Updates: Smoggies around the World

In the past 6 months, Smoggies are operating and providing useful air quality insights to the users and the communities all around the world. Right now, there are more than 250 units in total, worldwide.

I decided to see how polluted the air was for my 8 volunteers during the month of February, 2020. Let’s set the record straight and remind ourselves that the WHO guideline stipulates that PM2.5 not exceed 10μg/m3 annual mean, or 25μg/m3 24-hour mean.

Around the World

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Flow 2 vs Atmotube Pro Preliminary Comparison

I love portable devices and miniaturisation is a thing of the future. In this post, I am going to compare Flow 2 and Atmotube Pro side by side. Both devices are two portable Air Quality Monitors that can easily be carried around and help you see the air you breathe.

This is a preliminary test and I will compare the devices between each other. I have promised you an extensive comparison between the portable monitors and an official reference station, however, it will take a bit longer in order to sort things out with the local AQ department − paperwork which needs time from their end.

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Review: Flow 2 by Plume Labs

I was given the chance to review the brand new Flow 2 by Plume Labs and I took the opportunity to review it on my trip to Athens, Greece while visiting my family. Flow 2 is a small handheld AQ monitor that can follow you almost anywhere through the day and it tracks Particulate Matter, Nitrogen Dioxide and VOCs.

athens air pollution hotspots

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Walking vs Driving Kids to School

I feel that not enough has said regarding this topic even though many media try to cover the subject of air pollution like The Guardian, BBCVICE, Reuters, Science Focus, The Washington Post, The NY Times, etc do daily.

How important is to walk your kids and not to drive them to school?

Well, it is simple, it is very important for multiple reasons.

  1. Less Air Pollution
  2. Get to know your kids better
  3. Socialisation
  4. Less Stress & More Physical Activity
  5. Economics

Less Air Pollution

Just today while I am writing this article a new study came out explaining that children are five times more exposed to toxic air on school run than other times of the day. This is normal if you take into account all the cars that queue up with the engines on and idling while waiting to drop kids off or pick them up.

In simple words, your kid’s health is at high risk!

I used to walk to school every single day, under the sun, under the rain and under the snow and guess what, I didn’t melt. It actually helped me wake up and be ready when classes started. A rainy day is a fun day for a kid and umbrellas have been invented for a long time now.

Get to know your kids better

My school was not far away from my house, 10min approximately, my mother or my aunt accompanied me and my cousin during pre-school and for the first year of primary school. It was great, we had the chance to talk calmly and for them to wish us a good day without worrying about where to park the car or the traffic lights or getting late. Walking distances are always the same as nothing can block your way.

Socialisation

During the walk to school, you have the chance to get to know other parents and your kids’ friends, talk to them and exchange opinions. Kids learn and copy their parents. Imagine being inside a car and you – the parent – are frustrated because you stuck in traffic or because another car bumped your car, most probably you will swear. Do you want your kid to learn that word from you?

During the socialisation that happens between you and the other parents, you have the chance to discuss important school issues and most likely resolve them. Also, you have the chance to invite them for a play day. Trust me your kids will love you.

Less Stress & More Physical Activity

As I have already mentioned, walking is relaxing and apparently good for your health too as it is considered a physical activity. The rest of the day you will be in the office or wherever place you work in and you will have time to sit. Fun fact, on average, we burn about 50 calories for every 10 minutes of walking.

Economics

Obviously, there are economic reasons to choose walking or cycling over driving but I am not going to discuss them here as I am trying to focus your attention on how to become a better more sustainable person, not a richer one.

To sum up, avoiding driving your kids to school won’t only reduce air pollution in your neighborhood with a direct benefit to your family’s health but it will help you become a better parent and it will also help you raise a healthier and more socially capable kid.

Review: Djinn Sensor

The ingenuity and the inventiveness led DJINN Sensor — a Belarus company — to build an Air Quality monitor a bit different from the rest in the market.

Software-wise and hardware-wise the device offers some engaging features like solar panel case in order to harvest energy from the Sun and Productivity Current and Index analytics, to name a few. Let’s take a closer look at the AQ Monitor.

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Smoggie Installation Guide + Thank you

The Call for Volunteers was a great success and I had the chance to learn from you a little more about the problems of air pollution around the globe and the situation each one of you faces. From Canada, USA, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, India, Romania, Italia, France, Belgium, Greece, Denmark, UK, Finland, Serbia, Spain, Ireland and many many other places. It wasn’t an easy task to select the 10 volunteers as all of you gave me good reasons. I want to THANK YOU all, it really means a lot your offer to raise awareness on such an important problem.

I have prepared a quick guide on how to install a SMOGGIE on an outdoor wall in 9 easy steps with images. The SMOGGIE is rainproof for this reason you just need to install them with the opening facing down.Read More »

In-Depth: Atmotube Pro

It will please some of you to know that I am going to compare Atmotube Pro with other Particulate Matter sensors and monitors. First with an outdoor monitor and in this case the Luftdaten DIY and second the AirVisual which is more of an indoor monitor.

Before I begin with the comparisons I want to dive a bit deeper and tell you that apart from exporting the .csv from the app directly, you can also access Atmotube’s .csv files (in case you have an iPhone) from the File Sharing service iTunes provides when you connect your phone with your computer (macOS & Win). This way you have more control over which days you upload to your computer.

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