Emissions from cars and air travel pollute the world around us and cause significant health impacts. Carbon dioxide is released by burning fossil fuels like oil, which the petrol and diesel that we use in our cars is derived from. This harmful greenhouse gas contributes to climate change, including extreme weather events, sea-level rise, floods and drought. Additionally, our cars produce nitrogen oxides. When we breathe this in it can, over time, affect how well our lungs work, as well as the health of our wildlife.

Ten top tips for reducing your vehicle emissions:

  1. Choose a greener car – hybrid and electric vehicles are greener alternatives, and electric vehicles produce no exhaust emissions when being driven. If buying electric isn’t an option, it’s worth looking for cars with the lowest emissions; these should be listed whenever you buy a vehicle, new or second-hand.
  2. Avoid flights where you can - reduce how many times you go abroad each year, or see if you can get there by boat or train instead of air.
  3. Where possible, use public transport – chances are they're going where you are.
  4. Choose two wheels instead of 4 – cycling to your destination is good for your health and the environment.
  5. Take a hike – enjoy the walk instead of being sat in the car.
  6. Avoid using cars for short journeys – combine trips or use other transport.
  7. Car share - share your journey with colleagues and friends. You can even try a ride-sharing service and meet new people.
  8. Care for your car – tyre pressure and brake upkeep can impact the level of emissions.
  9. Drive efficiently – avoid idling, use higher gears and maintain a steady speed whenever possible. Avoiding heavy braking can reduce the microplastics that your tyres shed.
  10. Open the windows instead of using the air conditioning – air conditioning systems increase fuel consumption and emissions.


Making changes to your vehicle emissions will:

  • Reduce your transport costs.
  • Reduce your fuel bills.
  • Reduce your road tax costs if you switch to a lower emission car.
  • Reduce wear and tear on your car and save you money in the long term.

See more actions for the climate