Another reason to promote green living – your lungs need you to!

Posted on May 6, 2009. Filed under: living green |

The Associated Press released an article last week that says “60 percent of Americans live in areas with unhealthy air pollution levels despite a growing green movement and more stringent laws aimed at improving air quality”. That’s according to the American Lung Association, which ranked the pollution levels of U.S. cities and counties based on air quality measurements that state and local agencies reported to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency between 2005 and 2007.  

Why should you care? The article reports that health effects from air pollution include changes in lung function, coughing, heart attacks, lung cancer and premature death.  While some cities have seen improvements in their air quality, that does not mean they are enough to elimate the risks from current pollution levels.

One the biggest contributors to air pollution is carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is also a green house gas and a major contributor to global warming. CO2 is released when humans breathe – which is not harmful, but also as result of our daily life activity – which can be harmful. So how can we help curb CO2 emissions and improve our air quality? 

Here are a few simple green actions you can take to lessen your impact and help clean the air:

  • Replace 5 regular light bulbs with compact fluorecents (CFLs)
  • Carpool, walk or ride your bike – good for the air and your lungs
  • Patch leaks in your home – reports show that an esimated 1600 pounds of CO2 are released every year due to holes and crask in doors and windows, leading to wasted electricity
  • Recycle! Recycled materials use less energy to manufacture  that products made from virgin materials.  You save roughly 4 pounds of carbon for every 10 cans recycled. 
  • Use low or zero-VOC paints (helps both indoor and outdoor air pollution)
  • After you read this and get up from your computer, put it into hibernation, turn of f your screen, or just shut down altogether! 

be well! live green!

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