With air pollution now a global pandemic, it’s time that everyone takes meaningful steps to make a difference and strive to create a cleaner, safer environment. There are numerous ways you can do your bit, so make reducing air pollution your New Year’s Resolution for 2019.
Follow our simple tips below:
1.Change up your commute for a cleaner one
According to a recent study, One in three people regularly use their car for short journeys that could be completed on foot or with public transport. Are you guilty of this?
If you live close to a colleagues and you both drive into work, consider car-sharing a few times a week. Alternatively, swap your gas-guzzling commute for public transport a couple of times a week. This will help to significantly reduce your contribution to toxic air pollution.
In a survey of 2,000 people by motoring website Carwow, 37 percent of respondents said they drove to a workplace that was close by. If your workplace is within walking distance, leave the car at home and walk in, or get on your bike! Not only does this help improve overall air quality, but it gets you moving, getting your heartbeat up and ever closer to your recommended 10,000 steps of the day
2. Avoid burning garden waste
Bonfires emit carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases. They’re also smelly and unpleasant for your neighbours, and are one of the most common air pollution complaints received by councils across the UK.
If you have garden waste left over from your handiwork in the garden, bag it up instead. Most councils provide a home collection service for garden waste. Visit your local council website for more information.
3. Swap your petrol garden equipment for electric
Leaf blowers, hedge trimmers and petrol mowers also contribute to toxic gas emissions. Consider banishing petrol-powered garden tools for electric powered equipment. Electric or battery powered tools are much better for the environment and cheaper to run, especially with petrol prices creeping up and up.
4. Use your open fire or wood burning stove less
It is reported that wood burning stoves and open fires contribute to 38% of damaging particulate matter in the UK. Consider using your stove or fire less frequently and make sure the wood you’re using is fit for purpose.
Burning wet or ill-prepared wood is the biggest culprit, so if you do have a wood burning stove or open fire, ensure that you’re using seasoned wood with a moisture content of 20% or less. Burning dry wood produces significantly less particulates than an open fire burning wet logs.
5. Only use dishwashers and washing machines when they’re full
A load washed at 40°C, tumble-dried in a vented dryer produces 2.4 kg CO2e.
Conserve energy and reduce the amount of heat pumped into the outside air by reducing the use of your washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher. If haven’t got enough plates and dishes to fill up your dishwasher after dinner, don’t put it on until you’ve filled it the next day, or simply wash it up!
Wait until you have a large load of washing to put on before you use your washing machine, and hang your clothes outside to dry if possible, to reduce how often you use your tumble dryer.
Find out more about air pollution and how it affects your health here.