We obviously want the air we breathe to be of the highest quality. Wagga Wagga can on occasion be subjected to poor air quality as a result of natural phenomena such as dust storms and bushfires.
However, air quality can also be impacted by activities within the urban environment and we all have a role in decreasing the pollution we emit into the atmosphere.
We all know we should lead more active lifestyles but sometimes in can be a bit hard to fit it all in to a day. Active transport is the means of reaching a destination by using physical exercise such as walking, riding a bike or scooter, roller blading or skate boarding. Finding these small opportunities, such as walking to the shops rather than taking the car can have a significant impact on our local air quality and our health.
There are many benefits to participating in active transport including:
- reduced fuel and car running costs
- improved fitness
- reduced stress - as you get more fresh air and less time battling for a car park!
It is not practical to use active transport for all our errands - there are only so many groceries you can carry on a bike! Look for the small opportunities to start with and see how far your enthusiasm will take you.
Environmental Driving, or Enviro Driving, aims to get the best out of your car and fuel consumption by simple driving techniques and basic car maintenance. By using Enviro Driving techniques you can reduce fuel costs by up to 30%.
Try these tips:
- Ensure you regularly service your vehicle so that its running at its best.
- Check tyre pressure regularly.
- Drive at a steady speed.
- Remove heavy items from the boot when they are not required.
Stoke it, Don't Choke it
Woodheaters are a great source of heat, but the smoke they produce is a major source of air pollution. Not only is excess smoke a sign you are wasting money by burning wood inefficiently, but particle in the smoke have been linked to heart and lung disease.
Excessive smoke from wood fueled heaters is another source of air pollution that the Council actively monitors. Smoky chimney surveys are conducted over the cooler months. Households deemed to be emitting excessive smoke are provided with information on operational techniques to reduce the woodsmoke emissions.
If your heater is too smoky, here are five hot tips to get you through the winter?
- Use dry, seasoned, untreated wood. The logs should make a 'crack' when struck together not a 'dull thud'
- Stack wood under cover in a dry ventilated area
- Use small logs and place them in your heater in a way that ensures air can circulate freely
- Burn the fire brightly. Run the heater on a high burn rate (air control fully open) for 5 minutes before and 15 to 20 minutes after adding logs
- Don't let your heater smoulder overnight - keep the air control open enough to maintain a flame. A well-insulated house will stay warmer longer.
Learn more about reducing smoke from chimneys and how to build an efficient fire through the documents below:
Reduce our Energy Consumption
You may not live near a power station and see the pollution created by the generation of electricity but the energy we use each day causes pollution somewhere. If we reduce our reliance on non-renewable energy sources such as coal and gas we will reduce the pressure on these finite resources as well as reduce pollution.
Find out how you can save energy in your home here.
For further information on air quality please see the Office of Environment and Heritage website.