We can all take small actions to improve Bristol’s air quality which will benefit everyone’s health.

Here are a handful of ways you can help reduce air pollution this festive season. Check out how many you already do and see if there’s something else you could try this winter.

Using your car

Avoid any unnecessary car journeys by only travelling when you really need to.

If you do need to drive, turn off your car’s engine when stationary. When it’s cold outside it’s tempting to keep the engine running to keep you warm while you wait, but this results in needless air pollution. Sitting in an idling car means you are breathing in harmful pollutants from your exhaust. Contrary to popular belief, restarting your car does not burn more fuel than leaving it idling. In fact, idling for just 10 seconds wastes more fuel than restarting your engine. Check out our myth busting page to learn more.

Avoid using wood burners

By lighting a fire or wood burner at home, you’re releasing harmful pollution into your home and neighbourhood. Even the ‘cleanest’, smokeless fuels produce small toxic particulates which can trigger asthma and other serious health problems.

96% of UK homes that burn wood have other types of heating. Please avoid using your stove or fire unless it is the only way you can afford to keep warm. Read more about the health impacts of using stoves and open fires.

Choose ‘green’ delivery slots

Look out for a ‘green’ delivery slot for your online shopping. Choosing a green delivery slot – where your delivery driver is already scheduled to be in your area – helps your courier plot a fuel-efficient journey and reduces emissions across the city.

Get ready for Bristol’s Clean Air Zone

Get a head start on next year’s admin by making sure you’re ready for Bristol’s Clean Air Zone. The zone, launching in summer 2022, will help reduce air pollution across the city. You can:

Check whether your vehicle will be charged to enter the Clean Air Zone. We’ll implement the same scheme as Birmingham, so if the checker shows a daily charge for Birmingham, you’ll have to pay to drive your vehicle into Bristol’s Clean Air Zone.

And, if you will be charged to drive your vehicle through the zone next year, you can register for financial support on the Bristol City Council website.