Shropshire Council

How can I help reduce levels of air pollution?

In most of the developed world, air pollution is mainly caused by vehicle emissions from road traffic and emissions from power stations burning fossil fuels (oil, coal and gas) for the production of electricity and from domestic solid fuel burning.

You can quickly and easily make small changes to your life to reduce air pollution:

Use your car less

If this isn't possible, then choose a car that is economical to run, with lower emissions. Petrol cars produce less nitrogen dioxide than diesel. Electric vehicles are both good for air quality and reduce your carbon footprint helping you to contribute positively to the health of your community and the planet.

Make sure your car is properly serviced and maintained. Having your car engine tuned on a regular basis will mean it creates less pollution and will be more economical to run.

Where possible, share a car journey to work or use the bus. Doing this once or twice a week can have a big impact and could save you money. Where it is necessary to use your car try and avoid polluted, congested areas like town centres. When stopped at traffic lights in congested areas you can save money and reduce pollution by switching your engine off when a red light shows.


Use less electricity

The more electricity you use, the more air pollution will be generated by power stations burning fossil fuels to generate the electricity in the first place. You can take very simple steps to reduce your electricity consumption:

  • turn off lights when they're not required
  • boil half rather than a full kettle of water if that will suffice
  • turn your television off completely at night rather than leaving it on standby
  • insulate your home
  • fit low-energy light bulbs

On a nationwide scale, these simple changes would cut our energy consumption significantly, thereby reducing emissions.

Other ways to help reduce air pollution

There are a number of other ways you can reduce local air pollution:

  • reduce the number of bonfires you have or stop them entirely
  • report "smoky" vans and buses to their owners
  • turn down your central heating thermostat by just one degree
  • consider the use of solid fuel burners such as log burners. The growing use of these appliances is adding to local air pollution. Use smokeless fuel to reduce the impact of your appliance on the health of your family and community