3.6 What can you do to help?

You can help to reduce the amount of air pollution in our region by looking at the following factors in your home, school or businesses.

Domestic wood fires

In Whangarei city around 80-90% of fine particles in the air come from the burning of wood in domestic appliances for home heating. Reduce the amount of pollution that comes from your home wood fire by:

· Using a low emission burner. From 2005 most new burners are required to meet emission standards. These will burn up to a third less fuel, produce the same amount of heat with around 90% less pollution.

· Cleaning your chimney at least once a year.

· Never burning rubbish, plastics or treated wood. Burning these materials will damage your fire and your health.

· Never using coal in a wood burner. Coal burns much hotter and can badly damage your fireplace.

· Only burning dry wood.

For more information refer to the following link:

http://www.nrc.govt.nz/Resource-Library-Summary/Publications/Air/Reduce-smoke-from-your-domestic-fire/

Backyard Burning

Avoid burning rubbish and vegetation in your backyard. Most vegetation can be composted and paper should be recycled through the local recycling scheme.

The Air Quality Plan for Northland explains what you are and are not allowed to burn and sets out rules that you should comply with. The smoke must not cause a nuisance for any of your neighbours. For more information refer to the following link:

http://www.nrc.govt.nz/Environment/Air/Issues/Backyard-burning/

Climate change

Everyone can help reduce the effects of climate change by reducing our carbon footprint - the amount of greenhouse gases we produce. We can all help protect our environment by making changes, big and small, in the way we lead our lives - particularly in the areas of transport, waste and energy use. Refer to the following link on the NRC website for more information:

http://www.nrc.govt.nz/Environment/Air/Take-action/Carbon-footprint/