Actions to improve air quality are not purely the responsibility of local and national government. The way we live and choose to travel can cause pollution and therefore we're all affected to some extent or another.
Ideas to improve air quality
Use a less polluting car
When buying a new car consider one that is more efficient and lower polluting. With increasing fuel costs and lower car tax, electric cars could save you money to run. Most of the main car manufacturers now produce either pure electric cars or hybrids. Range has always been a concern but most pure electric cars will now travel more than 200 miles between charges. The network of charging points are rapidly increasing reducing 'range anxiety'.
Walk or cycle instead of driving
Not only does this save money but also improves your general health. Do you need to drive your kids to school or could you walk with them instead? View our cycling information and local maps. We've also go plenty of information on walking too.
Use public transport
Consider going by bus or by train instead of the car.
Many car journeys only have one occupant. Consider car share for the journey to work and reduce your costs.
Condense 'errands' into one trip
Think about how many trips you make. Can these be organised into one trip to save time and mileage? Do you need to make several different trips to different supermarkets or drive to the shop up the road just for a pint of milk?
Accelerate gradually and brake gently and obey the speed limit. This will reduce your fuel costs and save on brake and tyre wear.
Maintain your vehicle
Keep the tyres properly inflated and oil topped up and serviced regularly. Your car will run more efficiently saving you money in fuel costs.
Remove any unused items from the car, such as roof racks as this reduces your fuel efficiency.
If the car is stationary, for example while waiting to pick your child up from school, then switch the engine off. This will save on your fuel costs and on pollution.
Save energy at home
Turn lights off at home when you leave a room, use a thermostat to control room temperature, install loft installation, look for low energy appliances like fridge freezers and washing machines. Visit the energy saving trust website to find out more
Compost garden waste
Having garden bonfires causes particulate pollution. Compost any garden waste or have it collected.
Do not burn logs or coal as a fuel
This will cause pollution even from the smoke free fuel or from logs in exempt stoves that are allowed in Smoke Control Areas. These stoves and fuel are expensive and it remains cheaper to heat your home using domestic gas.
Support local shops and restaurants that use local produce
This will reduce the mileage driven to deliver goods. Consider walking to the shops to reduce your own journey costs.
Plant a tree
Trees and vegetation can absorb pollution plus they make improve general health and wellbeing.
Campaign for clean air
Talk to your local Councillor or MP about schemes they can support to improve air quality locally and nationally. Encourage friends or colleagues to make changes in how they travel. Join an environmental group to raise awareness. Organise or take part in event such as National Clean Air Day.