  • If you’re a parent, speak to other parents and school teachers about starting a ‘walk to school’ campaign (a ‘walking bus’), or setting up a car share scheme.
  • Use social media platforms to spread the word and pass on useful information. Make sure to use hashtag #LetPompeyBreathe
  • Contact your local councillors to tell them you care about this problem and urge them to press for improvements in your neighbourhood and places in the city you visit regularly. One simple but effective step would be to erect signage alerting drivers not to idle their engines illegally, particularly in busy public places or where there are young children such as outside schools, at taxi ranks, bus and train stations.

Dirty Air isn’t just outside

In addition to the estimated 40,000 deaths a year due to outdoor air pollution there’s also the yet unquantified effects of indoor pollutants, which include radon, biological materials, particulates and nitrogen dioxide. This needs serious consideration as we spend the majority of our time inside. But there are some measures that can be taken to lower the risk:

  • Ensure you open windows when cooking.
  • Dry your washing outside whenever possible. It’s important to have good ventilation to reduce your exposure and these steps will also help reduce the accumulation of moulds which are air pollutants.
  • If you have a wood-burning fireplace, consider replacing it with a natural gas version. Not only will you reduce the emissions going outside, but the air quality should improve in your home.
  • Candles are another cause of air pollution so limit your use of these where possible.
  • By using less gas and electricity, you’ll reduce the air pollution you are creating. Simple steps like switching off lights when not in use, only running the washing machine/dishwasher when there’s a full load and filling the kettle with only the water you need, can reduce your energy consumption and save you some money in the process!
  • A report by Nasa revealed that there are some plants which are known for cleaning the air and are mostly easy to look after. These include Rubber Plant, Peace Lily, Ficus Alii, Spider Plant, Dracaena, Weeping Fig, several species of Palm, and different varieties of Philodendron.

 

Reducing air pollution would not only protect our health but also slow down climate change. There is still hope if we work together and act quickly.

Combination of cold starts and short journeys are a major barrier to air pollution improvements by Larissa Lockwood, Head of Health at Global Action Plan

Here we are again with another guest piece, they are coming thick and fast at the moment, if you want to feature on Crowdleaf.org.uk too, please do contact us!

This time we talk about the pressing issue of Air Pollution and Clean Air Day 2018, with a guest piece by Larissa Lockwood, Head of Health at Global Action Plan.

A combination of cold starts and short journeys are a major barrier to air pollution improvements :

More than half of car trips nationally are under 5 miles. In urban areas such as inner London, a third of car trips are just under 2 miles.

Double the amount of pollution emitted from cars in first 5 minutes of journeys compared to the rest of the journey.

Clean Air Day 2018 calls on UK residents to leave their cars at home on 21 June and walk or cycle instead.

The combination of the pollution burst that is being created as cars warm up in the first 5 minutes of journeys, together with the large proportion of  journeys being short ones, is making a significant contribution to the UK’s air pollution challenge. Drivers are suffering the worst effects of this pollution burst as there can be up to double the amount of pollution inside vehicles.

Latest analysis of the EQUA Index data shows that the average daily distance driven in passenger cars in urban areas is not sufficient for a vehicle’s pollution control system to warm up and become fully functional. For the majority of vehicles tested by Emissions Analytics, it can take more than five minutes for pollution control systems to reach operating temperature.

Larissa Lockwood, Head of Health at Global Action Plan, the organisers of Clean Air Day, said, “Taking collective action to tackle air pollution every day can make a massive difference, particularly if we cut down on using the car for these short, polluting journeys, many of which can be walked or cycled instead.

“Imagine if more people left the car at home every day, particularly for these short journeys. We could achieve similar levels of clean air on a daily basis as we did when the roads closed during the London Marathon which led a massive 89% drop in air pollution. We would suffer far fewer health problems from air pollution and we would also reduce levels of congestion and free up our streets, making them safer.

“Let’s take action together on Clean Air Day, 21 June, to make a real difference to the air we breathe. Clean Air Day has developed a range of advice, top tips, and information on the actions that everyone can take to protect themselves from pollution and reduce their impact.”

