Since its introduction 15 years ago, London’s congestion charge has been celebrated for its success in reducing traffic volume and encouraging other methods of transport in the city, such as cycling and walking. However, this reduction in congestion has also been pivotal in highlighting the importance of improving air quality in built-up areas. It has also been a critical driver in showcasing how this type of zoning could be implemented into different cities in the UK and across the globe.
Poor air quality can have a detrimental effect on human health, causing a host of unpleasant symptoms. These include headaches, dizziness, eye and throat irritation, and in some cases, the development of respiratory diseases. It also contributes to global warming, which is one of the biggest issues threatening the health of our planet.
As air quality and general impacts of pollution on the environment have once again drawn government and media attention, there have been a number of initiatives from locations across the UK to help tackle these long-term problems.
Cities making big changes in air quality
Following in the capital’s footsteps, other areas have considered a range of schemes to improve air quality for both residents and visitors. Cardiff is one such city consulting on how the impact of a congestion style charge could benefit the area, while Oxford is pledging to make the city centre a zero emissions zone. This will include a ban on all diesel and petrol cars from 2020.
To raise awareness of pollution, and the need for less traffic and congestion on the road, the 22nd September will see London’s first Free Car Day, with an emphasis on making this a more regular event throughout the UK.
How you can improve the air quality in your business
Businesses play a huge and essential part of the economy of cities across the country, and they also have a key role to play in helping to reduce air pollution and a general negative impact on the environment that could be caused by daily trading.
There are a number of factors in everyday business activities that could help to lower your company’s carbon footprint, including:
- Introduce indoor plants to help purify the surrounding areas.
- Turn off electrical equipment when not in use.
- Partner with eco-conscious suppliers that have similar values and ethics.
- Encourage recycling and provide adequate waste management processes.
- Reduce single-use plastic and promote reusable options.
- Offer cycle or walk to work schemes to reduce employees travelling by car.
By implementing these small changes in the work environment, these can have more significant impacts not only on the environment but also the reduction of business costs.
Making space for urban gardens
To complement urban spaces and promote cleaner air quality, businesses can help to create garden areas in unused and unexpected places. There are a number of ways that this can be incorporated from rooftops and balconies, to living walls and outdoor planters. No matter how small the space is, you can use some inventive thinking to create some interesting installations that not only have air-purifying benefits but create a stunning visual appeal too.
By contributing to clean air initiatives, your business could help to provide a healthier workplace for your employees and the surrounding community. For advice on implementing a green space for both interior and exterior requirements, contact us on 0800 090 2325 to discover a host of innovative landscaping options suitable for all areas no matter the size.