While many think living in Taiwan is all fresh mountain air and sea breezes, the reality is the air quality, especially in the big cities, isn’t always great. Hazy days in places such as Taipei, Kaohsiung, and Taichung don’t just ruin your mood or your photos, they’re also bad for your health due to the level of different particles and pollutants in the air you’re breathing. Prolonged exposure to bad air can have long-lasting and potentially harmful effects on your lungs and your body as a whole. Luckily, there are a few ways you can combat pollution and breath easy when it gets smoggy in Taiwan.
Buy an Air Purifier
While you can’t control the air outside, you can have more of a bearing over what you’re breathing at home. One way to do this is by buying an air purifier. Air purifiers have filters which catch harmful particles in the air such as PM2.5 and even much large particles like dust to ensure the air you are breathing is as clean as possible. Ranging from smaller models such as those by Smart Air to fancy Swedish-designed ones such as Blueair that also reduce allergens and even odors, there are many types of air purifier on the market and you can find them easily online at sites like PChome.
Buy more Plants
If you don’t like the idea of an air purifier or are worried about racking up a large electricity bill, you can take a cheaper, more natural approach and fill your home or office with plants. Many plants absorb harmful toxins and pollutants from the air and release oxygen in their place. From spider plants to aloe vera to bamboo palms, there are many kinds of greenery (check out this list from Better Homes and Gardens) that great for cleaning the air. Head to Jianguo Flower Market in Da’an to find a range of plants to add a touch of green and fresher air to your environment.
If all else fails, you can always try and get away. If the air is getting smoggy, head to pastures new and take a trip to the coast, a forest or up a mountain. Escape Taipei and head to a nearby beach, flee Kaohsiung and take refuge in Kenting, get away from Hsinchu City and head into the county’s mountain forests. Take a seashore hike, lock yourself away in a hotel room for a staycation, or go deep into the forests of Yilan. While yes, it does occasionally get polluted in Taiwan, we’re very lucky to live on an island with so many places to get some fresh air.
(cover photo: CNA Photo)