Small steps can mean major change.  Global Action Plan, the organisers of Clean Air Day, suggests that if we all commit to just one of the following, regularly, the differences will be great:
Use your feet, take to the street and get active – Walk, cycle, bus, tube, tram, boat, however you like to travel, leave your car at home and take to the streets. As well as cutting down the amount of pollution you make, you’ll increase your daily exercise.
Drive in to the future – Cars may not fly or run on trash yet but when you upgrade your car, explore an electric, hybrid or LPG model (to save on your road tax too)
Give your car a holiday – There are some easy ways to use your car less; car-sharing or working from home if possible.  And they quickly become part of your routine.
Get out of your car – Car drivers can be exposed to twice as much air pollution as pedestrians and nine times more than a cyclist.  So, avoid sitting in your car in heavy traffic where pollution can build up and walk or cycle instead
Keep your car tyres inflated – Having well-inflated tyres means your car will be more efficient and use less fuel. Great for the environment and great for your pocket too.

Air pollution causes heart disease and worsens asthma in adults and children. It is damaging the health of all of us, but particularly young children and those with heart and lung problems. Every year in the UK 29,000 people die prematurely from air pollution – that’s about 80 people every day.

Research has shown that there are still significant gaps in public understanding of air pollution and we urgently need to impress upon people the need for them to get involved and how they can make a difference.

2018’s Clean Air Day on 21 June will create a groundswell of action bringing thousands of people together to make UK cities cleaner and healthier. It will provide guidance on the actions people can take today to reduce the air pollution they create and advice on what they can do to protect themselves and their families in the future.

SDG´s 12+14= the panoptic for plastic waste by @MarIntroini

Arch2O-Whilwind-01

When Foucault creates the concept of a panoptic for the criminal system he didn’t realized its real potential and that it could be applied for other areas in which there is danger for our societies, in this case for our oceans.

If there were a constant surveillance and a rational and responsible consumption maybe plastics would not represent a threat, however under current circumstances without a proper waste management and recycling process it becomes a real challenge.

Millions of plastic bottles finish in the ocean, which means that there is a terrible lack of awareness from individuals that goes beyond the own negative impact in the environment. Is an endemic problem that starts with indifference and misbehaving and end on lack of Education. Indeed, about 8m tones of plastic waste end up in the oceans every year, more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic float in the world’s oceans, breaking into smaller pieces*.

U.N. goals 12+ 14 may be the clue for addressing this relentless path towards contamination; Responsible Consumption and Production and Life below waterare the two main goals to search for resilience in terms of plastic waste management and preservation of oceans. But how could we plan our response effectively?

Is estimated that by 2050 it will be more plastic than fish in the oceans, coincidentally by the same year, there is another forecast establishing that the entire SDG´s will not be achieved. Which is the real burden? Lack of information seems to be the answer, at least right now. Sadly instead of being focused on strategic planning we are still delivering basic info.

 But let´s be positive and focusing in those actions that are succeeding and delivering solutions in the short-term: Projects Faro 360 in Kaolack, Senegal a “waste tolerance” city exposure the fact that individual action + innovation makes possible a recycling process of plastics and minds.

Commitment from corporations: the road ahead. Changing cultural business codes is the clue and could only be achieved working on the following roads:

1) Cleaning –literally- oceans from plastic waste

2) Innovative forms of packaging

3) Education process at all levels to get commitment from the people: responsible consumption and waste management.

In the end Education becomes another key element and a sort kind of “panoptic” from which we could control corporation’s work, public policies and individual action.

Control, supervision, regulation, etc., a close look to SDG´s and their ambitious targets make us conclude that without pressure there is no results. We need to build new innovative structures through raise awareness and strong legislation based on creativity and capacity to influence people effectively. It is proven that information is currently the main challenge, a fact that transforms any effort for success useful if there is not a solid political will to address it.

