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Cycling as a solution to air pollution

By: arsath ajmal

Active transportation improves our health and the health of our communities. It is a sad state that we will see increased use of personal vehicles due to restricted / under the capacity of public transport. The place I live in is surrounded by a majority of automobile industries and also near proximity of the city also attracted people from other industries.

Our town is always busy with Industries running 24*7. Though I didn’t observe any difference in the clearer sky. I felt I could breathe clean air right inside my home, otherwise I need a ride at least 5-10km from the town area to get that natural air. This is why I started cycling, I can get closer to nature.

Tiruvallur is cleaner as compared to some of the highly polluted cities in India, however we are not far. India stands 5th in the top polluted countries list of 2019. This trend may increase and replicate in all the cities if accurate measures are not taken.

My childhood was full of sport, my parents didn’t have to worry about my air intake. But now there are pulmonologists in multispeciality hospitals to treat people with different breathing issues. To get fresh unpolluted air one has to get out of town.

Cycle to beat air pollution
Image Credits: Arsath Ajmal

Cycle to beat air pollution

One of the major contributor to city or town pollution is private vehicles. Others are waste burning or disposal without proper management. While waste management requires both public and govt support, other doesn’t require any support from govt, perhaps no to low GST on bicycles.

If we can reduce the number of private vehicles on the road, we are halfway successful to bet air pollution. All we need is a bicycle and motivated minds to contribute to our surroundings as well as ourselves!

One of the reasons people don’t commute by walk or cycle even if it is adjacent street is they find it safe to use a motorcycle or cars. If every one of us starts using a cycle for commuting, we can also make roads a safer place to walk. This is one of the goals of our team Tiruvallur Trekkers, to get people out of a sedentary lifestyle, enable them to switch to active and bicycle-powered life.

Pollutants contribution comes from various industries but one of the main contributor is the Transportation sector which cosumes fossil fuel and leaves a carbon footprint. It would be wise to reduce the use of motorised vehicle and use the alternative as bicycle for short trips across city.

use the alternative as bicycle for short trips across city.
Image Credits: Arsath Ajmal

Here are some of the Environmental benefits of leaving your vehicle at home:

  • Cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduces air pollutants
  • Reduces noise pollution
  • Reduces the need for new parking lots and roadways
  • Saves valuable green space from development
  • Reduces your ecological footprint

Let’s do something for the environment — make smarter travel choices today!

(Tiruvallur Trekkers have different formats of cycling events to promote cycling in and around town. In cross cycling club meetups, they do destination rides with riders from city-based cycling groups that help them beat the stress passing through greeneries.)

(The views expressed in the article are the author’s own. Let Me Breathe neither endorses nor is responsible for them.) 

arsath ajmal

arsath ajmal

Arsath Ajmal is a cyclist and a natural enthusiast from Pallapatti near Karur district Tamil Nadu.

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