There are lots of things that we can do to help reduce air pollution. We need energy to grow our food, clean our drinking water, make the things we use every day, and travel to all the places we need to go. A lot of this energy comes from burning fuels, such as gas, oil and coal. That usually produces some air pollution, and also produces carbon dioxide (which is involved in climate change).
Therefore, if we can use less energy, and avoid wasting it, we can help reduce air pollution and climate change too. Here are a few ideas:
- Travel by bus or train
We can all help reduce pollution by using our cars a lot less! It's better for the environment to use public transport (such as buses or trains) when we can.
- Walking and Cycling
Walking and cycling are even better than using the bus as they don't create any pollution at all - and they're good for your health. Perhaps you could walk to school with your friends? Or perhaps you could ask your teachers about starting a walking bus? Find out more here: https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/walking-school. (If not, don’t worry, as there are lots of other things you can do.)
- Save Electricity
Ever been told to turn a light off? Well, it makes sense! Not only does it save money, but it means less energy needs to be produced in our power stations - and that helps to reduce pollution. So turn off lights, the TV, games consoles and computers when they are not being used.
The TV will still be using power if it is left on standby, so it’s usually better to turn it off properly when it is not being used.
- Think before turning the heating up
Stay warm at home, but before turning the heating up, try putting on a jumper first. 21° Celsius is comfortable for most people.
- Reduce Waste
Here are some ideas for reducing waste:
- Try not to waste the things we use every day, like paper. Think before you print things out from the computer!
- Our farmers work hard to grow the food we eat. Try not to waste any!
- Instead of buying bottled water, fill a re-usable water bottle with tap water.
- When you choose treats like sweets or crisps, think about how the wrapper or packet can be recycled.
Recycling helps save a lot of energy! Find out what things you can recycle at home and at school!
If your school does not have any recycling bins, perhaps you could ask your teacher if you can get some?
For more ideas, check out the NIdirect web pages on:
- Being ‘greener’ at school - http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/information-and-services/young-people/at-school/being-greener-at-school.htm
- Being ‘greener’ every day - http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/information-and-services/young-people/at-school/being-greener-every-day.htm
Or ask your teacher about the Eco-Schools programme: https://www.eco-schoolsni.org/cgi-bin/generic?instanceID=1