Noise pollution is both an environmental problem and a public health threat. Keep reading to learn a few easy things you can do to reduce your ‘noise footprint’.
Modern civilisation simply makes too much noise. All this noise pollution is very stressful for wildlife and seriously disrupts the behavioural patterns of creatures. Entire ecosystems wind up shifting dramatically because of chronic noise. Pollinators and seed dispersers, as well as the predators that hunt them, wind up avoiding the clamour. This substantially alters the landscape of trees and plants. Also, as previously reported by the New Yorker, the cumulative sum of man-made noise is even driving a multifaceted health crisis for people, leading to things like low birth weights, disturbed sleep patterns, heart disease, higher blood pressure and hearing damage, all of this is happening on a broad scale.
What conclusion can be drawn from all of this? We’re actually slowly killing ourselves, and we’re doing so with noise.
There’s plenty of conversation about minimising our carbon footprint, and there should be. However, there’s not much discussion about reducing our ‘noise footprint’. Why is this? It could be that it simply seems too widespread to tackle, especially when the loudest emitters of noise pollution are areas like logging, shopping, and manufacturing. However, any individual who is environmentally conscious should strive to make the soundscape of their community a better one.
The following are a handful of ideas you might use to curtail your own noise footprint, but it could be best to start with a noise survey London :
Be More Mindful of Noise Pollution
Garret Keizer wrote “The Unwanted Sound Of Everything We Want”. He recommends taking a seat, shutting your eyes for a moment and then mentally listing every single noise you’re able to hear. That will range from micro-noises like your fridge running to macro-noises like emergency service sirens. If you live in an urban or residential area, you’ll likely tack up quite a long list.
However, even those in rural areas or protected nature spaces might notice distant noise from aircraft, traffic and industrial sources. It’s getting harder and harder to find a place where you can be free of artificial or unwanted sounds. Erling Kagge is an explorer who wrote the book “Silence: in the Age of Noise”, where he said that anyplace you go anywhere in the world, silence is practically extinct.
Choose Quieter Options over Louder Outdoor Activities
Once you become more aware of surrounding noise, you might be inspired to dial back your loudest activities. Sports cars and motorcycles with acoustically abrasive exhausts are frequently some of the noisiest culprits. Recreational vehicles are other frequent offenders, including motorboats, ATVs, and snowmobiles. Even when they stay within legal decibel levels, vehicles like these have a negative impact on both humanity and nature.
If you want to help cut down on traffic noise, use a bicycle instead of a car. Also, if you do drive a vehicle, pick one that’s eco-friendly, in the case of both carbon emissions and decibel levels.
Having said this, if you choose to keep driving a motor vehicle even with the noise it generates, at least adhere to applicable noise laws, never blast your tunes, and maintain a smoothly operating machine.
Cut Back on Your Garden Work
Lawn care tools and equipment are a surprising source of ambient noise. Sadly, human residents aren’t alone in their suffering. Wildlife like songbirds either get silenced or even scared away.
If it’s physically possible for you to do so, skip petrol leaf blowers and opt for using a rake and shovel. Also think about using a manual lawnmower, or at least an electric one. Even better, just stop mowing completely and let your garden turn into a lush meadow of biodiversity. The plants around you will appreciate it and your neighbours might do the same.
Be Aware of Your Domestic Noise
R. Murray Schafer wrote “The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World”, stating that most ‘domestic’ noise complaints that police get are in regards to parties, barking dogs, keeping too many cockerels, fireworks and music. When concentrated instances of noise pollution like these happen during the night, there is considerably more risk of possible harm. According to the World Health Organisation, sleep that is disturbed or disrupted can wind up leading to depression, anxiety, more medical appointments and needing prescription-strength sleeping pills.
What’s the answer? Keep it quiet. Also, even when noises aren’t obviously disruptive, like loud teenagers, these noises can still hurt. For example, the steady hum of air conditioners and exhaust fans might be a source of stress for neighbours and animals. Buying more modern machines is helpful, as is having your home insulated appropriately or using indoor ceiling fans instead.