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What you can do to help

Air pollution is a local, national and international problem.  We all need to do our bit to tackle it. If enough people are committed to making small changes frequently and together, we can make improvements in air quality and reduce our exposure to air pollution.

Out and about

While air quality is improving, there is much more we can all do to tackle harmful emissions.

  • Car share for clean air. Buddy up with someone at work or for the school run and split the fuel costs, cut congestion, reduce parking problems and air pollution
  • Walking is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to get around - and great for your health too. Worth considering for your commute or the school run
  • Cycling. Start your day the clean air way and try cycling your commute
  • Engine off when you stop. Running the engine when your car is stationary - otherwise known as 'idling' or 'ticking over' - contributes to making air pollution worse. Simply switch off your engine when you at standstill for a while and make a real difference (and save you money and wear and tear on the engine!)
  • Use buses or trains. If you already use public transport, why not encourage your colleagues, friends and family as well?
  • Park and ride. Norwich Park and Ride has conveniently located car park sites around Norwich with frequent bus services linking them to the city centre
  • Retime your commute. If you need to drive to and from work, can you change the time you commute to reduce air pollution at peak hours?
  • Don't drive under pressure. Correctly inflated tyres can save fuel and reduce pollution, so make sure you check yours regularly
  • Upgrade. When it's time to upgrade your car, consider an electric or hybrid model, as you pay little or no vehicle excise duty (road tax) on these. They're cheaper to run, maintenance costs are much lower, they're quieter and emit less air pollution or carbon dioxide
  • Encourage your school to develop a school travel plan and teach children about air pollution. Champion journeys to school by more sustainable forms of transport and support pupil's health, wellbeing and safety

At home

  • Keep your home ventilated. Indoor air quality can be poorer than outside air, even in cities. This is due to a build-up of pollutants from sources such as home heating and cooking appliances, tobacco products, cleaning products, building materials and home furnishings
  • Open fires and wood-burning stoves. If you burn solid fuel at home, consider switching to a cleaner fuel - electricity or gas. If there is no alternative to burning solid fuel, consider switching to a cleaner modern stove and burning dry wood or smokeless fuels
  • Avoid having garden bonfires. The smoke produced contributes to local air pollution and can be very irritating to your neighbours
  • Be as energy efficient as possible, e.g. by upgrading your boiler or improving insulation
  • Choose green energy suppliers and environmentally sustainable product
  • It's best not to smoke, but if you do, smoke outside and away from doorways and windows. Ask smoking visitors to do likewise. Vaping or e-cigarettes do not produce carbon monoxide or the harmful levels of toxins found in second-hand tobacco smoke
  • Check any DIY products or household aerosols for VOC content. Read the label and note whether the product should not be used in an enclosed space. There are often more 'environmentally-friendly' alternatives to conventional paints, glues and similar products, so choose wisely

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