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      Lifestyle & Wellness

      Notice Something Off With The Air? Here’s What’s Actually Happening

      Notice Something Off With The Air? Here’s What’s Actually Happening

      Over the weekend, the Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) peaked at 108 in the northern parts of Singapore. This brought the air quality into the unhealthy range. The last time Singapore’s PSI entered the unhealthy range was in November 2019.

      It has become an unfortunate reality that poor air quality has become a seasonal occurrence. What’s more, the recent detection of a hotspot in Johor saw the recurrence of hazy conditions that are predicted to stay in the next few days.

      Several steps can be taken to protect ourselves against such conditions. However, we first need to understand the conditions affecting us. While we are no strangers to haze, the increase in ozone levels is a novel problem for many of us.

      To get a better understanding, we must first know what exactly ozone is. Simply put, ozone is a gas made up of three oxygen atoms. The ozone layer is a layer of gas that can be found in the upper atmosphere that shields the Earth from harmful levels of ultraviolet rays.

      Poor Atmosphere

      Unfortunately, these benefits are canceled out by the harmful effects it has when found on ground level. Ozone found here is referred to as “bad ozone”. The gas is a very chemically volatile and reactive substance that has adverse reactions towards organic matter. It can damage the mucus membranes in your lungs, nose, eyes, and mouth. Prolonged exposure could lead to chest pains, throat irritation, and coughing.

      This is the reason why ozone is one of six pollutants (particle matter, fine particle matter, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide) measured when calculating for PSI. The PSI 108 recorded over the weekend was in fact due to the rise in ozone levels.

      Unlike most pollutants, ozone is not a direct product of emissions. Instead, it is formed when other components in the air react with one another under specific environmental conditions (in the natural environment, it is also formed during lightning strikes!). Lately, Singapore has been experiencing a dry spell and relatively clear skies. This, along with pollutants in the air form the perfect conditions for ozone production.

      Masked Man

      A natural way “bad ozone” is cleared from hydroxyl radicals which is formed from water vapour. With little to no rain, there is little environmental cleansing.

      Cutting down on outdoor activities is one step. This shouldn’t be that difficult considering the pandemic conditions we are currently living under. That being said, staying indoors, whether at home or in the office, does not guarantee absolute safety from both haze and ozone.

      Air purifiers are effective in ensuring cleaner air quality in confined spaces. While particle filters are  useful for certain pollutants in haze, they are not effective against harmful gases such as ozone.
       
      One solution can be found in activated carbon. It has been proven to remove up to 70 percent of ozone in the air as opposed to using regular filters which produced negligible results (Fisk et al., 2009).

      Air Purifier

      As mentioned earlier, ozone is a very volatile gas. Activated carbon filters contain molecular spots that trap ozone molecules. Therefore, it is important to chose the right air purifier lest you end up circulating the same dirty air. The Soehnle Airfresh Clean 300 and Airfresh Wash 500 are the perfect air purifiers for your home.

      Having cleaner air at home not only reduces the adverse effects of both haze and ozone, but will also improve your overall quality of life. This is especially so for households with asthmatic members, children, pets, and people having difficulty with sleep.

      We don’t know how long these conditions will last. What we can do is control the conditions in our own households and activities.

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      Our Leifheit Soehnle Series Airfresh Clean 300 Air Purifier is built with an advanced 4-level filtering system (pre-filter, EPA filter, activated carbon filter, UVC light) that effectively cleans your air by removing 99.2% of all particles greater than 3.0 µm from the air.

      Allergy-friendly (ECARF approved), flexible 3 power levels, adjustable timer function, removable filter, and night mode. 

      Buy Your Groceries And Save The Environment At The Same Time

      Buy Your Groceries And Save The Environment At The Same Time

      In 2018, the Singapore Environment Council published a paper stating that the country consumed 820 million plastic bags from supermarkets alone. Last week, the Singapore Green Plan 2030 was announced to address the need for sustainability on a national level. While it may seem daunting, switching over to a more eco-friendly lifestyle is a lot easier than it looks.

      One way we can do this is through our shopping habits; in this case groceries. For your convenience, we have listed 5 waste-free places to buy your groceries. All you have to do is to grab your favourite food container and the environment will thank you for it later.

       

      1. Two Sisters Pantry

      Two Sisters Pantry

      Source: Facebook/TwoSistersPantry

      Starting off this list is Two Sisters Pantry, a locally run shop located at Marine Parade. This humble store boasts a selection of high quality organic products which are mostly imported from Australia and New Zealand. On top of having a bulk goods section, they also sell other eco-friendly products that promote well-being and health.

       

      2. Unpackt

      Unpackt

      Source: Facebook/Unpackt

      Located in Ang Mo Kio, Unpackt holds the title of being Singapore’s first zero-waste grocery store. With a very extensive line of products, Unpackt could easily be your one-stop shop for most of your household needs. They also do island wide deliveries with reusable containers which need to be returned in the next delivery. If that is not enough, they now have an outlet in Cross Street Exchange.

       

      3. Eco.le

      Eco.le

      Source: @hugorganic

      Eco.le is driven by educating consumers on how to live a more environmentally sustainable life. Situated in Bukit Timah Shopping Center, the store even has a book sharing corner where you can donate children’s books (that are in good condition of course). This is great for parents who plan to shop with their kids as the little ones are treated to their own little library. Eco.le provides cutlery rental (for when you are hosting parties but also want to save on waste) as well as sewing machine rental services.

       

      4. Scoop Wholefoods

      Scoop Wholefoods

      Source: Facebook/ScoopWholefoods

      This family run and Australian owned company is no slouch in the industry as they have been around since 2013 and already have stores across Australia. Being the largest company in this list, Scoop Wholefoods boasts the widest range of products with anything from dried grains to oils, and even fermentations. They can be easily found in Tanglin Mall.

       

      5. The Source Bulk Foods

      The Source Bulk Foods

      Source: Facebook/TheSourceBulkFoods

      Another Australian based company, the Source Bulk Foods can also be found in New Zealand and the UK. Locally, they have stores in Cluny Court and Great World City. The gift cards that they sell online is a great way to introduce your friends into the eco-friendly community. On top of that, they continue to make donations and contributions to both sea and forest conservation efforts.

      There are many ways to save the environment. Choosing where to make your next grocery run is a simple and fun way to do your part (the fact that these stores are health conscious is an added bonus). All you have to do is bring your own container and cut down on single-use plastic!

      Need to some containers for your zero waste grocery shopping? We’ve got you covered.

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      From cleaning toolslaundry items to kitchen accessories, Leifheit has got all you need to make life at home easier.

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