Archives For Air Quality

There is continued good news from China! I know some of you may have heard negative things about China on the news, but there is something happening there that is an improvement. Would you like to know what it is?

The air quality in Beijing is improving at an amazing rate! The photo above was taken in the afternoon during the winter, so the sun was lower in the sky, and you can tell by the lack of leaves it was winter. The sun wasn’t brilliant and clear that day; rather it was dull from all of the air pollution.  Many times I have taken groups to China and our flight would arrive in the afternoon. While walking up the ramp (which had windows on each side) from the plane to the airport terminal, my friends would say, “Oh, it is going to rain today.” As I kind of chuckled to myself, I would explain to them the air in Beijing just looks like that on some days.

When I lived in Beijing several years ago, I lived on about the 20th floor of an apartment building. On some days it was difficult for me to see the telephone poles by the street from my apartment window. So, I am very happy to report that Beijing has done a marvelous job of improving their air quality. 

The photo above shows a building in Beijing. As you can see, now there is a beautiful blue sky!

Some industries have been invited to relocate outside the city, and I think that has had a positive and visible impact on the skies over Beijing. Public transportation is available and encouraged in Beijing, which has also helped control the air pollution. 

If you had considered travel plans to Beijing and were concerned about the air quality, I would encourage you to book your trip! Based on what I have seen, it would be surprising to me if you saw a return to the days of horrible air pollution. Maybe I will see you there!

One thing we consistently hear is that the air quality is horrible in the major cities in China. Well, I can show you proof that isn’t always the truth. Granted, the weather can have a huge impact on the air quality, but here is a photograph I took during my recent trip to Beijing, and it clearly shows the sky is beautiful, clear, and blue. Check out the helicopter inspecting the skyscraper under construction below it!

Interesting Sightings During China Trip

If you are into gadgets, I saw a new one in a taxi cab. It is not uncommon at all to see a device plugged into a cigarette lighter for charging a cell phone, but I saw one with more capabilities than simply charging a cell phone. This particular taxi had a cell phone charging device, and built into the device was an electrical outlet. If it looks odd to you, it is because some of the slot configurations in Chinese electrical outlets are shaped much differently than the ones we have in America. Do you want to see it?

Interesting Sightings During China Trip

By the way, the driver of this taxi loves the National Basketball Association. His two favorite teams are the LA Lakers and the Cleveland Cavaliers. It is amazing how something like basketball can be the catalyst for a great conversation anywhere in the world!

Keep your eyes open when you are traveling, because you never know what you might see!

Believe me, people living in Beijing know they have a serious problem with air pollution. Not only can you see it, breathe it, and taste it on a bad day, but it is also published in many places. China can go to extreme measures to battle their air pollution problem from the highest levels, and there is something the citizens can do to help daily as well. Would like to know what they are doing?

One Way to Beat Air Pollution

They are riding bikes! Something so simple can get cars and public transportation off the roads ,which will decrease the exhaust and fumes from vehicles. There is a system in China where you can download an app, load money on the system, and then find where the rental bikes are located and help yourself to a bike. Once you are done with the bike, you just park it, and the next person needing a bike in the area can rent it. Once you park the bike, the app will deduct money from your account based on the use of the bike.

One Way to Beat Air Pollution

These bike stands are literally all over Beijing. Hopefully they will help people get where they need to be in a timely manner, and they will improve the quality of the air.

Please don’t think that the air pollution is bad every day in Beijing, because that isn’t how it is. For example, during my last trip I stayed in Beijing for a few days, and the air was fine. Then I went to another city for a few days, and returned to Beijing. During my return to Beijing, the air quality was noticeably worse — so you win some and you lose some with the air quality in Beijing.

When the air pollution hits critical levels, some factories are shut down, and an odd/even system is implemented on when you can drive, based on the numbers contained in your personal information. China also practices cloud-seeding to generate a cleansing rain. The day after it rains the skies are beautiful and blue!

Do you regularly ride your bike anywhere?