Clean Air Day 2019
Thursday 20th June 2019 marks Clean Air Day – a red letter day for air quality!
Air Pollution is real and harms the health of millions. But there are lots of simple things we can do to improve air quality and look after our town and other people's health.
Clean Air Day is a chance to find out more about air pollution, share information with friends and colleagues, and help make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone.
Environmental charity, Environmental Protection Scotland (EPS), is once again coordinating Clean Air Day on behalf of the Scottish Government’s Cleaner Air For Scotland (CAFS) strategy. The CAFS strategy aims to make Scotland’s air quality the best in Europe.
Clean Air Day 2019 will showcase simple, but effective steps we can all take to reduce pollution and recognise the health benefits of smarter travel choices.
Road transport contributes to around a third of NOX emissions in Scotland and one of the aims will be to encourage people to leave the car at home.
Organisers would like people to pledge to catch a train, bus, the Subway, tram or bicycle (or even a combination of these options!) for the daily commute. Why not work from home on June 20 2019? Families could walk or cycle with the children or grandchildren to and from school.
A community walk like the one organised by a GP surgery in Inverness on Clean Air Day 2018 is also a tremendous way of encouraging people to come together socially and improve their fitness and overall health. Hospitals could reward staff who cycle or walk to work with free fruit and people can wear a Clean Air Day t-shirt to show their support for the event and health boards could reinforce their existing messages around active travel initiatives.
Local authorities, other public sector organisations and private companies can raise awareness of active travel options and the grants available for cycle schemes and the travel routes available. A GP surgery could organise a group walk and hospital staff could encourage staff to sign one of our pledge cards available soon from the Clean Air Day website.
Clean Air Day will also aim to encourage people travelling on foot or by bicycle to cut their exposure to air pollution by choosing quieter routes.
EPS last year conducted a study using aethalometers, supplied by Air Monitors, that found primary and nursery school children were being exposed to 30% more particulate pollution compared to adults when walking along busy roads compared to quieter routes.
This year’s Clean Air Day will also highlight how purchasing an electric vehicle or joining a car club cuts emissions.
Clean Air Day will also aim to encourage motorists to switch off their vehicle engines while stationary, improving air quality, particularly in congested areas such as outside schools.
Already Renfrewshire Council, City of Edinburgh, Aberdeen City Council, Glasgow City Council, which is the first city in Scotland to introduce a Low Emission Zone, and Aberdeenshire Council are currently planning a series of public events or visits to schools to promote no idling messages as part of Clean Air Day.
EPS are preparing online toolkits for Scotland for people and organisations to organise events, download pledge cards and promote the key messages. They will shortly be available on www.cleanairday.org.uk/pages/category/scotland