Noise pollution is not only annoying, it can also cause deafness, fatigue, and even psychological problems. If you want to reduce noise pollution in your life, eliminate the loud noises that machines make both inside and outside the house. If necessary, acoustically isolate your home so you have some peace and quiet. Taking steps to avoid noise pollution will help you and your family to be happier and healthier.
Method 1 of 3: Keep Your House Quiet
Step 1. Insulate your house acoustically
When you can't stop the source of the noise, you can try to keep it as far away as possible. Acoustically insulating your home will help you rest better at night and keep your home quieter during the day as well. If you can't soundproof your entire house, you may want to insulate your bedroom, so you'll have at least a respite from the noise when you can't stand it anymore.
- If you don't want to rebuild your walls and floors with insulating materials, consider purchasing cheaper options for installing carpets and wallcovering that soften and absorb noise.
- Acoustic foam panels are an inexpensive and easy-to-install option if you want to quickly isolate a room acoustically. For an easier solution, hang blankets on the walls or install more bookcases filled with books.
Step 2. Keep noisy machines away from your bedroom and living room
Organize your home so that your bed is not next to a noisy oven or air conditioner. If there are other sources of constant noise, try to put them away from sleeping and living areas so you can have some peace and quiet.
Also consider using these machines less to get a break from the noise. Turn off the air conditioning and open the windows, even if it's a little warmer than usual. You may find that a quieter atmosphere is more relaxing than a cooler one
Step 3. Spend time away from noise
Sometimes it is simply impossible to truly escape the noise. If you live on a busy street with heavy traffic, you will know that there is never really a respite from the noises of traffic, sirens and horns. Escaping from everything is good to regain emotional balance. Go to a quiet place that has almost no noise. Stay there and enjoy the silence for a few hours, until you feel refreshed and ready to reenter the noises of everyday life.
- Determine if you can go for a walk to a quiet natural place away from busy roads.
- If you can't go somewhere outside and quiet, try going to a library for a few hours. Librarians will ensure that everything is quiet.
- Churches and cemeteries are also recommended to find some peace and quiet.
Step 4. Learn to meditate
With more and more rural areas in development, noisy engines and construction sounds, they won't go away right away. Learning to meditate can help you deal with noise and de-stress without having to drop everything and go.
If you feel overwhelmed, sit very still, close your eyes, and focus on breathing deeply evenly. Take 10 breaths and try to let go of your worries and the noises around you. Wherever you are, whether it's on a noisy subway or in your own kitchen, you can try this technique to calm yourself down
Step 5. Put on earplugs or headphones that cancel out outside noise
These inventions have helped millions cope with everyday noise. You can buy the plugs at a very low price in pharmacies and in return you will have hours of sleep when you get used to falling asleep with the plugs on. Noise-canceling headphones are a bit more expensive, but if peace and quiet is your number one priority, it's probably worth the investment.
Step 6. Install insulation and glass to reduce noise
This is by far the most expensive method, but if nothing else works and you really want peace and quiet, it is the most effective way to prevent noise from entering your home.
Method 2 of 3: Deal With Noise You Can't Control
Step 1. Know what causes noise pollution
As urban development spreads to rural areas, the noise level increases. Construction sites, airports, train stations, and highways are sources of loud noises that affect hearing. By knowing the sources of noise pollution in your area, you can avoid them as much as possible or find ways to mitigate their negative effect.
When you have to choose a place to live, see if the residence is on an aerial road or near a busy highway. During the day, the sounds may not bother you, but at night they may not let you sleep
Step 2. Find out the noise pollution laws in your area
Most urban communities have rules to keep noise pollution from getting out of control. For example, there are laws governing what hours of the day a construction site can actively use machinery and when it has to be quiet. As a member of the community, if you know those laws, you can help enforce them.
- Check with your province's department of energy and environmental affairs to find out what regulations are in effect in your area. You will find information on how intense a certain noise can be and when the machinery has to be silent.
- If you perceive that the rules are not being followed, do not hesitate to file a formal complaint. If it affects other members of your community, organize a grievance group, which will be even more effective.
Step 3. Make sure the locals in your community follow the rules
Another source of noise comes from community spaces such as stadiums, concert venues, and other open venues with speaker systems. Even a neighborhood bar that hosts concerts can produce enough noise to drive you crazy. If you live near a community venue that seems to be loud all night or is louder than necessary, find out if it violates any local laws and file a formal complaint, if necessary.
For example, if a new concert venue opens on your block and is noisy late at night, you have the right to find out if the venue operates according to local law. The managers of the premises may be unaware of the laws, so don't assume that they know they do. Find out more and see if you can make a difference
Step 4. Talk about banning noisy engines near your home
The engines of cars, motorcycles, lawnmowers, or other motorized vehicles can greatly increase noise levels in a certain area. If you live in the middle of the city, you won't be able to do much about it, but if you live in a smaller community, you might have a say in who can use those engines and when.
- Talk to a member of the municipality to see if they can ban noisy engines after a certain time of night.
- In smaller communities, you could also meet with your neighbors and agree not to use lawnmowers or other noisy engines during certain hours for the benefit of the entire neighborhood.
Step 5. Participate in a community tree planting project
Communities with more trees are quieter than those without trees, as large, leafy trees can help absorb sound. If you live in an area with a shortage of large trees, planting more along the streets and between residential houses and busy roads would be a good way to reduce some of the noise pollution in your area.
Find out if your city has any tree planting initiatives underway. For example, in Oregon (USA), the group “tree lovers” calls on community members to plant more trees around the city. In New York, the “one million trees in the city” project has a similar goal
Method 3 of 3: Help Your Community Be Silent
Step 1. Don't honk your horn unnecessarily
Don't be part of the problem by honking your horn every time someone gives you a bad look on the street. Only touch it when absolutely necessary: for example, to inform someone that you are present or to warn them if they are about to collide with something. Those are good road safety manners and it will make life more pleasant for city dwellers.
Step 2. Keep your car in good repair
The sound of a car without a muffler blasting all over the street is never welcome, so make sure you're not causing noise pollution in the neighborhood and rush to get it fixed. Everyone who lives around you will thank you for keeping your car in good, quiet condition.
- The same goes for the lawnmower and all noisy equipment that you could use on the street.
- To have a much greater impact on noise in your area, consider walking or biking instead of using the car, whenever you can.
Step 3. Keep your music low
It may sound beautiful to you, but respect the fact that others might not think alike. Your music should not be listened to outside your home. If you know that your neighbors don't care, you can comfortably leave the windows open and let them enjoy your musical tastes, but don't assume that everyone wants to hear your favorite opera just like you.
- If you play a strong instrument or are in a band, be sure to practice during reasonable hours of the day.
- If you are hosting a party and you plan to play loud music, inform your neighbors beforehand to avoid potential conflicts.
Step 4. Respect the quiet hours of the night
Regardless of whether this rule is unspoken or prominently public, be sure not to make noise after those hours. Do not put your neighbors in the position of having to ask you to be silent, as it will be uncomfortable and you will win unfriendly relationships. Strive to be a good neighbor so that you can expect the same behavior from others.