The primary sources of air pollution from households include emissions from solid fuel heaters, barbecues, lawn mowers and the use of chemicals. Up to 40% of the winter air pollution in the Sydney metropolitan area is caused by residential wood burning – the use of fireplaces and wood heaters. Wood heaters are the cause of the brown haze often seen over residential neighbourhoods on clear, cold nights.
Catch public transport. A full bus carries about the same number of commuters as around 40 cars. If everyone caught the train or bus to work just once a week air pollution could be reduced by up to 20%.
Share a ride. Car pooling with friends and colleagues can significantly reduce air pollution. It can also save you money on petrol, toll fees and parking. Ride sharing can also allow you to use the transit lanes which can save you time getting to work.
Reduce short trips. Short trips cause more pollution because your engine needs time to warm up to run efficiently. Next time you need to make a short trip try walking or riding a bike. Combining errands into a longer journey also cuts down on emissions, saves time, wear and tear on your vehicle.
Keep your car well tuned. Badly tuned cars emit a lot of pollution, irrespective of their age. Servicing your car regularly can keep harmful gases out of the air we breathe. It also ensures your car runs properly so you’ll use less petrol and save money too.
Tune your lawn mower. Non petrol lawn mowers are environmentally friendly. However, if you own a 2-stroke or 4-stroke lawn mower ensure that it is serviced regularly to minimise emissions.
Choose a gas BBQ. Natural gas and LPG barbecues burn cleaner than wood fired and coal barbecues.
Plant trees. Plant more native trees and plants in your garden to help absorb and filter air pollutants.
No backyard burning.Backyard burning is prohibited under environmental laws because it pollutes the air, causing nuisance to neighbours. You can report backyard burning to Council.
If you have any concerns regarding air pollution, contact Council’s Environment and Health Unit on (02)9735 1222. Alternatively you may go to the Public Health website for additional information.