Concerned citizens in the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania have banded together to form the Breathe Project, which enables Internet users to view the polluted air for themselves on a webcam in the hopes they’ll be inspired to take action.
Four cameras have been placed in the downtown area and the corresponding webcam — called the Breathe Cam, which went live on Wednesday of last week — displays data showing the concentration of various types of particles and sulfur dioxide in the immediate area.
A library of information about air pollution is conveniently situated on the site, as are recent headlines concerning it.
The site also helps individuals and corporations to take action in the fight for clean air.
Individuals are encouraged to do a home energy audit, which is the first step in reducing how much energy the home consumes and thus diminishing its carbon footprint.T
hey’re also advised to invest in clean energy projects that install and manufacture items such as windmills and solar panels.
According to the Breathe Project, Pittsburgh ranks among the 10 per cent of US cities with the highest air pollution levels, despite considerable improvements since the middle of the 20th century, when Pittsburgh’s air was notoriously thick.
Crowd-sourcing has given way to innovative new ways of educating the public about air pollution.
For example, AirBeam is a wearable tracker that informs users about the quality of the air around them and provides educational information on its corresponding app in addition to helping users get involved on a political level to help clean the air.