All I need is the air

Air quality is vital for our lifestyle. If you doubt it, just hold your breath, and see how long you last without good air.
Imagine 500 people standing on rooftops around the Auckland region, each shaking out an entire bag of cement into the air, every day. That’s the amount of fine particulate pollution that we pump into our skies.
The quality of the air over the Auckland region has deteriorated alarmingly over the past 10 years according to the Auckland Regional Council, adding that there are sites around the city that regularly exceed World Health Organisation standards.
And it should be no secret that the single major contributor to Auckland’s growing air quality problem is cars Ñ especially poorly-tuned cars and light commercial vehicles.
The reason for all this research will become clear in the next few months, as the ARC comes clean with its own project to clean up Auckland’s air.
Because of the number of commercial vehicles on the road, the ARC will be looking to vehicle fleet managers, to take up the challenge of minimising their impact on the environment.
They’ll be asked to look at minimising time on the roads, through things like driving from to b in the most economical way, or making one trip cover two or three activities, instead of two or three separate trips.
The easiest way we can help the environment is to minimise car use and have our cars tuned regularly.
The campaign will ask all road carriers to come on board the Clean Air Auckland campaign, by becoming ?Participating Companies’. On doing so they would agree to:
? regular servicing and tuning regime for all vehicles as per manufacturer’s specifications;
? implementing vehicle replacement policy;
? ensuring all petrol-driven company vehicles have catalytic converters fitted.
Participating companies will also be asked to offer incentives to their staff for car tuning, car pooling, and/or using public transport. In return, these companies could have their vehicles wear bumper stickers proclaiming that they are supporting the campaign, which indicates that at least their vehicles are as clean as can be.
Professional road carriers have different challenge: Ñ their’s will be to deliver their loads safely, economically and efficiently.
The current trend to diesels, especially the all-too-common urban 4X4s, is worry to air quality scientists too.
While diesel is the lifeblood of the road transport industry, it’s also significant contributor to air pollution in our major cities. In Auckland, diesels now make up about 12 percent of the vehicles on our roads.
Fuel that is refined in New Zealand is also problem. It’s not very clean by international standards, and consequently has higher levels of emissions, even from well-tuned engines. Our diesel, especially, is very high in sulphur levels.
This is all the more reason for road carriers using diesels to ensure that vehicles are properly tuned, and running as cleanly as possible.

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