Our ongoing Breathless in Beijing series continues with Ryan Cardwell, Program director at Ivy Academy. Below he tells us about keeping a positive outlook during grim smoggy days, shares his fresh air fantasy, describes how he protects his five-year-old daughter, Sparks, and his school’s students from pollution, and more.
At home we use Blue Air Filters. We have been using this brand for about eight years and have found it quite reliable. We keep one in each room. We don’t use plants (to keep the home fresh) simply because we used to have a cat and she always ate the plants. We also use masks, Respero ones specifically.
I have the unique privilege of being the director of my daughter’s school, Ivy Academy. At Ivy Academy we also use Blue Air filters, and monitor the air with the Laser Egg. We also use air filters on our school bus.
If the AQI is over 200 we pretty much stick to indoor activities, either at home or in an indoor space like a mall.
When Beijing is really polluted I remind myself that there are people living here who don’t have access to air filters and masks, who are suffering a lot more than I am.
On Blue Sky Days we love to go to Beijing’s parks, such as Chaoyang Park near our home or the Olympic Forest Park.
If I could bottle fresh air from elsewhere, and spray some in our home on a smoggy day, I think we’d get some air from back home in Canada. Canada’s mountain air is some of the finest!
Photos: courtesy of Ryan Cardwell.