“The less gasoline we burn, the better we’re doing to reduce air pollution and harmful effects of climate change,” Walke says. “Make good choices about transportation. When you can, walk, ride a bike, or take public transportation. For driving, choose cars that get better miles per gallon of gas or choose an electric car.” You can also investigate your power provider options—you may be able to request that your electricity be supplied by wind or solar. Buying your food locally cuts down on the fossil fuels burned in trucking or flying food in from across the country. And perhaps most important, “Support leaders who push for clean air and water and responsible steps on climate change,” Walke says.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), air pollution is one of the world's biggest killers: it causes around three million people to die prematurely each year. Many of these deaths happen in developing countries (over half a million in India alone), but wealthier industrial nations suffer too: in the United States, for example, around 41,000 people a year are estimated to die early because of air pollution. Imagine how much media coverage there would be if several million people (that's roughly the population of Houston, Texas or the West Midlands conurbation in England) were killed in a terrorist incident or an earthquake . Because air pollution kills quietly and relentlessly, and its finger is hard to detect on the trigger, people barely seem to notice—or care.