How to grow fresh Air# Book review# Non-fiction

Title: How to grow fresh AIr

Author: Kamal Meattle & Barun Aggarwal


Publication:Juggernaut 2018

About Author :

Kamal Meattle

Kamal Meattle is a former member of the board of governors at the Indian Institute of technology (IIT). He is also the former National President of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce(IGCC) and is the current Chairman of its Northern region.He is the founder of (PBC) Paharpur Business Centre , India’s top air pollution solution providers.

Barun Aggarwal

Barun Aggarwal is son-in-law of Kamal meattle and founder of ‘ Breathe easy ‘ which provides clear air solutions to individuals and organizations by testing the air quality and offering tailor made solution for clean air . He is also the co- founder of ‘ careforair’ organisation an NGO that creates awareness about air pollution and its health effects in India.

Summary :

The roots of finding (PBC) India’s top most air pollution solution provider,originated in the writers mind after going through an harrowing experience in his life 26 years back ,when his lung capacity had drastically dropped by 70%. To his surprise the doctors blame it on Delhi’s toxic air which had destroyed his lungs capacity.Having no option, forced with only two choices to either stay back in Delhi and fight or leave to some less polluted city ,the Author chose to stay back and fight. With limited time in his hands,he instantly organized a meet with his IIT team announcing and appealing them to find solution to this problem. Like him, his son-in law Barun Aggarwal who returned India in 2010 also faced a similar problem ,but with his children.

These life threatening risks urged them to dig deeper into finding feasible and quick solutions ,which infact were around all of us the whole time i.e Plants . Yes, according to their research few variety of oxygen producing indoor plants, if grown under perfect circumstances can work wonders to reduce air pollution. Today PBC is the living laboratory with 7000 plus plants throughout six storey building. The core idea behind PBC ,backs up homes and other indoor spaces where we spend most of our time and is absolutely under our own control.

The most obvious point the writer is trying to address through various simple practical suggestions and tips is that everyone can have the privilege of breathing fresh air indoors if they Implement certain practices and changes in their lifestyles. As he vouches this practice to have saved his own life.

My Review :

How to grow fresh Air’ is like that beautifully curated user-friendly manual on ‘ Air pollution ‘ for every layman or anyone new to the world of Air pollution. As the writer has attempted to make some meticulous efforts to keep the text simple,systematic and limited to all technical explanations to just the basic scientifical concepts. Further delivering pragmatically smart tips on growing fresh air and reducing the indoor air pollution.The book is divided into three parts :

PART 1: Whats in our Air?

Some of the threatening facts of the pollutants that we breathe, which I really found informative are,

. PM 2.5 s ( particulate Matter) PM 1s are one of the most dangerous air pollutants ,as they can travel to all parts of the human body because of its small size.

. Ozone (O3) can be both good and bad .It depends on the location of the ozone where it lies . When its high in stratosphere, ozone is good because it protects all life on the planet. When ozone gases occur at a closer to ground level it is harmful for us to breathe. Repeated exposure to ozone can lead to many health complications, especially lung function, inducing bronchitis & asthma.

. Nitrogen oxide & Sulphur oxide both mainly act as an irritants that affect the mucus of the eyes ,nose ,throat and respiratory tract.

. Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are carcinogenic and mostly found indoors . They are emitted from most of the indoor things like paint,furniture, marker pens,nail polish remover ,varnish,deodorant etc. They act as irritants and can cause cancer in the long run.

In this topic, writer stresses on the fact that both outdoor and indoor air has their fair share of pollutants and are equally dangerous. He also recommends some well thought simple handy measures & lifestyle changes in our home allowing proper ventilation & eliminating some of the most harmful pollutants indoor.

PART 2 : 4 Steps to purify the Air in your Home

Step 1: Declutter and clean

Step 2: Invest in a Good Air purifier

Step 3: Sealing and Ventilation

Step 4: Indoor Plants that give Us Fresh Air

All these four steps are some well-tailored points covering all important factors essential for growing fresh air indoors . I thoroughly enjoyed reading all steps ,but my favorite were Indoor plants & Decluttering and cleaning.

Being indoor plants freak I had always been looking for limited ,to the point information necessary for the gardener on growing plants with right fertilizers and this chapter cum mini reference manual solves all my problems systematically. I can look into them anytime.I thank myself for having the hard copy of book šŸ¤—

We all have in some point of life heard about the positive effects of decluttering our space or our homes,still adding one more precious benefit of fresh air ,adds some more value to this habit.The writer also reminds us of the book’ The life changing magic of tidying up’by Marie Kondo.,who advices people to keep only those things that bring true joy, here the author changes that advice with a little twist from true joy to bare necessary things as more things add to the pollution indoors.For book review by Marie kondo click the below links :

The life changing magic of Tidying up

My experience and take on decluttering inspired by Marie kondo book

PART 3: Protect and Participate

This part elaborates the benefits of consuming healthy diet with a combination of varied breathing exercises to improves one’s lung function.I really admired the level of versatile knowledge the author is equipped with and sprinkled throughout the book in the form of sensible and efficient tips . Be it gardening skills or health advice winding it up as a holistic approach towards the entire environmental awareness.

This part also emphasizes the importance of community participation as a whole to spread awareness collectively, through various groups life (RWA)ie Our own residential welfare association, schools,offices or even digital campaigns followed by some effortless tips to reduce individual carbon footprint on a personal level.

I must say this book is precisely power-packed with calculated knowledge for merely understanding the main purpose behind awareness from layman’s perspective without adding unnecessary technical jargon. And definitely acts like a mini ‘ Air pollution’ manual which you can store in your library for years.

Who should read this book ?

. I undoubtedly recommend this book to all Indians. Knowing the fact that we are among the top ten countries in the world which are most polluted.

. Also people with chronic respiratory illness or sensitive towards dust and allergies like asthma.

. All environmentally conscious citizens of my country, so that you are inspired to do your part as a responsible citizens or even spreading awareness

. I would also recommend this book to all indoor garden lovers who wish to know the importance of their valuable collection of plants in their homes.

Happy reading šŸ¤—

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