National Clean Air Day is on 15 June.
#1. Use your feet, take to the street
Walk, cycle, bus, tube, tram, boat, unicycle… However you like to travel, leave your car at home and take to the streets. As well as cutting down the amount of pollution you make, you can get some exercise, check out that new deli you’ve been meaning to pop into, or even meet a friend for a catch-up on the way home.
#2. Switch your engine off when stationary
Not going anywhere fast? By turning off your car engine whenever you’re not moving – and it’s safe to do so – you’ll help to make the air cleaner for you, other drivers and pedestrians. Sign up to the #noidling campaign for more info!
#3. Drive into the future
Cars may not fly or run on trash yet but we have been back to the future and the future is definitely clean. More than 80,000 people bought low polluting cars in 2016. When you upgrade your car, explore an electric, hybrid or LPG model (to save on your road tax too – just until we don’t need roads). But if you have to use petrol or diesel, ask your car dealer for the least polluting model as they vary enormously.
#4. Make the courier do the carrying
Many city workplaces report that half of all deliveries are personal parcels for staff. That’s a whole lot of extra vans clogging up the city – and people still have to carry their parcels home! Delivery companies now have clever ways to save you carrying parcels too far – like pick up points in corner shops or lockers in train stations. There are thousands of locations around the UK, with a handy map available here.
#5. Save your log-burner for the bleak midwinter
We all love wood-burning stoves. They look great and they’re sooo lovely and cosy. But burning wood produces a lot of air pollutants. To minimise your contribution to air pollution buy a Defra-approved stove, use authorised fuel, and only light it when you really really have to. Brrrrr.
Here are some more ways you can help to keep the air we breathe clean:
#6. Give your car a holiday
There are some easy ways to use your car less, like car-sharing or working from home one day a week. And they quickly become part of your routine. Just swap face-to-face meetings for video conferencing, and sitting on your own in traffic for chatting to your colleagues about what Steve in accounts has been up to recently. Plus you can have a lie-in, pick up the kids from school, go for an early meal… and make the air cleaner for everyone.
#7. Regularly service your car & boiler
Remember to service your car and central heating boiler regularly to make sure they run as efficiently and cleanly as possible.
#8. Consume less energy = produce less pollution
Gas and electricity are big contributors to air pollution. Gas creates fumes when we burn it to heat our homes, and electricity produced by power stations burning fossil fuels has the same result. There are lots of things you can do to conserve energy (and lower your bills), such as switching off the lights, filling the kettle with just what you need and only running the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load.
#9. Keep your car tyres inflated
Having well-inflated tyres means your car will be more efficient and use less fuel. Great for the environment and great for your pocket too.
#10. Switch energy suppliers
Choose renewable energy tariffs for your home supply to reduce the pollution produced by power stations.
#11. Recycle your compostables
Rather than burning your garden waste, compost it and turn it into food for your vegetable patch.