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What Can We Do To Improve Air Quality?

Thinking about air pollution on a worldwide scale can be daunting because as individuals we can often feel insignificant. Yet, if we all reduce the amount of fuel we use and the number of chemicals used at home, we will improve the quality of the air that we breathe and help the global problem.

The School Run

Why not start by leaving the car at home one day a week? Walking or cycling to school is not only good for your health but it will save on fuel costs and help reduce local air pollution. Using public transport whenever you can will also reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.

You may have friends, family or neighbours who also drive their children to the same school or one nearby. Why not take turns to drive or walk the children to school? If you don't know anyone who lives near you, why not check whether your school has a travel plan. Further guidance can be found within the School Travel Plan & Safer Routes to School.

If you arrive at school a little early - don't sit in your car with the engine idling and/or your air conditioning running continuously - switch your engine off; you'll save fuel, money and improve local air quality!

Energy Efficiency

Improving the energy efficiency of your school will help reduce your energy bills, as well reducing the air pollution associated with power generation and can improve your schools environmental image; your school may even be accredited for your achievements through Government Accreditation Schemes.

For further information, please visit the Energy Savings Trust (EST) website, which is a non-profit organisation that promotes energy savings, funded by the Government and private sector.

Around The Home

  • Use water-based or low solvent paints, glues, varnishes and wood preservatives, look for brands with a low VOC content
  • Make sure your home is well ventilated especially during DIY or cleaning
  • Have your central heating system checked regularly to avoid risking exposure to toxic carbon monoxide
  • Keep wood stoves and fireplaces well maintained
  • Before organising days out, check the air pollution and sun UV index forecast
  • Purchase "Green Power" for the electricity in your home. (Contact your power supplier)
  • Be energy efficient- make sure your house is well insulated and use energy efficient appliances
  • Use trigger sprays rather than aerosols
  • Don't light bonfires or barbecues when air pollution levels are high
  • Never burn household waste, especially plastics, rubber and treated timber

Useful Links

Contact Details

  • Name Environmental Safety and Health
  • Address People Directorate, 3-5 St James's Road, Dudley, DY1 1HZ
  • Telephone 0300 555 2345