Blog archive
How to reduce your environmental impact?
Wednesday, 14 May 2008, Written by Trouni   
It is important to know how to protect oneself against pollution, but a protection as effective as it can be will never replace the need to reduce our emissions for the sake of the environment.
Pollution is a solvable issue. But when it comes to environmental matters, everyone has to take action. So, for those of you who decided not to wait here are some advices on how to reduce your environmental impact.

There are actually many things you can do and here is only a start:
  • Watch the film An Inconvenient Truth from Al Gore, it gives a general overview of the state of our planet,
  • Avoid using your car by walking, biking or taking mass transit wherever possible, you'll reduce your exposure to pollution as well as reducing your impact on the environment,
  • Think and live green (many other ideas here)
  • Talk around you and convince your friends to do the same!

Zuzana wrote Qs about Chinese pollution:
I am an international student at QSI International School of Bratislava, Slovakia, and I am currently writing a research paper on pollution in China. My research question is: How is pollutio... [more]
Zuzana wrote Qs about Chinese pollution 2:
5. How well informed are Chinese citizens informed about the consequences of pollution? Do they teach students about it in school? 6. What are the biggest contributors to pollution in Ch... [more]
fred wrote :
I can't believe people have the guts to ask you to do their homework... Will we get your degree as well Zuzana?
Eugene wrote :
Fred, there is nothing wrong in asking questions, if you would had your degree you would know that that kind of research is part of the studies.
Zuzana wrote :
I am in highschool, I am not getting a degree for this. I am writing a research paper for my geography class about pollution in China and I am supposed to interview professionals. I wasn't a... [more]
Conference on pollution tonight
Tuesday, 13 May 2008, Written by Julien   
Tonight, I will give a speech on pollution in Beijing to the Beijing Linux Users Group.
It's open to anyone! It is a great opportunity to learn more about pollution and about open sources softwares.
7 pm on Dongzhimen Nei Avenue. More information on the BLUG website .
smith wrote air qualty index:
Alas you are not in Shanghai! But please give us some more technical details on how is calculated your comparison between air quality indexes in China & in France. Thanks!
Julien wrote Coming soon:
Hi Smith, For this conference I made new graphs to compare the pollution in different cities around the world. Many people requested these graphs afterwards so I'll blog about that soon...
More pollution in a car than on a bicycle!
Monday, 05 May 2008, Written by Trouni   
If you live in Beijing or Shanghai, you probably already sat in a taxi during a smoggy day, watching people through the window riding their bicycle in the heavy pollution. Feeling safer in your cab, you pitied them since the air outside was so polluted.
Actually... you were more exposed to pollution than them!

A study shows that the mean concentration of fine particles inside a car could reach levels up to 25 times the WHO air quality guidelines. The main source of in-car air pollution is the vehicle in front of you since air intakes and exhaust pipes are located at the same level.

Even if driving with the windows closed and recirculating air settings could modestly reduce particle pollution exposure, it does not reduce most gaseous pollutants at all.

In terms of solutions, bicycle is definitely a better transportation mean in cities, since when you sit in a car:
Extremely high in-car pollution while in the traffic. Source: Le Journal du Dimanche
  • you are in the middle of the car traffic and so the air you breathe is extremely polluted,
  • you stay longer in the traffic during rush hours,
  • even if it might not have a direct impact on your health, pollution is generated by the car.
While riding a bike, you are higher than the traffic, you are not riding directly inside it, you are not stuck during rush hours (so you reduce your time of exposure), and you don't generate pollution. Even though efforts can be harmful for your lungs, you are still less exposed to pollution than in a car.

According to ICTA's "In-car pollution" report: concentrations of benzene reach levels inside automobiles nearly two-and-a half times higher than in the air breathed by bicyclists.

A car doesn't protect you from pollution, it exposes you even more!

Sources: Le Journal du Dimanche (French), Xinhua, ICTA In-car pollution report
Dawn wrote :
Wow, thanks for the info. I always assumed "in-car" air was safer...