Restoring native vegetation could cut air pollution and costs, study finds.
Adding plants and trees to the landscapes near factories and other pollution sources could reduce air pollution by an average of 27 percent, new research suggests.
The study shows that plants – not technologies – may also be cheaper options for cleaning the air near a number of industrial sites, roadways, power plants, commercial boilers and oil and gas drilling sites.
In fact, researchers found that in 75 percent of the counties analyzed, it was cheaper to use plants to mitigate air pollution than it was to add technological interventions – things like smokestack scrubbers – to the sources of pollution.
“The fact is that traditionally, especially as engineers, we don’t think about nature; we just focus on putting technology into everything,” said Bhavik Bakshi, lead author of the study and professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at The Ohio State University.
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