What can I do?

Here are some ways you can play a part in reducing air pollution in the borough. If you are a young person, have a look at how you can help.


Photo of car exhaust

Switch off your engine

Leaving car engines running unnecessarily, also known as idling, pollutes the air and causes asthma and other lung and heart conditions in both children and adults.

With idling costing up to 3p per minute in fuel, it is cheaper to switch off your engine. If a vehicle idles for 10 minutes per day, within 6 months that will cost more than £58.

Say no to unnecessary idling and yes to clean air by switching off your engine whenever possible. Find out why idling is harmful.

What you can do at home

Keep warm at home, but don’t waste energy. The Energy Saving Trust recommends heating your home to between 18 to 21 degrees Celsius during winter. Get a smart meter if you can. If you have real coal fires, wood burning stoves or log burners, only use them if you have no alternative source of heating/hot water this winter, and help reduce dangerous air pollution in your homes and in the borough. Learn more about air quality and the health impacts of domestic wood burning at: London Wood Burning Project.

The relative PM2.5 emissions from domestic heating methods

Illustation of the PM25 emissions from different heating methods

Think carefully before having bonfires and barbecues because of their impact on air pollution. If you create a lot of smoke, you could be causing a statutory nuisance and even face a fine of £5,000 (£20,000 for industrial, trade or business premises). Therefore, residents need to follow government guidelines.

Burning rubbish – even if it’s ‘just’ garden waste – is extremely damaging, so please use a composter or sign up for the council’s garden waste collection service.

Air pollution calculator

Calculate your air pollution footprint using the air pollution calculator and create your own air pollution action plan.