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Simple ways to help reduce air pollution

Find out what steps you can take to help improve air quality in County Durham

Here are the top ways you can help to reduce air pollution in Durham City:

1. Leave the car at home

Where possible walk, cycle, bus or train to your destination. This not only reduces the amount of air pollution we make but can help us get exercise and lose weight. Traveline North East can help you plan your journey on public transport.

2. Drive a low emission vehicle

When you decide to change your car, explore electric, hybrid and LPG options. These are less polluting than petrol or diesel, if you need to use petrol or diesel, ask the dealer which model is the least polluting as they vary.

3. Work smarter

Why not see if you can car share with other workmates or use the Durham City Park and Ride for part of your journey to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.  Ask your employer if it is practical to work from home one day a week and rather than travel to meetings why not try and video call or conference call instead. We can also help local companies with Business travel planning.

4. Switch off the engine when stationary

If stationary at traffic lights or in traffic turn off your car engine, as long as it's safe to do so.  If your vehicle is fitted with start-stop technology make sure this is activated. Stopping your engine when not needed cuts pollution but can also reduce fuel consumption, saving you money.

Other ways you can help to reduce air pollution

5. Only use approved wood burners/biomass boilers

Log burning stoves look great but did you know that burning wood produces a lot of air pollutants. To minimise this always buy a Defra approved stove, use authorised fuel and try to only light it when really needed. Further information to help you operate your appliance efficiently, reducing the emission of air quality pollutants is provided in the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs leaflet Open fires and wood-burning stoves - A practical guide (PDF) [240KB] . Before purchasing a wood or biomass boiler always check if the height of your chimney/flue needs Apply for a chimney under the Clean Air Act

6. Avoid personal deliveries to work

Did you know many parcels delivered in our towns and cities are for staff and not the business itself? All these extra deliveries increase traffic and pollution in busy towns and cities. Why not have the parcel delivered to one of the many pick up points operated by couriers and keep traffic away from town and city centres.

7. Keep your car and boiler servicing up to date

Having your car and central heating boiler services regularly makes sure that they run as efficiently as possible. This can reduce the pollutants produced when running.

8. Improve your energy efficiency

Burning fossil fuels to heat our homes or to generate electricity are major sources of air pollution. We can do lots of things to reduce our energy use, switch off lights when not needed, boil the kettle with just the water you need and run the washing machine or dishwasher only when they are fully loaded are just a few.

9. Check your tyres regularly

Keeping your tyres to the car manufacturers recommendations will make it more efficient and use less fuel. So you'll create less pollution and save money on fuel too.

10. Choose your electricity supplier carefully

Making sure your electricity supplier uses renewable energy helps to reduce the pollution created by power generation.

These tips are based on advice from National Clear Air Day website. Read the National Clean Air Day - the science behind it to find out which research supports each suggestion.

What causes air pollution?

Our webpage 'Air Pollution and your health' outlines the main causes of air pollution and why we should be concerned.  

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