There are lots of things people can do to reduce the amount of pollutants and carbon dioxide emitted by vehicles, and it’s not only drivers that can help!
If You’re Driving
If you really need to drive there are things you can do to help reduce the amount of pollutants and carbon dioxide created and emitted as you do so:
- For vehicles with internal combustion engines use the auto switch off feature of the vehicle to reduce idling, or switch off and on manually if it doesn’t have one
- Drive smoothly and change up gear sooner rather than later
- Keep your tyres correctly inflated
- Have your vehicle serviced regularly
However, we think the best way of reducing pollutants and carbon dioxide emissions whilst moving around is for people to do as much as they can to avoid trips in motor vehicles altogether.
Our Why Choose Active Travel pages have more information on how you may be able to do this.
Air Pollution and Idling
Fed up with idling cars in your neighbourhood? Approaching drivers can be awkward – here’s some tips on how to do it, plus information on where to get help for air pollution.
- For those on Twitter, @shareourcars has excellent advice on getting drivers to switch off their engines in a non-confrontational way. Full thread here:
Please be careful, and also keep in mind some vehicles are permitted to be left idling to power on-board equipment.
- Mums For Lungs
Mums For Lungs has lots of useful information on how air pollution affects you and other people, plus great campaigning resources:
If the driver of a business vehicle refuses to turn off their engine, they’ve also created a template for writing to the company:
- Ealing Council is part of a pan-London project to tackle idling:
“Engines off for every stop” campaign:
Idling vehicles disproportionately affect children as they have greater exposure to harmful pollutants. Affected schools should contact the council here:
Businesses can pledge to act on idling – free driver education sessions and toolkit of resources will be provided to educate staff about reducing air pollution and protecting their health. More information:
- You can check if a motor vehicle’s tax and MOT are up to date here:
Information on air pollution
To find out more about the air you and everybody else is breathing:
- London Air annual pollution maps:
- Ealing Air Quality Reports:
Other pollution sources
Whilst transport is currently a major source of pollutants and carbon dioxide emissions, there are other factors.
Sustrans has a great page on other things that people can do to reduce pollution.