Air pollution: are you doing your bit?

Journeys of less than 2 miles pollute up to 60% more per mile

We all contribute to local air pollution in some way, so we can help to reduce it.  The obvious way that we can cut pollution is to use the car less.

Before getting into the car, consider:

  • Do I really need to make this journey?
  • Could I walk, cycle or take the bus instead of taking the car?
  • Could I combine several trips, rather than making lots of short trips
  • Could I share a car with someone else?

Why not save money and reduce pollution !

Modern cars produce much less pollution than in the past, but there are many more cars on the road making more trips.  Even whilst driving there are a number of ways in which we can minimise impact on the environment and save money at the same time.  It is estimated that you can save up to 30% in fuel costs by following these tips:

  • Drive Smoothly
  • Plan ahead when driving (anticipating traffic flow and hazards can avoid unnecessary braking)
  • accelerate smoothly
  • Use the correct gear for the speed and road conditions (changing gear at lower revs can save fuel)
  • Keep within the speed limits - (50mph uses 25% less fuel than 70mph)
  • Brake Gently
  • Don't rev the engine, particularly when starting
  • Avoid short journeys (a cold engine uses 2x more fuel)
  • Turn off the engine when idling, especially when parked
  • Drive off as soon as you start the vehicle (modern engines do not need to warm up)
  • Remove unnecessary equipment when not being used (such as roof boxes and cycle carriers)

Regular maintenance of your vehicle can also help to cut pollution

  • Check tyre pressures (underinflated tyres increase fuel usage by 3%)
  • Have your car regularly serviced (this can save money in the long run)
  • Keep an eye on fuel consumption (an increase could indicate a problem with the engine)

Eco Driving Techniques

Motorists can save money and cut pollution even further by using eco-driving techniques, such as;

  • Changing gear at around 2000-2500 revs for modern petrol engines, or around 1500-2000 revs for modern diesel engines
  • Accelerating and braking smoothly
  • Anticipating traffic flow to avoid unnecessary gear changes.
  • Maintaining a steady speed whilst using the highest gear possible

1st gear: to set off
2nd gear: up to 15 mph
3rd gear: 15 - 25 mph
4th gear: 25 - 30 mph
5th gear: 30 mph+

At home

  • Avoid burning solid fuels if possible.  If you live in a smoke control area, burn only authorised smokeless fuels.
  • Consider insulating your home - visit our energy efficiency pages for more information.

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