Yesterday, Shanghai suffered a bit of excess pollution. Air pollution in China is a fact of life.. Some cities, like Shanghai, get lucky and get less pollution, while some smaller cities in the countryside may be fairly polluted most days. While we cant change what we breathe in while were outside, it is possible to make your apartment as pollution free as possible. Here are some tips to keep your lungs as healthy as they can be and deal with the pollution in China.
Cures for pollution in China
Dont leave your windows open The Chinese will often leave their windows open to clear out the air, which is productive only if they get closed soon after. If windows are left open, youll get more dust and bad air in your apartment. On really polluted days, its best to leave your windows shut.
Get houseplants to clean the air Plants in China are cheap. Small ones will cost between 20 and 40 RMB, and large plants will usually cost between 100 and 200 RMB. Do some research on which houseplants best clean the air. Some really common ones youll find in the plant markets include the bamboo palm and snake plant. Check out the Shanghai Guru ebook for more information about houseplants.
Clean your bed linens at least once every 2 weeks The average person spends 8 hours in bed every night. Keeping your sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers clean of dust will keep you breathing better.
Have your house cleaned at least once a week Most foreigners will hire an Ayi (housekeeper) to clean their apartments. For under $4 USD an hour you can get your home cleaned and rid the floor of any collected dust.
Clean the filter in your air conditioner all the polluted air that comes in through your air conditioner passes through this filter. Do some exploring and get the filter out of your air conditioner and clean it, either with a cloth, or better, with the head from your shower.
Buy an air purifier This is by far the most expensive and effective way to clean the air in your home, and deal with pollution in China. There are several international companies selling air purifiers, including: IQ Air, Alen Air, and Blueair. These will be the most expensive. You can also check at electronics stores like Suning, Gome, or Mediamarkt (in Shanghai) for air purifiers. There they will most likely have Chinese brands which will cost less. Also, check Taobao and search 空气净化器(kōngqì jìnghuà qì), which is Chinese for air purifier. You can also most likely pick up one secondhand on Craigslist or an equivalent classifieds site. Just make sure to ask the model number so that you can compare the price with a new model and see how much of a deal you are getting.[nggallery id=2]
So, living in China doesnt always give us the best air to breathe everyday, but with the above tips, plus eating well and exercise, we can stay as healthy as possible.
End Note: Im actually thinking of doing some price shopping on Taobao to get a cheap low-end air purifier for my bedroom, since it functions as my office as well. Ill keep you all updated if I find a reasonably priced one that works well.