What can I do about air pollution?

Across the UK, air pollution is having a major impact on health. Air pollution particularly affects the most vulnerable in society: children and older people, and those with heart and lung conditions.

Steps to reduce your own air pollution

Whether it's leaving the car at home for the day, walking the kids to school or turning down the heating, there are lots of small changes that can improve the quality of the air we all breathe.

You can help reduce air pollution caused by transport:

  • Walk, cycle, bus, train - leave your car at home and take to the streets. As well as cutting down the amount of pollution you make, you’ll get more exercise.
  • Maintain your car - keep the engine properly tuned and the tyres at the right pressure so your car is more efficient and uses less fuel.
  • Drive more efficiently - turn off your car engine whenever you’re not moving and it’s safe to do so, don’t rev the engine unnecessarily, drive smoothly within speed limits, and avoid sudden braking or acceleration. This will use less fuel and so reduce costs and exhaust emissions.
  • When you upgrade your car, explore an electric or hybrid model or a less polluting model. This will help you save money on your car tax too.
  • Car-share if possible.

Be energy savvy at home:

  • The production of gas and electricity contributes to air pollution. To conserve energy and lower your energy bills take steps like insulating your home and switching off lights.
  • Service your central heating boiler regularly so it runs as efficiently and cleanly as possible.
  • Upgrade boilers to efficient boilers with lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon emissions.
  • If you like an open fire or use a wood burning stove think carefully what you burn. Domestic burning of solid fuel is the largest source of small particulate air pollution (PM2.5) in the UK. Smokeless fuel or dry wood has lower PM2.5 emissions than house coal or unseasoned wet wood. You can find useful guidance on the following link https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/reports/cat09/1901291307_Ready_to_Burn_Web.pdf
  • Remember some parts of Amber Valley borough lie in smoke control areas where you should only burn an authorised smokeless fuel or use an exempted fireplace. View our smoke control areas page for more information.
  • Garden bonfires can be a significant local source of air pollution - this can cause a smoke nuisance, for which the council may take legal action. Compost garden waste if you can and take household waste to your local household waste recycling centre

Avoid air pollution:

  • Use quieter streets - avoid busy roads when you’re walking or cycling, walk on the inside of the pavement or on the opposite side to queuing traffic
  • Walk or cycle - car drivers can be exposed to twice as much air pollution as pedestrians and nine times more than cyclists
  • Block it out - close windows during rush hour if you live or work on a busy street
  • Check pollution levels - it’s best to avoid too much strenuous activity on high pollution days. if you have a heart or lung condition. You can find the air pollution forecast at https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/
Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841335 or email envadmin@ambervalley.gov.uk