All we need is the air that we breathe, but it’s killing us!

Upload 28Feb2018 583It’s the Easter term, and the kids are out of school for a couple of weeks. I have a to do list of chores to get through, that culminates in a house spring clean. I’ve been looking around at the smaller more neglected areas of the house that can normally go without regular cleaning and, I have been shocked at how dirty the house is, more so than usual. The residue from local traffic is more pronounced, it’s everywhere in my blinds, on my walls, permeating my rugs…in my kids room.

It’s not that I don’t give these matters thought, but the slow realisation that living at the back of a busy dual carriageway is choking us out of our home, is scaring the **** out of me. I can’t even be comforted by the fact that my house faces onto a beautiful park, because the council, in their infinite wisdom ( but against prolonged and passionate protest) decided to chop down, a good number of perfectly healthy trees to satisfy their aesthetic, when they redesigned the park a few years back. We have a small back yard and it’s always been my summer evening  chill-out space, but I don’t think we’re going to be using it this year.

The idea of the trees absorbing the carbon dioxide and reducing the impact of the pollution is a fading fantasy. From where I’m standing, it seems as though the trees are struggling to keep up with the volume. They’re still doing their job, but there’s fewer of them dealing with the onslaught, and they are overwhelmed.  The plants on our kitchen windows are puny and weak. They are doing their best, but not really thriving. If this is what’s going on for nature, what’s going on for us?

I have no idea what the powers that be are planning for our city’s future in terms of improving air quality. I have attended a couple of seminars around our ‘ Smart City’ status and, future projects seem to have the matter addressed in their plans. However, I’m not so sure about current developments, like the one on Princess Road at the old bus depot (perhaps someone from Rowlinson might care to respond). I know many people are doing their best to reduce the carbon footprint of their households. We’re certainly cycling and walking as much as we can, but I’m hoping people see this and think about getting together to do more.

I used to look sideways when someone approached wearing a mask, but vanity be damned –  I want to be around to raise my kid and yes, she’ll be wearing a mask too! I just have to explain why first.