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We all share air. Clean Air for all.

Some Environmental Issues Related to Air


  • Too often we take it for granted: the Air we breathe. The burning of fossil fuels, burning wood, oil and natural gas will increase as developing countries grow. The need for food will grow and unless we change our eating habits to a more plant based diet this will lead to social and climatological instability. Atmospheric pollution causes six million deaths a year worldwide and a quarter of lung cancer cases, heart attacks and strokes, representing 0.3% of world GDP in health costs, as well as reducing productivity at work.

  • is typically caused by industrial activity, traffic and transportation, agricultural chemicals, improper disposal of waste, agents of war and home temperature control. Container ships and cars are some of the biggest air polluters. Cooling devices such as air condition and refrigerators contribute with 22% to air pollution and to the greenhouse effect.

  • Both problems are a result of the same context: the current energy model mining and burning too much fossil fuel. This increases the CO2 emissions and other pollutants, which cause global warming.

  • Ozone depletion in the stratosphere is caused by ozone depleting chemicals. CFC-11/12,113 and HCFC-22 are used in refrigerators, air conditioners, aerosol sprays, household cleaning products, in foams for home furnishing, insulation and packaging, for thermal or sound insulation in buildings and automobiles, for cleaning electronic circuit boards and computer components. But since the descovery of alternatives and with the Montreal Protocol we are on a path of recovery.

  • Forests cover approximately 30 percent of the land on earth and sustain nearly 80 percent of the world's terrestrial organisms. It is estimated that one acre (+/-4000m2) of trees in urban forests can produce enough oxygen for eight people and remove 188 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air. Tropical rainforests, produce 40 percent of the earth's oxygen even though they cover only about 6 percent of the land. Rainforests in the Amazon have declined by 17 percent in the last 50 years.

    Did you know?
    One flight between Lisbon and NYC generates 1.50 metric tons of CO2e which equals 6300km of driving a VW Passat or 17km per day in one year. calculate here
    One single container ship can cause as much air pollution as 50 million cars, which release 5,000 tons of sulfur oxide into the air annually, contributing heavily to global warming. And there are 90,000 of such ships.
    One improperly recycled refrigerator produces as much pollution as a car driven 17.000km in one year.
    One yogurt may have milk from New Zealand, strawberries from Australia, sugar from Taiwan, the cup from China, the lid produced in Germany, preservatives from Switzerland....
    Indoor pollution from indoor cooking fires kill as many as 2 million people in undeveloped countries - a higher death toll than for malaria.

    Ecofriendly vertical gardens and architecture help to reduce the carbon footprint of a building by filtering pollutants and carbon dioxide out of the air, which also benefits those living nearby as the quality of the air is improved.
    Solar-Sailboats possibly combined with Tesla technology could be a solution for our shipping industry in the future.
    "Blue carbon" ecosystems (Seaweed forest) can take up 20 times more CO2 from the atmosphere than land-based forests and 5 times more than rainforests. If we would feed seaweed to cows it can reduce their methane emissions by up to 99%.
    A 60-metre-high chimney stands among a sea of high-rise buildings in one of China’s most polluted cities. But instead of adding to Xian’s smog, this chimney is helping to clear the air. The outdoor air-purifying system, powered by the Sun, filters out noxious particles and billows clean air into the skies.
    11,676 Tree Species can be found in the Amazon Rainforest. Reforestation and protection/preservation of the existing forests with their diversity is an important pilar in the deceleration of climate change.

    YES WE CAN...

    • fly less and if you have to join meetings and appointments, drive less and walk more or take public transportation, or carpool whenever possible.
    • avoid shipping, mail-order less and support local stores.
    • choose fresh non-processed items over shipped ones.
    • use alternative insulating materials such as cork, straw, hemp, seaweed panels
    • minimize the use of air conditioners only 1 degree Celsius less cold in summer and less warm in winter in our house or appartment saves energy and reduces our carbon footprint and only heat the space you need.
    • plant trees. A single 10-year-old tree releases enough oxygen into the air to supply two human beings.
    • buy products that are CFC free (such as pump sprays or use other appliances that use non ODS substances such as HFC-410A which replaced HCFC-22, CFC-12 can be replaced by HFC-134a.
    • be mindful about our energy consumption matters.
    • choose a Laptop over a Desktop computer and put it in sleep mode, let it run on battery as often as possible and charge it in little bits, unplug charger when not needed.
    • maintain our refrigerator clean and without ice (defrost it once in 6 months)
    • use renewable energy: photovoltaic solar panels produce energy without emitting gases
    • make our own bio cleaner, based on vinegar with orange rind or a few drops of essential oils and baking soda, refill pump spray bottles, glass cleaner with one part vinegar, one part alcohol.
    • eat less meat and diary products as the average cow produces enough methane per year to do the same greenhouse damage as four tons of carbon dioxide.
    • keep air-purifying indoor plants and clean dust reguarly with a humid cloth instead of using air purifyer.
    • avoid buying ‘fast fashion’ and choose alternatives like investing in higher quality clothing or buy second hand and support a local charity and/or do clothes swaps with friends, and support small businesses who create handmade garments.
    • linedry clothes and use the sun and fresh air to dry clothes. One dryer load is equivalent to turning on 225 light bulbs for an hour!
    • use our celphones as a light source instead of turning the light on for just a few seconds
    • replace incandescent bulbs with compact flourescet (CF) or LED bulbs and recycle the used ones properly.
    • look into alternative energy for our home – solar panels, geothermal, wind, passive solar heating, etc. Some countries have incentives for these options, and get paid every month selling energy back to the grid.
    • purchase appliances (dishwashers, ranges, washers dryers AC units, refrigerators etc) that are Energy Star Efficient.
    • drive carefully and avoid speeding/reckless driving/tailgating/ speeding up and braking and avoid rush hour traffic– it reduces milage by up to 33%.
    • remember that every little bit counts
    • Do you have another idea?
    • Please send it to me. Thank you for sharing!

    About iLAND

    iLAND is featuring the most pressing environmental issues. The green iLAND shows arial images from desertification and flooding, to monoculture and mining, the more colorful iland features infrared images of the issues at hand and their progress (restoration or further decay)

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    Just create awareness

    How would we care if the world was an island and we were forced to stay on it? Would we see the urgency of a sustainable live style if forest fires, industry and agriculture were polluting our front yard?

    Most of the environmental problems we cause are being felt by the poor living far away from us. We forget Fukushima because it didn't poison the fish on our table and we continued to breath the same air when we opened our door. How long can this go on? The two iLAND versions point visually to the various environmental issues that are OUR problem.

    iLAND wants to point out the issues visually because there is so much information but so little that touches us. iLAND loves to inspire each of us to live a more sustainable life. Spending less - living more!

    At The HeArt is Present, our goal is to provide a special experience, invite interaction, discussion and interdisciplinary exchange with people from all backgrounds. We present information with beauty, bridge technology and handiwork as well as science and art. We create art that inspires the viewer to realise, rethink and reconsider current human issues. We create art as a reminder of the artist within us and the changes we can make each.
    We use diverse media from AR to text and textile, to develop concepts that make issues tangible and thus touch you.