How can I help reduce air pollution?

Page Last modified 23 Nov 2023
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This page was archived on 23 Nov 2023 with reason: Content is outdated

Air pollution, including that of ozone, is mainly the result of human activities. The small things you do every day can help reduce air pollution and hence improve the protection of the environment as well as human health.

Here are some tips on what you can do, on a day-to-day basis, to help prevent air pollution:

Take public transport or carpool!

A good solution for longer journeys may be public transport or carpooling, since more people can be transported in a single vehicle. If you choose to take the car rather than the train or bus, for instance, you will generate several times more ozone pollution and up to 30 times more CO2 emissions.

Walk or use the bike!

45 % of the ozone precursors and 38 % of the particulate matter emitted in Europe comes from transport. On average, one out of three journeys we do by car is only to go as far as 2 km. Replacing a car ride by walking or using the bicycle not only helps reduce traffic but also emissions.

If you have to use your car…!

Make sure to have the right tyre pressure. If the pressure is down by 0.5 bars, the car needs 5 % more fuel and also gives off more pollution.

Driving with the air conditioner turned on increases fuel consumption by 30 %; driving with windows open only increases it by 5 %.

Letting your car warm up while stationary can make it consume up to 50 % more fuel. If you start driving immediately, the engine will reach its working temperature quicker.

Using a roof rack on your car can increase fuel consumption by 20 to 30 %. Bicycles are better attached to the back of the car.

If you need to buy a car, be careful to check its fuel economy. With an environment-friendly car you will use less fuel and produce less exhaust fumes.

Go for local produce!

Transporting goods from one side of the world to the other generates a lot more air pollution than transporting them short distances. Try to buy locally produced goods and eat local foods that are in season: transporting and producing them doesn’t generate as much air pollution.

Save electricity!

Don't leave your electronic devices - TV sets, computers, DVD's - on stand-by mode. Switch them off completely and you will save about 10 % of your electricity bill. Buy energy-saving light bulbs and "A"-labelled household appliances. Less electricity consumed means less power produced and fewer pollutants into the air from burning of fossil fuels.


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