Noise pollution is adversely affecting ecosystems and the health of humans as well. Here, acoustic consultants from Auricl provide some practical tips for reducing the noise footprint in your community.
Our modern technological era has gotten very noisy and the pollution of sound is reaching critical levels. Ecosystems encountering noise pollution will begin to alter their habits as a natural reaction to their environments so affected. This can mean natural predators, seed dispersers and pollinators avoid certain regions or simply can’t survive therein. In an article printed in the New Yorker, there was mention of the considerable damage to human health and functionality caused by noise pollution levels.
The point is that humanity could be destroying themselves and their planet through the sheer amount of noise being made. It is quite common to hear people making mention of the dire consequences of the carbon footprint, but humanity should be equally aware of the noise footprint being made in cities and rural areas. It may seem that the problem has become too far gone and all the major contributors to noise on the planet are the very necessary industries of haulage, logging and air travel. Nevertheless, there is plenty that environmentally conscious individuals can do to make a difference in their local noise levels. Here are several ideas on how to minimise your noise footprint:
Expand your awareness of noise pollution
Garret Keizer makes a great suggestion in his book, “The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want”. He suggests sitting in your house with your ears open and eyes shut. Begin tuning to the sounds in your environment. List the macro noises like traffic, sirens and construction as well as the micro noises such as your dog barking and the whirring of the dishwasher. If you live in an urban or suburban area, you may find this list is quite lengthy. But, even in rural areas, the effects of noise pollution are present and you can hear the sounds of industrial activity and traffic. The explorer Erling Kagge says it in his book, “Silence: In the Age of Noise”, that true silence is vanishing from the earth.
Ditch loud outdoor activities for quieter choices
Once you are more aware of the constant noise, you may feel inspired to do something about it. Some of the most obstreperous noisemakers are motorcycles and sports cars with loud exhausts. But, there are also motorboats, ATVs and snowmobiles used in outdoor activities that are especially noisy and harmful to the environment. Even within the legal decibel ranges, these vehicles are very loud. A preferred outdoor activity with equal adventure and lower noise production is the bicycle. Biking is a zero-emission and zero-noise footprint mode of transportation. Of course, those who have to use cars out of necessity, convenience or pleasure can do their part by keeping their cars in good working conditions and not blasting their radios full volume any louder than they need to.
Lower the volume of garden work
There are a variety of powerful tools commonly applied to garden work that can also have a negative effect on the surrounding environment. Taking the time to use manual clippers and electric or manual lawn mowers may be a bit more work, but your community will appreciate the difference. You could even go all the way and stop mowing altogether which will increase the population of songbirds, heath and woodland creatures as well as a variety of beautiful flowers.
Be mindful of domestic noise
According to R Murray Schafer, in his book, “The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World”, the most common domestic noise complaints the police receive have to do with loud music, raucous parties, barking dogs, fireworks and other domestic occurrences. Once these regular disturbances begin to rob people of sleep the situation gets worse, according to the World Health Organisation. Poor sleep habits lead to medications, stress, anxieties, poor cognitive function and a list of other undesirable health problems. The solution? Pipe down! It matters little if the cause of noise comes from the highway traffic outside or the incessant clunking, chugging or screeching of faulty electric appliances. Sometimes having your appliances repaired or replaced would be the best solution to decreasing the noise footprint in your home.