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What Are The Solutions to Noise Pollution?

As humanity grows ever larger, and our infrastructures and industries race to keep pace with that growth, noise becomes an inevitable part of our environment. From the honks of car horns to the deep drilling of remote mining sites to your too-close neighbour’s endless snoring, noise has become impossible to ignore. And current research is showing that all this noise is having a hugely detrimental effect on our health – to the level that the World Health Organisation named it one of the most pressing environmental threats to our health. So with noise pollution feeling like it’s becoming just another part of everyday life, can we do anything to combat it? Of course, we can! Here’s how.

What Is Noise Pollution?

Before we dive into the solution, let’s re-examine the problem. Noise pollution happens whenever a sound is loud enough to disrupt human or animal life. Much of this noise comes from modern pieces of machinery like cars, planes, trains, heavy industrial equipment, household tools or appliances, loud music, noisy pets, or crowds of people. These loud noises signal danger to our brains, causing fight-or-flight responses and flooding our bodies with adrenaline and stress hormones that have negative effects on our well-being. The effects of these sounds can be wide-ranging – from health problems like high blood pressure or hearing damage in humans to disrupting animal life cycles by covering up mating calls or subverting their predator detection abilities. So how do we go about quieting things down?

Solution 0: Awareness and Education

Before implementing costly physical solutions, there needs to be education about noise pollution and its effects on us and our environment. By making these effects more well-known, we’re enabling people to make their own informed decisions about their daily lives. Seemingly small decisions like using a bike instead of driving, or training the family dog to bark less, can have a bigger impact than you might expect!

Solution 1: Materials