March 29, 2019

If You Smell Something, Now You Can Say Something

Seventh Generation_Smell My City App

The bold future of climate activism and cleaner air for all is not just local—it’s hand-held.

Introducing Smell My City, a new app we’re helping launch in partnership with our brilliant friends in the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University to raise awareness about air pollution, and put climate activism into the palm of your hand.

Inspired by CMU’s successful Smell Pittsburgh app, which helped unite residents and health officials to combat Pittsburgh’s poor air quality, we’re excited to announce that Smell My City is now live in Louisville, Kentucky, and will soon be available in Portland, Oregon—with way more cities to follow. Our goal is to help spark a nationwide conversation about air pollution and the steps needed to improve air quality—especially in areas where people are the most vulnerable.

Climate change and the burning of fossil fuels is starting to have some serious effects not just on our planet, but on human health as well. And though air pollution is often invisible, it can still have very real, long-lasting effects on our health and quality of life, especially for children and seniors, whose respiratory systems are more sensitive to dirty air[1].  The CDC reported that number of people with asthma grew by 15% over the last decade [4].

We believe the time to raise our voices and take bold steps is now. That’s why we’ve partnered with The Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 Program to move cities across the country to clean, renewable energy solutions, and why we’re so excited to help bring Smell My City to phones everywhere.

Here’s how it works.

Using the free Smell My City app, Pittsburgh and Louisville residents can easily rate their local air quality on a scale from “Just Fine” to “As Bad as It Gets,” and even list associated symptoms they may be experiencing from polluted air, such as headaches, congestion, or cough. The crowdsourced data then goes straight to local regulatory agencies like Louisville’s Air Pollution Control District, who can uncover the pollution’s potential sources, and begin to take needed action.

For Louisville, a vibrant city where air pollution continues to be a concern[2], there’s never been a better time to give everyday people a louder voice. It’s time to remind legislators and other decision-makers that, as our planet warms up[3] and air pollution becomes a greater threat, having quality air to breathe on the streets where we walk and in the parks where our children play is no longer something we can take for granted. If we want to ensure a healthy future for generations to come, it’s time to step up and push for change through creative solutions like Smell My City.

Yes, our planet is changing fast and the stakes are high, but through bold steps like Smell My City, the collective spirit of people willing to raise their voices can help tell a new story and bring about needed change so that our children can breathe easy and inherit the healthy planet they deserve.