Through practical workshops, ecoACTIVE raises awareness about how to tackle air pollution.
Air pollution is the presence of substances in the air, which have harmful effects on people’s health. These can include particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone and occasionally carbon monoxide.
London has the worst pollution in the UK and over 9,000 Londoners are dying early every year as a result of toxic air. In particular, you are twice as likely to die from lung diseases if you live in a deprived area rather than an affluent area. Air pollution is also being linked to an increasing range of health impacts.
Road transport is one of the main contributors to poor air quality in London, so it is important that any measures to tackle pollution, include methods of reducing and calming traffic (hotspots can centre on places where vehicles stop and start – for example at traffic lights or junctions). Idling (keeping cars running when parked) can also cause localised air pollution.
ecoACTIVE air quality workshops
To highlight the issues and solutions, why not book one of ecoACTIVE’s air quality workshops? We will give advice and help raise awareness on this issue in London and will support young people to gather data and run their own campaigns.
We will support you to measure local air pollution levels using diffusion tubes (which will be attached to your school building for a period of two weeks) and then will submit data collected on air pollution to the relevant authority, as well as sharing it with pupils during the workshops.
Other activities with pupils could include carrying out traffic surveys, finding routes to travel to school that are less polluted and running a campaign to encourage families to stop using cars for school drop-offs. Schools can also investigate planting trees and shrubs around school boundaries in order to help reduce pollution levels, and we can offer some advice about how best to do this.
Book us for a session today by emailing us today.
In 2018-19 we delivered an air quality project at a Hackney Primary School, thanks to funding from Sanctuary Housing Association. We ran four workshops with a Year 3 class and an assembly for the whole school. We finished the project with a family roadshow, where pupils were able to kick start their own anti-air pollution campaign and share their learning with the wider school community.
Outcomes of the project included:
43 pupils and family members reported making lifestyle changes that are more sustainable, as a result of taking part in the project. For example, pupils reported that they are now walking to school, riding their bikes more, picking up rubbish in the park, recycling, and using fewer electronics.
After taking part in a pollution survey, pupils also recognised why it is important to change their walking routes to avoid busy roads. Our session leader fed back that "one child said that they wanted to try to spend lots more time in the park as they recorded very low pollution levels there".
During the family roadshow, we shared posters and leaflets designed by the pupils. We had discussions with parents regarding the impact that the project had had on their behaviours. One parent mentioned that she had started "turning off the engine when in traffic" after talking to her daughter about what she'd been learning about during the project.
The class teacher also reported that her class had become "more responsible about their environment. Doing small things like turning lights off." She reported that the project had been "very engaging and informative" and that her class and the wider school community were "more aware of the issues contributing to global warming and air pollution and more interested in tackling the problems." She shared that she has planned to link the results from the air monitoring tubes into Year 3's science curriculum by getting them to make graphs to compare the results from the monitoring tube near the road and the monitoring tube in the playground. She also told us she'd had many conversations with parents, sharing that "children have influenced their behaviour to better our environment."
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