Wednesday, June 4, is Clean Air Day, a timely reminder that the quality of the air we breathe affects our lungs, especially during the heat and humidity of summer when air pollution can reach unsafe levels.
Use your feet and leave the car at home
Walk, cycle, bus, train ... However you like to travel, leave your car at home and take to the streets. Amazingly, car drivers can be exposed to twice as much air pollution as pedestrians and nine times more than a cyclist. So as well as cutting down the amount of pollution you make, you're reducing you exposure to air pollution and getting some exercise too.
Discover the side streets
Using quieter streets when you’re on a bike or on foot can lower your exposure to air pollution by 20%.
Avoid strenuous activity when pollution is high
There are about 10 to 20 high pollution days a year when it’s better to avoid working out too hard if you have a heart or lung condition. But on balance, for most people, most of the time, it is healthier to exercise than sit it out.
Turn your engine off when stationary
I feel you. It’s too hot or too cold to turn off the car. But, 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.
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.
Keep your car tires inflated
Yep, having properly-inflated tires really means your car will be more efficient and use less fuel. Great for the environment and great for your pocket too.
Think about how you do your cleaning!
Keep dust levels low, use fragrance-free or naturally-scented products, switch to mild cleaning products and avoid aerosols.
Burn smokeless fuels or dry, well-seasoned wood on your barbecue or stove
This is particularly important as pollution from burning fuels damages the air for those who live nearby as well as within your own home.
Switch energy suppliers
Choose renewable energy tariffs for your home supply to reduce the pollution produced by power stations.
Recycle your compostables
Rather than burning your garden waste, compost it and turn it into food for your vegetable patch.
Save the wood-burning stove for the bleak winter
Wood-burning stoves look great and they’re so cozy. But burning wood produces a lot of air pollutants. To minimize your contribution to air pollution, only light it when you really have to.