We need energy to grow our food, clean our drinking water, make things we use every day and travel to all the places we need to go. A lot of this energy comes from burning fuels such as gas, oil and coal. This produces air pollution and carbon dioxide (which causes climate change). Therefore, through using less energy we can reduce both air pollution and climate change.
We can help by making personal actions to make a difference to air quality such as:
Travelling by bus or train
By using cars less often, we can reduce pollution. Using public transport such as buses and trains where possible is better for the environment. Even using buses or trains as part of a longer journey is good for the air.
Walking and Cycling
If you’re only travelling 3 or less miles, walking and cycling are even better options than using buses or trains, as they are also
good for your health.
Electricity can be saved through the following actions: turning lights off, using electronics such as TV, computers, mobiles, games consoles less and using the heating less often.
Wearing an extra jumper at home or closing windows when the heating is on is a great way to reduce the amount of gas you burn in the central heating. The best temperature to heat your home to for both the planet and your health is about 18 °C, much more than 21 °C (unless someone in your family has a health problem)
is bad for the air.
Waste can be reduced in several ways for example not wasting food, using a re-usable water bottle and donating items rather than throwing them away. For more information check out Oxfordshire’s household waste information page here.
Recycling helps save a lot of energy! Find out what things you can recycle at home and at school! For more information check out Oxfordshire’s household waste information page here.
If your school does not have any recycling bins, perhaps you could ask your teacher if you can get some?
Organisations in Oxfordshire are doing things to improve air quality through raising awareness to help others make less pollution and also taking steps to lower pollution. To find out organisations are doing visit THIS page or find out what you and your family can do go here.
Oxfordshire are lowering air pollution by:
- Reducing Freight Emissions – That’s reducing emissions from big lorries!
- Turn it off campaign – which asks drivers to turn off their engines when they are not driving
Oxford City Council are lowering air pollution by:
- Zero emission zones and low emission zones – These are areas that limit older more polluting cars to improve the quality of air
- Clean bus technology fund – Funding electric buses which do not use polluting fossil fuels!
- Oxford Park and Pedal – Bike schemes to encourage cycling instead of use of cars and trucks
- Support for electric vehicles – Supporting the transition to electric vehicles (cars and bikes!) which are less polluting through providing more charging for such vehicles
Oxford City Council are raising awareness in hope to make others lower pollution by:
- Anti-idling campaigns – To let people know they should turn off their cars when they’re not being used.
- Awareness campaigns for wood burning Do You Fuel Good? – To let people know the health effects of woodburning
- Air pollution awareness in schools through the Air Quality Banner Competition and Schools Tackling Oxford's Air Pollution (STOP) an air quality school toolkit
- Oxair – Is partnership of independent experts, individuals and organisations monitoring air pollution around Oxford with electronic diffusion tubes and sensors. OxAir have produced a report an Air Quality Sensor Pilot study.
- Oxford City council have produced a 4-minute video on the status of air pollution in Oxford which can be viewed here.