I think we have come to a point in time where we are well aware of the dangers internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles hide as they emit a tremendous amount of toxic pollutants that have a direct health impact on dwellers, especially in cities.
Nowadays, going to the center of a city by car is unnecessary and very impractical. However, many still insist on taking their huge SUVs even for a trip within a walking distance. Walking distance means going from one point to another no farther than 1,5 km / 1 mile or 15 minutes in time. I don’t think you will go any faster if you take your car because of all the hassle that it involves (parking, getting on board, load stuff, etc).
Schools here in Europe are within walking distances. This is the reason your kid cannot go to a school in a different district. Even then though, parents form huge queue outside of the schools in order to drop off their kids every single morning. No! It’s time to walk!
I believe cars should come with a permanent sticker on the rear side similar to the tobacco packaging in order to make people think and react. The sticker cannot be removed or covered by law. Maybe you will turn off the engine while waiting or not forcing the car to start even when new cars hibernate the engine automatically in traffic lights.
Last year, I reviewed the AIRINUM Lite Air Mask and I was really pleased with the comfortability and efficiency during my daily commutes. The same company has developed a higher-end model called URABN AIR MASK 2.0. In my opinion, this mask has been given much more attention to the details. From the packaging to the mask itself.
The AIRINUM URABN AIR MASK 2.0 offers great protection from particulate matter. I have been wearing the Onyx Black for four weeks already.
It employs the same technology as the Lite Air Mask with a multi-layer filter which is tested at the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) with results showing 98% filtering efficiency against particles down to 0.3μm in size. The size of the filter is bigger though. You will find the full lab results here. The five-layer filter can last up to a month of usage, but as always keep it away from very humid environments and procure to disinfect the inner filter layer with sprayed alcohol to prevent bacteria growth. The mask is washable and treated with Polygiene®.
I have teamed up with a great product designer Nathan Hassanali in our effort to offer clean air to the commuters that need to move around the cities where combustion engine vehicles are unfortunately still a priority over sustainable alternative methods.
The Problem – Air Pollution
One of the biggest challenges of the 21st century will be to mitigate the negative effects of transport – greenhouse gases, air pollution, and noise – while ensuring positive aspects of mobility. Meanwhile what can dwellers do to protect themselves from the toxic air that is present in the streets all around the world?
Although air pollution has decreased over the last two decades, it is still a major problem in many areas. ‘EURO standards’ for vehicles have not succeeded in reducing Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) emissions and “defected” vehicles (aka Dieslegate) still circulate without meeting the levels set out in the legislation. Recently, the World Health Organization updated the Air Quality Guidelines (2021 AQGs) which sets the bar for human health high because according to new methods for evidence synthesis and guideline development they found proof of health effects occurring at lower levels than previously understood.
In August 2021 (summer in Northern Hemisphere), I travelled from Spain to Greece in order to visit my parents as I hadn’t see them for a long time due to the pandemic. I visited 10 countries and I evaluated the air quality with a portable air quality monitor (Atmotube PRO) but as well as the behavior of the people in these countries as they tend to have different customs when it comes to cooking or transporting around the cities.
This evaluation is very narrow because of the fact that I didn’t stay longer than a day or two in each city so take it with a pinch of salt. Also, the climatological conditions were entangled to the summer month of August and high temperatures were expected in the Mediterranean coastline. Wildfires are more likely to occur during the dry month of August and indeed I witnessed a few in the Balkans.