Today is Clean Air Day! Clean Air Day is the UK’s largest air pollution campaign, engaging thousands of people at hundreds of events, and reaching millions more through the media. Derek Walter, Sustainability Advisor explains how you can play your part to make air cleaner.

“Coronavirus has knocked us all for six and there has been a mixed bag of impacts on the environment. One impact being the cancellation or postponement of many events, including Clean Air Day. This year’s Clean Air Day is set to be the cleanest ever since the campaign started, but this is no time to rejoice. The fact the air we breathe is currently less polluted is a side effect of the current pandemic and the impact it has had on the economy. Many industries stopped working for a period and some offices still lay empty as the call to work from home, if possible, is followed. Commuting makes up a large proportion of UK air pollution so it is no surprise that there have been improvements made with air quality. Air pollution currently causes 36,000 premature deaths in the UK each year and can also be responsible for causing asthma and reduced memory function.

“So now is the time to concentrate our efforts to make cleaner air ‘the new normal’. “Other steps we can all take include;

  • Ditching the car and walk or cycle where possible
  • Using electric or efficient, well maintained vehicles where possible and don’t let fossil fuelled vehicles lie needlessly idle
  • If ‘bubbling’, then share vehicles where possible
  • Avoiding burning wood or fossil fuels if you can. This could include household fireplaces or waste exemption burn pits.
  • Switching off lights and other devices when not needed. They increase demand meaning the out-of-town power stations have to work harder and pollute more.
  • Not being wasteful of any resources. Everything we consume has a carbon impact and contributes to climate change.

“How much pollution do you and your household produce? The results may surprise you, so use the following Air Pollution Calculator to find out “.