WHAT IS LOW EMISSION?

Probably everyone has heard about low emission, but still not everyone knows what it really is.

 

Low emission is the emission of harmful gases and particulates at low altitude (up to 40 m) resulting from ineffective combustion of fuels (hard coal, charcoal, diesel oil, gasoline, etc.) in houses, cars and boiler rooms. It is the height of emitters (chimneys and other emission sources) that makes this phenomenon so harmful, as pollution accumulates around the source of emission, usually in the vicinity of dense housing.

 

Thanks to the accepted air emission standards set for particular substances, industrial pollutions are not the largest source of air pollution nowadays. The problem is mainly with emissions from local boiler rooms and individual furnaces. Therefore, the quality of fuel for heating houses and the furnaces which we use for this purpose affect the quality of air we breathe and our health! How can we help ourselves?

 

  1. Consider changing a heating system in your house. If possible, replace an old boiler or coal stove with an ecological heat source, or connect to a district heating system. Take advantage of co-financing offers, for example, from the local government (communes and municipalities).
  2. Use good quality fuel from certified and reliable sources. Buy coal with high calorific value – burning waste coal (fine coal, coal slurry and coal flotation concentrate) is ineffective and very harmful to health.
  3. Do not burn trash!
  4. Ensure a good insulation of your house or flat. Do not let the heat “escape” through leaky doors and windows, and thin walls and the roof.
  5. Fumes and the so-called secondary dusting also affect the quality of air we breathe. Use public transport and a bicycle, and if you cannot stop driving a car, do not travel alone. Carpooling (i.e. travelling by car with others and sharing travel costs) is more ecological.

SALTS ON ROADS

Snow has not fallen yet this winter and it is not freezing cold. So the topic of a huge amount of salt biting into our shoes and, worse, into the soil does not exist for the moment. However, it is worth remembering that salt spread on roads and pavements in winter is harmful to the environment.

 

We get angry when winter surprises drivers, and salt spreaders are not on the roads. Salt lowers the melting point of water and effectively prevents icing. But do we consider what happens with this salt afterwards?

 

It does not evaporate but together with water infiltrates into the soil, gets into sewerage and groundwater causing trees and plants to dry up instead of getting green in the spring, among others. What should be done in order to protect them?

 

  1. Remove snow immediately after it has fallen. Fresh fluff is easier to clean up and there is no need to use chemicals later to get rid of a frozen layer.
  2. When you are forced to use salt, avoid the most commonly used road salt, namely sodium chloride, as it is the one that causes the most damage.
  3. Remember that salt is not the only product that makes it possible to move safely on frozen sidewalks and alleys. It is possible to use sand or grit (fine aggregate) instead which can be cleaned up after winter. To eliminate ice and snow, it is possible to use calcium chloride, which is much less harmful and almost equally effective.

 

IT IS NOT ALWAYS WORTH BEING ON STANDBY. FACTS AND MYTHS.

When was the last time you turned your computer off? A TV-set? A printer? Probably you may think that since you put these devices in the standby mode, you do not actually use them. But you can always re-start them quickly with the “start” button or a remote control. After all, when unused they draw no electricity. Is that true?

 

1. Due to our laziness, we often do not turn a computer off. We do not want to waste time for turning it on, or we do not consider the consequences. Meanwhile, it does not matter whether the computer is turned on or in sleep mode, it still consumes energy. Therefore, when you stop using the computer, disconnect it from the power supply!

 

2. A similar problem is with a TV-set. When was the last time you turned it off so that even a standby indicator lamp is no longer lit? Think about how many hours you watch TV every day? And how long does it stay in standby mode? When your TV-set is in standby for many hours, it uses more energy than during the few hours you actually use it!

 

3. Have you got a printer at home? In the office? How many times a day do you use it? You probably never unplug it, so you can turn it on quickly whenever you need it. This certainly saves time but not energy! A printer in standby mode consumes up to 93% of energy. While printing, you consume only 7% of it.

 

Think about how much energy you could save if these devices were not on standby mode, waiting for you to use them.