Financial aspects seems to be a controversial point; SDG´s supposes an investment of 5 to 7 trillions and even if the world has never been wealthier as now is it also true that there are big troubles in terms of distribution. It´s important to highlight that this is not an ideological matter, the equal distribution is much more than a political position but a reality that is driven the world into stagnation. If there are still countries submitted into poverty means the total failure of a goal on sustainability There is not a possibility to get to successful goals if parts of the planet are still under basic standards for accessing to clean water or safe environments, that is so that the “plastic issue” become and universal issue and also an universal responsibility.

 

Tolerance 0 to plastic waste! 12 + 14= sustainable oceans.







10th year of the pioneering SuperHomes Open Days

This year marks the 10th year of SuperHomes, the innovative and multi-award winning national network of over 200 homes which have all reduced their carbon footprint by a minimum of 60%. SuperHome owners will open their doors this September as part of our Open House events, and there is a record 100 free events occurring this year across the UK. 

SuperHomes is a project managed by the National Energy Foundation, an independent charity that aims to reduce the use of energy in buildings.
The Open Days are a great opportunity for visitors to see for themselves both the challenges and benefits associated with making older homes more energy efficient, and view retrofit technologies in action. The free Open House events occur every September where the SuperHome owners provide honest and detailed accounts of their renovation stories and offer invaluable advice and guidance.
Since 2007 SuperHomes has been at the forefront of domestic eco-retrofit and the network continues to lead the way in carbon conscious renovation. To date, 222 homeowners have all transformed their properties through environmentally minded renovation resulting in lower energy bills, smaller carbon footprints and a huge increase in comfort levels.
SuperHomes include all types of houses, ranging from Grade II listed 16th Century ironstone properties to 1990’s build ex-council houses; from 6 bed Victorian mansions to 1940 terraces; from idyllic ecolodge retreats in rural Snowdonia to single story flats in the heart of London.

The technology found within and around the properties is innovative and market leading, and our SuperHomes offer exceptional, and often unique, examples of green technologies.

In addition to the more mature aspects of green renovation such as external wall insulation, solar PV panels and heat pumps, our houses boast a variety of cutting edge technologies such as Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems, green roofs, biomass boilers, and even whole house airtight membranes.

SuperHomes are pioneers in renewable technology and energy efficiency.






We have a number of SuperHomes opening for the first time this year. This includes our most recent addition Pamela whose 1920s ex-Council house in North London is carbon neutral! She achieved this by installing many technologies, including Solar Water Heating, Solar PV Panels and Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery. Visit Pamela on 16th/17th September on a free tour. Another interesting first time opener is Paul from Flintshire who retrofitted his 1960s home for under £10,000, and still managed to achieve a carbon saving of 64%! Visit Paul for a tour on the 9th September to learn about how to keep eco-retrofit affordable. To find an Open Day near you please visit http://www.superhomes.org.uk/get-inspired/events/.

Energy used in the home accounts for more than a quarter of total energy use and carbon emissions in the UK. Houses in the UK are some of the least energy efficient in Europe, and the majority of the housing stock is made up of older homes which are typically very energy inefficient. Without tackling this problem and improving the energy efficiency of homes we will not be able to meet our emissions target of an 80% cut in emissions by 2050 to meet the requirements of the legally binding Climate Change Act. Open House events like SuperHomes are great ways to distribute knowledge and passion about retrofit, and persuade people to take the carbon conscious decision to reduce energy use in their home.

The current, post-Green Deal (the Coalition Government’s flagship energy efficiency policy that was scrapped in 2015), climate, with lowered green incentives and a distinct lack of interest from subsequent governments has seen the focus on eco-retrofit waver. Yet the refurbishment of our homes and buildings is one of the greatest challenges we face to reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change. SuperHomes harnesses the enthusiasm of our energy saving pioneers to stimulate community-led renovation.
SuperHome Open Days occur throughout the year with a co-ordinated national event throughout September. Most of our openings coincide with Heritage Open Days (7-10th September) and London Open House (16/17th September). To find out more visit www.superhomes.org.uk
To help SuperHomes celebrate this anniversary we’ve partnered with the Ecology Building Society who are supporting this year’s September openings.

SuperHome owner #59, Mark Brown stands in front of his 1980’s detached house. The High Wycombe property has achieved 90% carbon savings. Visit on 9th/10th September.

