Air pollution is the presence of a type of substance in the air that has either harmful or poisonous effects. Renewable energy is energy that is produced from various resources such as sunlight, rain, water etc. and can be repeatedly replenished. How does the one then help the other? And how can humans play a part in rescuing themselves from themselves?

It is first imperative to understand what energy is causing air pollution in the first place. In order to create energy and electricity, fossil fuels are burned. These fossils fuels are non-renewable and come in the form of decayed marine creatures, coal, petroleum and natural gases. None of these sources have the ability to be replenished and all have a negative impact on the air. Carbon is the main element found in fossil fuels and releases particles that are harmful. It is important to note that the Earth has a “carbon budget” that balances the carbon levels in the earth, the air and in the sea. When the fossil fuels are heated, they release this carbon, resulting in what was a previous balance, now being an imbalance. Temperatures are therefore rising quicker and organisms are unable to adapt to the speed, heat is being trapped and notable harmful impacts are happening on the health of those living on the planet earth.

Reduce air pollution
A conceptual illustration showing the polluted smoke from a factory chimney over a city. Causes of air pollution, acid rains and green house effect. Ecological disaster. Industrial problems.

Because air pollution can be linked to various medical issues such as inability to breathe correctly, brain damage, heart attacks and cancer – serious action must be taken. Electricity production in the United States accounts for one third of the global warming emissions, the use of renewable energy will therefore benefit in more ways than one including reducing these medical problems by helping to reduce air pollution.

Renewable energy does not require burning to take place which means that less carbon is emitted into the air

Solar Energy

Solar energy is electricity that is produced via panels from the sunlight. The solar lifestyle is committed to finding solutions and not creating problems. Using something as natural and obvious as the sun, an air pollution solution is found and solved. There is no carbon dioxide waste and therefore this form of energy contributes to cleaner air and less greenhouse gases. This energy is the easiest to access and use on a daily basis right from the comfort of the home.

Wind Power

This is electric power that is generated using the natural element of wind. As the wind blows, it is harvested by large turbines. This process is gaining momentum and has funded billions of dollars into the U.S economy. No greenhouse gases or air pollutants are emitted during this process.

Hydroelectric Power

This is the production of electricity through the force of flowing water. Again the process does not require any fuel to be burned and therefore results in minimal pollution.

Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy uses the clean, sustainable and renewable heat from the earth. The power is generated by digging out the constant source of heat that is stored on the inside of the earth. This form of energy helps reduce air pollution because the only gases it does release, are down deep in the earth and are not very harmful to the environment.

Biomass

Otherwise known as “bioenergy” is the use of plant material and animal waste. Biomass differs from the other sources of renewable energy because a burning is required to take place during the process, however the type of carbon dioxide that is released is largely balanced by the carbon dioxide that was captured during its own growth, while on the other hand, fossil fuels release what is a type of greenhouse gas because it is carbon dioxide that was captured millions of years ago. Thus biomass is still believed to have the potential to be a contributor to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

All of the above renewable energy sources are gaining momentum quickly in the world today. Solar energy is still the number one choice for homeowners and not only reduces one’s carbon footprint by reducing air pollution, but it saves money and turns out to be a valuable investment. Renewable energy can be done and its benefits exceed any concerns. Every person can play a part in making the world a “greener” place.

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