Before We Leave: How To Reduce Pollution

Quick Links

  • What Creates Pollution?
  • What Does Pollution Do?
  • Removing Pollution
  • Avoiding Polluted Areas

Before We Leave is a cozy city-building game that tasks you will setting up your civilization in a corner of the universe. As you grow your population, you will eventually start to pollute the area around your towns. Pollution can have a negative effect on your peeps, as well as various other buildings that you can construct.

In this guide, we are going to go over how to reduce and eliminate pollution. In some cases, pollution is unavoidable, so we will also take a look at how to deal with existing pollution that you can't get rid of. First, let's take a look at where pollution comes from.

What Creates Pollution?

Pollution primarily comes from buildings that use power or deal with processing. When placing a building, an icon of a gas mask will appear if it creates pollution. The red bar under the gas mask will display how much pollution the building will create in the surrounding area. Below, you can find every building that creates pollution.

  • Quarry
  • Iron Mine
  • Desalination Plant
  • Electronics Mine
  • Oil Well
  • Smelters
  • Iron
  • Steel
  • Glass
  • Toolsmith
  • Fuel Refinery
  • Gadgeteer
  • Kitchen
  • Smoothie Maker
  • Generators
  • Wood
  • Oil

These buildings will create an area of pollution around them, which will get worse over time. You will be able to click on the ground tile and see one of the following descriptions.

  • No Pollution
  • Slight Pollution
  • Pollution
  • Heavy Pollution

Pollution will also be visible; the darker a tile is based on its original appearance, the more polluted it is. In the image above, you can see desert tiles with pollution that originates from the oil well. Certain desert tiles have more pollution on them, making them appear darker.

What Does Pollution Do?

Pollution will negatively impact any peep that walks nearby, decreasing their happiness. The amount of pollution present will scale with the amount of happiness lost for the peep. For example, if a peep walks through an area with light pollution, they will only lose a little bit of happiness.

Additionally, pollution will affect the production of buildings that harvest organic resources, such as crops or trees. In the image above, you can see a gas mask symbol. This indicates that the building can be affected by pollution, which will slow down production rates. Hovering over this icon will provide you with an in-depth look at how pollution levels will affect production. Overall, you don't want to have farmland in a polluted area.

Removing Pollution

There are two main ways to deal with pollution. Firstly, forest tiles can mitigate the effects of pollution. Forests will naturally appear on every island, meaning you can use them to your advantage.

Keep in mind that although forests can mitigate pollution, tree production will slow down. If you use a forest tile to reduce pollution, it will not yield as much wood for nearby sawmills. Because of this, you should place sawmills away from trees that you want to use for pollution reduction.

The best way to reduce pollution is with the Cleaner building. Workers assigned to the Cleaner will use water to clean up any pollution in the area around the building. With a basic Cleaner building, pollution will reduce one full level. This does not apply to Slightly Polluted tiles, but with an upgraded Cleaner, you can increase the amount of pollution that is cleaned.

The Cleaner building will unlock as you research Pollution Cleaning on the technology tree, and can be built with the following materials.

  • 12 Wood
  • 12 Tools
  • 8 Water

All the Cleaner needs to work is water, which can easily be gathered at a well. Wells are a basic building structure that will unlock by default at the beginning of the game. At first, your peeps will rely on water to drink, however, once you unlock tea fields, most of your peeps will prefer to drink tea, leaving water available to use at the Cleaner.

Avoiding Polluted Areas

It may be hard to get rid of every bit of pollution, but there are ways to avoid the negative effects of pollution. Overall, you should not place housing or farmland in a polluted area. This will reduce production and make your peeps unhappy. Additionally, pollution near high-traffic areas will create a group of unhappy peeps.

When placing buildings that create pollution, try to find a location that is far from your main area of town. You can build on the entire island, so don't be afraid to expand! A great place to put pollution-causing buildings is on top of the cliffs. If you do this, be sure to have a few elevators so traffic jams won't occur.

Not every island will need pollution-causing buildings. For example, rather than building several Smelter builds on each island, try to designate one island as the 'smelting' island. With trade routes set up, you should be able to transport the materials without causing pollution to spread to several islands.

That's all there is to know about dealing with pollution. Don't forget to place cleaners near highly polluted areas!

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