The goal of a sustainable world within an unsustainable political framework by @MarIntroini

Originally posted on  : thesustainabilityreader.com




“In anxious anticipation” the name of Aaron Tilley´s sculpture that illustrates our article represents the threaten impact of an unsustainable political system. Paradoxically the pillar message from political leaders is precisely: a sustainable system. The question is: Does the current political system give a framework sufficiently solid to boost a sustainable world? Let´s go to the own concept of sustainability. Among different definitions there are three pillars that gather the essence: social, economic and environment, and its only through a harmonic interaction that we could get to a balanced result. However, sustainability is mainly associated with environmental aspects and left behind the importance of economic and social misbalances. Many of the changes that the world is experimenting as a direct consequence of the advance of far-right populism, demands a reshape of the system also in terms of sustainability.In which denial of climate change is only one aspect of the devastating impact on the rest of this complex roadmap, which is launched in an isolationist message. When we focus strategies around sustainability, is precisely joint action at national and global level and the harmonic combination of the 3 main pillars that shape a holistic approach. That is so, that build extreme defences of sovereignty has an impact on sustainable goals as it demands a global approach that connect with the rest of the world. A work of harmonisation of policies at global level is also part of a sustainable agenda developed by leaders with vision.

The power to agglutinate social-economic and environmental pillars towards a goal of a sustainable system it should be based on political systems that give equal relevance to each pillar in a global context. Is in this sense that we see the inequality of priorities and the preeminence for environmental aspects over the rest. Green business has become a great goal but it could only be considered successful if is it under a holistic analysis on sustainability if not it is only about short-term business profits. Being green is also a matter of boosting sustainable goals as an essential element for a real evolution and changes. “Falling or rolling towards a Green age?”http://bit.ly/2eKDRmD. However, a culture around green is not necessary translated in a sustainability culture. This ambitious goal demands a new and strong step that fully integrates the social and economic pillar. Under current framework in which lack of transparency and accountability is the guideline of political systems (Panama papers, Brexit´s impossible promises, anti-globalist, anti-European Union, etc.) the counterbalance of social and economic pillars connecting with environmental issues seems an important challenge.

A goal of a sustainable system is not only a matter of accepting climate change challenges but also the reshape of current frameworks at political, economic and financial level if not, ineffectiveness would be the result. The crack of the global financial system confirms the “unsustainability” of current codes.

For instance, if there is an official commitment towards climate change and at the same time there is not a boost of policies (subsidies, investment, etc.) there will not be coherence with the original message. A good example of these contradictions is illustrated by failed Spanish government´s policies around wind energy, although with a strong political message in favor. “Wind energy in Spain: raise and fall”

Is not possible to get to sustainable goals if we move through unsustainable political systems. Social and economic pillars need to be addressed by a strong political will and tangible agenda. The role of political leaders play as catalyst of changes and currently are only being part of big campaigns carefully studied at marketing level but without accountability over their proposals. Maybe this is part of a transitional process in which the population needs an emotional, subjective message rather than proven and achievable objective goals.




An “anxious anticipation” is the feeling that best describe the disempowered role of the civil society and the weak but determinate message from political leaders. Making of sustainability their leading message although without delivering alternative models that radically reform the system.

Without a reshape of the political system there will not be an in-depth counterbalance of social-economic-financial-environmental pillars towards a sustainable system…not only sustainable goals.

Hextio – Air Purification X10 – Radic8 & The next generation of indoor air

Introducing:

Hextio – Air Purification x 10

While you can read below for more details, they have also shared this awesome video. It explains what we all want explaining. Hextio – click to watch and listen to what it is, does and more, straight from one of the brains behind the product – Richard Greenwood . The reasons we need it, covered, the technology is covered and the whole concept is explained for you, what is not to like?




 Below us we have both a link to to the updated campaign, as you can see its already fully funded but the fun does not stop there. There is still room to get involved, chip in and indeed to give enough to receive some of the awesome rewards. There is also an awesome picture showing us all a brief glimpse into the inside of the Hextio. It looks like something from a sci-fi movie but I have been assured by the experts it is in fact real and crucially super effective.

inside-hextio