Today marks the beginning of Clean Air Month, which is celebrated throughout May across the globe. The month challenges and encourages individuals and businesses to take positive steps to improve air quality – both locally and globally.
Did you know that air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths every year in the UK? Air pollution is one of the biggest environmental and health risks we face today. Poor air quality is largely associated with heart and lung disease as well as mental health issues.
Of course, it isn’t just humans who suffer as a result of poor air quality. As a big contributor to climate change, poor air pollution is damaging the environment too. As the UK’s first and largest pure electric vehicle rental company, being eco-friendly is extremely important to us!
This Clean Air Month, here are some ways in which you can support the planet for generations to come.
Back in March 2020, when we were all confined to our houses, air pollution in the UK fell to its lowest level in decades. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that nitrogen dioxide levels fell to their lowest point since 1997. Nitrogen dioxide is a toxic gas that is largely produced by diesel vehicles.
These lower levels are likely to be a factor of the national lockdowns that were enforced across the country from late March 2020. Instead of commuting via a diesel vehicle to work, employees were left to work from home. Plus, as a society we were only making essential travel journeys, which meant no long family drives.
One of the few highlights of Covid-19 has been the ongoing impact it has had on our environment. For those few months, the world was cleaner and greener. We are also a lot more open minded to how damaging our pre-pandemic lives were to the Earth.
A great way to better your local environment is to start living more locally. By walking to your local shop to pick up a few bits, rather than driving to a supermarket, you’ll be improving the air you breathe. You could also try combining your trips as much as possible!
Walk, cycle or take public transport
The transport sector is by far the most polluting industry to our planet. Even as EV advocates, we cannot argue against the fact that walking, cycling and taking public transport are the cleanest methods of transport.
If you are able to walk or cycle to your destination, this would always be our first recommendation! Of course, it’s great for the environment but getting out in the fresh air also has some brilliant health benefits. There are many studies which show that doing physical activity can lead to a happier mood, better sleep and reduced stress levels.
However, if you are travelling that little bit further you’ll probably need to consider travelling via public transport. While you might not think jumping on the bus could be that much better for the environment than driving your own vehicles, it is!
Just think of the emissions produced every time you drive your own vehicle. Those emissions might be the same as what a bus produces, but you can seat a lot more people on a bus than in a domestic car! When 10 people choose to ride the bus, that’s 10 less polluting vehicles on the road! Plus a lot of buses use cleaner fuel and are slowly switching to electric.
Just like taking public transport, car sharing limits the number of vehicles on the road at one time. If you’re often doing a similar journey to someone else you know it’s definitely worth considering making the journey together.
This can work particularly well for work colleagues who need to arrive at work at a similar time. Instead of you both driving there separately, why not agree to travel together? You could even set up a weekly or monthly rota so you take turns driving.
If you have to drive; drive electric!
At the moment, pure electric vehicles are the most viable and cleanest alternative to petrol and diesel counterparts. With zero emissions, driving an EV can help improve the air quality as well as lowering the noise levels.
Electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions, and therefore do not negatively affect our air quality. Driving an electric vehicle can also be super fun as they’re always really modern and have brilliant technology. There’s absolutely no need to compromise when you drive an EV!
If you want to drive electric this Clean Air Month, why not consider hiring an electric vehicle today?! Here at EVision, we have over 1,000 EVs for you to choose from including the Kia EV6, BMW i3 and Tesla Model S.
Support a eco conscious charity
While we know individuals are limited in what they can do to curb the impacts of climate change, there are a lot of charities leading the way! Some charities will focus on air pollution specifically, such as the Clean Air Taskforce. Whereas, others will raise awareness and funds for other environmental issues.
Some of our favourites include:
- The Wildlife Trusts who are responsible for protecting natural habitats and environments across the UK.
- Keep Britain Tidy focuses on working to reduce the waste on our streets.
- Renewable UK works to increase the number of UK homes that are using green energy.
Remember, you don’t necessarily have to donate money to your chosen charity to support them! You can support eco-friendly causes in many ways. Perhaps you want to commit to your own fundraising challenge?
To many charities, even sharing their mission to your friends, family and social media channels will help!
What will you do to help the planet this Clean Air Month?
* All information correct as of 01/05/2022.