Mykee had spread the freshly prepared breakfast on the table, with specially oxygenated water. She (or shall I say It) had already recognized that the air outside had deteriorated due to strong solar radiation and re-routed my drone to refill special Oxygen capsule @Flycart on the way to the space station. It was clear, that I would be late for the 10th year college reunion when my bathroom mirror notified that the space-cruise was delayed due to some cyber-attack.
Just then my alarm clock went off and I realized that with all the greenery around my college campus, I did not have to worry about basics like natural air and water, I had to present my new product to get funding for my startup.
The other day, I was walking in the woods by the Pfaffensee Lake near Stuttgart, Germany. I couldn’t help but wonder if the air I was breathing was better or worse than the air in my small coastal town in Mengaluru (based in the southern region of India). I was contemplating if it was the right for an outdoor activity or if it was better to be on the treadmill which I bought couple of weeks ago for 399 Euro! I guess this is the question each one of us will have to ask very soon with India being at 141 position in the Environmental Performance Index and Germany at 30th! One of the studies shows that the respiratory efficiency of people in Indian metros is 30 percent poorer because of bad air quality.
Engaging in deeper thoughts, I realized on an average a human consumes more than 11,000 litres of air every day, but none of us are in control of what we inhale! When it comes to what we drink or eat, we care a lot to make sure it has nutritional value, hygiene, taste and of course, social media speaks extensively of it. But what about the air quality and Lebensqualitat (quality of life)?
It is very clear that the air quality is not the same everywhere. Different pollutants are released into the atmosphere from a wide range of sources, including industry, transport, agriculture, waste management and households. Another interesting phenomena is the contribution from natural sources like volcanic eruption windblown dust, sea-salt spray and emissions of volatile organic compounds from plants.
Unpaved roads and construction contributed to more than 60% of particulate matter. Businesses, public buildings and households contribute to half of the particulate and carbon monoxide due to generators, electrical equipment and heating systems. Fuel combustion in vehicles contribute to quarter of the Carbon Monoxide and Nitrous Oxide. Most of Methane and Ammonia comes from Agriculture and coal mining. Improper waste treatment and burning contribute significantly to the pollution.
It is becoming very important to measure the air quality more accurately and correlate to various weather parameters like wind, rain, temperature to be able to predict the changes due to dispersion of the same. The good news is that with new chemical sensors, it is affordable to measure Air Quality Index quite accurately up to parts per billion (PPB) range to be able to take right decisions on traffic management, garbage disposal, generator usage, green cover, water body.
Going forward I firmly believe that the real-estate prices will depend more on Air Quality and not only on ambience. It is good to see that many companies (including Bosch) have developed IoT based Micro Climate Monitoring Systems and Smart Cities are adopting the same quickly to give their citizens a better quality of life.
Soon our apps will be the ones telling us when to jog indoors and when to go outdoors for a healthier life.