Back in Ireland over Spring Festival I was amazed once again by its freshness and greenness, even in the depths of winter. Depopulation makes Ireland one of the prettiest countries in the world – at least in my heavily biased opinion. Ireland has in profusion what Beijing so badly needs: generous living space and abundant, unadulterated natural resources. And yet I, like you, am choosing to live here and not there. Beijing continues to provoke and amuse me, and I plan to call it home for many more years. Each of us has made a nest, however temporary, here in Beijing. And to be fair, since my return at least, the smog has generally been behaving itself.
However, despite the blue sky days there’s no point living denial or pretending there isn’t an ongoing air pollution problem here. Acceptance of the situation at hand is the first step in overcoming every difficulty. We want to see you equipped with all the information necessary to make wise and pragmatic choices for your families. On p.54 we get an in-depth analysis of the latest pollution research from Beijing United Family Hospital’s Dr. Richard Saint Cyr. Meanwhile, on p.21 Dr. Dorothy Dexter puts pollution in perspective, and points out that, although a reality for Beijingers, it can be countered with positive changes in other areas of our lives. Broccoli sprouts, suggests Melissa Rodriguez on p.20, are the super food of super foods, containing pollution fighting antioxidants. Meanwhile on p.22 International SOS’s Rachel Heffield explains that high AQI can trigger anxiety and depression in some people. We explore strategies to help you cope.
Some of us are old-hands at air purification; others are still not entirely cognizant of exposure levels indoors. On p.52 we look at how to protect your home from pollution, and on p.32 we speak to staff from the British School of Beijing (Shunyi), International Montessori School of Beijing, and Canadian International School of Beijing about their school’s air pollution policies. Buy everything you require from our roundup of purifiers, masks, and monitors on p.15. Not every restaurant in Beijing is filtered, but the new Obentos branch at Liangmaqiao offers filtered air alongside healthy kid-friendly eats (p.24). And for days when the kids are trapped indoors, check out our roundup of high-tech exercise options (p.28).
This article originally appeared on page 7 of the beijingkids March 2016 issue. Click here to read the issue for free on Issuu.com. To find out how you can get your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org