Air Quality - How You Can Help

Air Quality – How You Can Help:

It is in all our interests to make the environment a clean and healthy place to live in. 

People are becoming more conscious of the environmental impact of their lifestyle and there are now many things we can do to help.

Making a few small changes to how we travel and do things at home can have a positive impact on emissions, local air quality, the environment and our health.

On the road:

  • Try not to make unnecessary car journeys, especially short trips.
  • Use public transport if possible, Selby District has great bus and train services which run frequently to popular destinations such as Leeds, York and Hull.
  •  Try walking or cycling – Selby is great for cycling and walking. There are various routes and trails which run through the District, such as the Trans Pennine Trail. Also, Selby Park will soon be home to the Community Cycle Hub where you will be able to get cycling advice, attend bike maintenance sessions and much more. Further information on cycling within Selby district can be found here.
  • Keep your vehicle well maintained, ensuring that the engine is properly tuned, and the tyres are kept at the correct pressure. It is also beneficial to regularly have the oil changed.
  • Avoid idling your engine, particularly if you are stuck at traffic lights and railway crossings and whilst parked, especially outside schools. This will help reduce emissions and save fuel.
  • Car share to work if at all possible with your colleagues. This will help to reduce air pollution and save money on travel costs.
  • Try to drive smoothly. Don't rev your vehicle unnecessarily and try to avoid hard acceleration and heavy braking.
  • If you are buying a new vehicle, then consider electric or low-emission vehicles such as plug-in hybrids. Further information can be found further down this page.

In the home:

  • Make sure that your heating system is properly maintained. This will mean you use less fuel, reduce emissions and may also help reduce the cost of your heating bills.
  • Turn off the lights when they are not needed.
  • Buy energy efficient light bulbs if possible - they use less electricity and can save you money.
  • Avoid leaving plugs and appliances on standby.
  • Avoid having bonfires. If you have to, only burn dry material and never burn household waste, especially plastic, rubber, foam or paint. Further information on bonfires can be found here.
  • If your home is heated using solid fuel, use a DEFRA approved fuel and appliance. Further information on reducing emissions from solid fuel burning can be found here.
  • Do not burn household waste; fumes and smoke can be toxic and emit harmful pollutants. Alternatives include:
    • Home Composting:
      • Home composting is a great alternative to garden bonfires and helps to reduce emissions caused by landfill. More than 60 percent of an average rubbish bin is biodegradable, and a third of this can easily be composted at home. This includes garden waste, fruit and vegetable peelings, paper, cardboard and tea bags. Compost bins are available to purchase at a reduced cost through the North Yorkshire Waste Partnership. Further information on composting and the scheme and can be found here.
    • Recycling:
      • If your waste items are in a suitable condition where they could be reused, there are a number of local organisations who will accept and collect furniture, white goods and household items. Further information can be found here.
      • The Council also offer a bulky waste collection service for larger items which will not go in with your normal refuse collections. Further information can be found here.
      • Waste can also be taken to your local household waste recycling centre. Follow this link to find your local centre. 
      • If you get a private company to remove any waste, make sure they hold a waste carriers license. This ensures that your waste is removed by a reputable company and will help reduce fly-tipping. You can check the Waste Carriers License Register here

Electric and Low-Emission Vehicles:

Electric and low-emission vehicles are growing in popularity, with more models being introduced by manufacturers. The UK Government announced that petrol and diesel cars will not be sold after 2035, with only electric or hydrogen vehicles being the only purchase option. There is an electric vehicle model to suit every budget, with government grant incentives available. Some of the benefits are:

  • Lower running costs – Electricity used for charging an electric vehicle works out around 15 percent of the cost of petrol or diesel. Road tax is also free for emission free vehicles.
  • Lower maintenance costs – Electric vehicles have three main components, compared to petrol or diesel vehicles which have significantly more. This means that there is far less wear and tear and less stress on the motor, with fewer parts susceptible to damage.
  • Fast and easy charging – You can charge an electric car at home using a 7kW charging port, with most models fully charging within 5-10 hours. Rapid chargers can also speed up the process and most new-build homes come with them as standard. Public electric vehicle charge points are also available around the UK. The Council are in the process of installing four within Selby Town, and others are also located around the district. To find a local charge point click here.
  • Better for the environment – Fully electric cars have zero emissions so they have no negative impact on the environment.

The Government’s Go Ultra Low website has further information around electric vehicle models, grants and using electric and low-emission vehicles for commercial use. You can find it here.

For further information on electric vehicles and charge points within Selby District please contact:

Email: AQMA@selby.gov.uk

Tel: 01757 705101