Lowering our Carbon Footprint and Air Pollution


Air Pollution

Yes, you heard right….. acid rain falls in parts of the US. Acid rain is made from too much pollution in your air. On average, we spend $6 billion per year in loss of crops, cleaning up of forests, lakes, and buildings, and rehab of animals. Air pollution is made up of particles,1/30 the diameter of a piece of hair, and gases. As of 2013, and thanks to the ‘Clean Air Act’, now only 4 out of 10 people live where it’s dangerous to breathe.

Acid rain is a mix of wet and dry deposits/pollutants from the atmosphere, blowing into an area with moisture in the air. The acidic chemicals mix with the moisture in the air and form into snow, fog, mist, and rain. When it’s dry, the acid chemicals can become incorporated into powders/dustings like dust, and smoke.  It sticks to the ground, buildings, homes, cars, etc. Then the chemicals can get into our water, food sources, and plant life.

Acid rain is made up of Air pollution. 50,000 to 120,000 people die each year, prematurely, due to the exposure of air pollutants. The National Air Quality Standards for Practice Matter stated this year that 81million people live in areas that fail to meet the standards. Air pollution is made up of 8 main components, six of which we are in control of changing. Ozone(o3), Nitrogen Oxides(nox) which is mainly gases from power plants and tail pipes. Carbon monoxide(co), volatile organic compounds(vocs), and Particulate matter which is: dust, soot, fly ash, diesel exhaust particles, wood smoke, sulfate, aerosols, and Sulfur Dioxide(so2), which is a respiratory irritant and causes sudden asthma attacks. It’s produced when coal and crude oil are burned. There are natural situations too, just not as many as what man creates.

There are things we do in our lives that affect air pollution both directly and indirectly along with making our carbon foot print too high, and in making our air quality as poor as it is. Air pollution is affected directly by use of electricity, how we use and burn our fuels, and through use of transportation. Air pollution is affected indirectly from buying goods and services that need long transportation, or that have excessive packaging, and using goods and services that use energy in their production and delivery.

Lowering your carbon foot print, and helping our air quality does not need to be an expensive, long, and hard endeavor. It starts off with the little things: shorten your shower length, take a shower instead of a bath, hang dry your clothes, turn down water temp in house, carpool, use rechargeable batteries, do not use black bags, wash laundry with cold water, unplug chargers when not in use, unplug appliances your not using, plug appliances, etc., to outlet strips, plant an edible garden, etc. These are just a few of the ways you can help with air pollution, and lowering your carbon foot print. The basic idea is to try to use less resources in our lives. Slowly adding in a routine to lower your carbon footprint. Remember, every little bit helps.

Written by: Crystal Ervin

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