Every year, our Diwali celebrations create hazardous air pollution conditions, sending levels soaring into severe heights, affecting our health and our environment. Air pollution is a huge factor in worsening global warming, where excessive levels of carbon dioxide are the cause of climate change. It affects our plants from photosynthesizing normally, sickening them and, of course, our own exposure to air pollutants deteriorates our health.
Our Sui home base, Delhi, where we first began and still currently operate and create, is currently experiencing it at its worst with schools in the city being shut down as well as construction activity being temporarily stopped to control the amount of dust in our air. Since, Monday, November 4th, the "odd-even scheme" was enforced to reduce the number of private cars driving the streets of Delhi - where cars with odd number plates are only allowed to drive on odd dates, even number plates on even dates.
Through this map created by Forbes India, Delhi is shown to be well within the region that is most severely affected, however, the majority of India is suffering.
With all this in mind, it is important, now more than ever, to take care of ourselves and take green steps for our environment, because although the worst is occurring, there are always measures we as individuals can take to help do better by our planet and ourselves.
How to take care of yourself:
- Avoid exercising in high polluted areas, i.e. where there is often heavy traffic. Try an indoor workout instead.
- Keep a healthy diet! Building a strong immune system will help keep you from falling sick. Eat more vitamin-C (like oranges, lemons and guavas) and vitamin-E (like almonds, avocadoes and salmon) rich foods, and drink a lot of water to flush any toxins out.
- Avoid areas where wood or trash may be burning - and of course, do not burn them yourselves.
- Wearing a mask can help restrict the amount of pollution you breathe in, so when you're outdoors when the levels are high, make sure to wear one to help avoid this.
- Keep an air purifier in your home or houseplants can also get the job done! This will reduce any pollution that gets into your home.
How to take care of the planet:
- Opt to carpool or use public transportation to avoid one person per vehicle, reducing the number of vehicles on the road overall that would add to the pollution.
- Avoid aerosol products that contribute to smog.
- Try to install panels to use solar energy to power your home. This will reduce the burning of fossil fuels that create electricity.
- Be conscious of your electricity use and save energy - a good pledge to keep year-round but is worth the reminder to always switch off lights and appliances whenever they are not in use.
- Plant trees! Although, there are many factors that determine how much oxygen a tree produces - some research that has been compiled can be found here - a single tree can produce approximately 260 pounds of oxygen a year.
- And last but certainly not least, start a conversation! Spreading information to encourage better, greener habits will help us all put the effort into making a change. You can do this by talking about it on social media, joining protests that want change for the better or just talking to each other.
Being informed and thoughtful is always the first step and, to make sure we hopefully won't suffer the same severe fate next year, talk to your friends, family, peers and open up a discussion on just how we can all do better and what to avoid come Diwali again. If we all take these steps to be a little more conscious, collectively, we can make a huge difference.
Stay safe, green heart-ers!