The Thimakka way! If you know Salumarada Thimakka from Karnataka, who planted 384 Banyan trees on either side of the Highway. Salu-Marada literally means ROW OF TREES, Thimakka is now 106 years old, who has earned a spot in the prestigious 'BBC's 100 Most Influential Women'. She has planted over 8000 trees in her lifetime.
Picture : http://www.rejectedprincesses.com
I studied in Karnataka State board, and we had chapters on the legends of Karnataka, and her story was what has been etched in my memory. She started her project when she was ostracised by her relatives and neighbours for not being able to bear children. Her husband, a simple farmer, was her greatest support. They both planted banyan trees on either sides of a road, along the side, watered them everyday, carrying water for kilometers, in the harsh sun, becouse of which now the locals and animals around have all the benefits of almost 400 tress!
What if everyone of us did 1% of what she did, thee world would be greener and cleaner.
No expensive air purifiers manufactured or imported, no R&D spending billions spending years and decades, no carbon sequesters, no A/C and what not.
There was after all a reason why trees were treated like god, mountains and hill tops had Shrines, so that we would not harm or modify the nature, our ancestors might have anticipated that the coming generations would cause harm. The ancestral strategy which most of us fail to understand.
The strategy here is to stop funding all the high end tech-gizmo related R&D, stop the billion of military spending, stop manufacturing of A/C and Air purifiers, simply undo what was done.
A natural solution, plant trees.
There is a way to get the best Return on Investment for these tree planted in Urban areas, mapping out Particulate matter density of the urban area, and map the population density of the same area, overlap the map, the area with max density of both will get maximum trees.
The trees would help absorb CO2 locally, hold the soil, keep the ground cooler, provide shade, improve air quality, provide habitat to many birds and animals and more.
There could be a way where the tree can be converted into a LARGE NATURAL EVAPORATIVE AIR COOLER. Hoses running up the tree can have nozzle which will atomize the water, the fine droplets will will trickle down and reach down the ground level, making the air lose it's heat, thus making the ambient cooler. This if scaled up could possibly reduce the ambient temperature of the city, and also could prevent formation of Urban Heat Islands.
Not only that, the trickling water and mist can capture fine particulate matter along with dust particles, thus making the surrounding air clean and dust free. Kepping the lungs of the citizens healthy.