Around 98% of the UK remains in some form of lockdown restrictions (tier 2/3). However, it’s been reported that air pollution in around 80% of UK areas exceeds pre-pandemic levels. Lockdown 1.0 in spring saw nitrogen oxide levels drop my 38% on average across 49 large towns and cities. In some cities such as Barnsley, Bournemouth and Portsmouth, nitrogen oxide (NO2) levels were higher in September than they were in the spring.
One idea behind this is that people are using their car more, and avoiding using public transport due to Covid19. Car use is considered one of the main drivers of air pollution.
Life returning to normal
As life returns to normal in spring/summer 2021, councils will be pushing forwards with their cleaner air policies once again, many of which have been stalled during the pandemic.
In a recent article, we looked at how lockdown caused changes in our atmosphere, which in turn impacted air pollution. More about this can be read here.
The complex nature of pollution
We have seen that air pollution is complex. There are many factors that impact it, and a great deal of environmental and lifestyle factors, which also are impacted by, and contribute to the problem.
Pollution – who are the real perpetrators?
Not one area is totally responsible for air pollution. It’s a mix of industry, farming, vehicle use, domestic and commercial heating systems. One area, which has had an unfair wrap is the burning of wood. Old inefficient stoves and open fires are generally considered very inefficient, as is the practice of burning unseasoned wood.
Investing in a cleaner way to burn wood
As a company, we have invested a huge amount of time and resources in making all our wood-burning stoves EcoDesign Ready. Furthermore, they are also all clearSkies certified. These two accolades alone are proof of what we are doing as an industry to lower pollution.
Although it’s taken time for some in the media to differentiate between the pollution levels from an open fire and a high-efficiency wood-burning stove, it’s good to see we are getting there, and no longer is the misleading and incorrect “burning wood is bad” phase sticking. The fact is burning wood on a high-efficiency stove is highly environmentally friendly. We continue to push for greater clarity around this in the media, as consumers deserve to know how incredibly efficient burning wood can be.
You can take a look at our range of wood burning stoves here.