I got completely drenched cycling the kids to school this morning. But as I was peddling along and struggling to see through the curtain of rain battering my face the glass half full part of me was happy about one thing: the fresh, clean air. I, and all the other people in the city, have to inhale the toxic fumes from the exhausts of motor vehicles which is definitely less noticeable when it rains. I don’t like the smell of car exhausts very much and I’m certain inhaling the fumes is not good for me, or for anyone else living in a city.
The WHO recently announced that air pollution is a “public health emergency” killing more than 3.3 million people around the world each year. London exceeded its annual air pollution limit in just seven days earlier this month. And Rome and Milan had to temporarily ban cars from their roads recently in an effort to curtail air pollution.
Next time you want to take the car out for a trip that could be made using a more active mode of travel, think again. Think about the pollution your car emits that everyone, even those of us without a car, are forced to inhale. Think about our changing climate and how burning fossil fuels is adding more carbon dioxide to our atmosphere. Think about how good for you it could be to adopt more active modes of transport on a regular basis.
The sun has come out now. I hope the air still smells fresh 🙂