I go to wrap my hand around the pole while commuting underground but I find myself hesitating, almost trembling.
I’m imagining a microscopic disco party of pathogens hopping on top of its yellow surface. I hear the people around me coughing and sneezing into our metal coffin with wheels.
I try not to breathe, knowing that I could inhale someone’s mouth vapour. I take in air through little sniffs of my nose whilst contemplating the purchase of a face mask.
At long last, the doors slide open. I am out of the tube and able to breathe.
Or am I?
Cigarettes. Black tar and smoke wisps like death trailing.
Directly into lungs, they dive bomb in for a hit of dopamine for the user’s brain but form a deadly plaque to surrounding lungs like mine.
With cigarettes, studies have shown they are objectively bad. Perhaps just as scary, is that in the city we draw in toxins through our lungs quite the same, but fail to realise how dangerous they are.
I watch cars and buses whiz past me hearing the engines roar and seeing the exhaust pushed out. Where can I breathe with solitude?
On my way to work, I walk past scattered about rubbish and over streams filled with litter and algae.
Even in the comfort of our own dwellings, because of cooking and perfume, the inside of the average home is more polluted than the outside.
Breathe in freely because Londoners can take certain ways to halt the pollution.
A viable option would be the use of plants in the office and home. They oxygenise the air while boosting performance in the workplace.
On the tube, some lines are so dirty that the ticket readers can find five times more bacteria than an average toilet seat according to Time Out London. Remember to wash your hands after a ride and get on with it.
When it comes to water quality, investing in a filter is an obvious choice. In an effort to reduce water bottle waste, utilise a reusable bottle instead of plastic.
If you use the same water bottle, the plastic will wear down and you will be drinking fragments of it without noticing.
Londoners can take up small practices that impact the environment. I have started picking up one random piece of rubbish in the street once a day. What will you do to ensure that the future can be enjoyed with deep breaths?