What did you do for Clean Air Day?

To mark national Clean Air Day, which took place yesterday (Thursday), parent and campaigner Lucy Facer and members of Islington Clean Air Parents share 10 top tips to reduce air pollution in Islington

Friday, 17th June

Exhaust diesel fumes

• Walk, cycle or scoot short journeys: 38 per cent of car trips in London are under two miles and exhaust emissions from road traffic is the largest source of air pollution in Islington. By swapping short car journeys for active travel you will not only reduce air pollution but boost your family’s mental and physical well­being and life expectancy.

Indoor pollution: Cooking is a significant contributor to indoor pollution and can make pollution worse inside than out. Open windows for an hour a day.

• Hold a play street: You can apply to Islington Council for your road to be closed temporarily or on a regular day of the week or month. Lots of them are happening around the borough, allowing children to play out and create a community spirit. You can apply for a residential
road or hold a school play street.

Avoid barbecuing and using wood stoves. Burning wood and charcoal releases fine particulate matter increasing local air pollution for your family and neighbours. Choose electric BBQs, avoid takeaways that cook on charcoal and remove or don’t install a wood stove.

• Plant trees and greenery. Last year we organised 200 extra trees to be planted in Islington. You can ask you local councillors to fund tree planting in your street, replace hard surfaces in your front garden with soil and plants, leave your grass to grow and stay organic by not using any pesticides.

Choose green delivery companies. Look for local companies offering bike deliveries or check they are using Royal Mail to deliver your parcel to avoid diesel-fuelled vans’ road miles. Make sure your delivery company is environmentally responsible and supports local campaigns such as NOcado, a parent-led group campaigning against a diesel-fuelled depot next to Yerbury School.

• Heat your home sustainably. Turn your thermostat down to 18 degrees, replace old boilers, look out for the next solar panel buying scheme from Islington Council or consider installing a heat pump – you can currently get a £5,000 grant towards the cost.

Start a clean air WhatsApp group for your school, work or street. Talk to your neighbours or other parents about your concerns about clean air, invite them to join you and share information. Together you can make a bigger change whether that’s campaigning for a School Street, traffic reduction planting and looking after trees, or improving your local environment.

• Download a copy of the Islington Clean Air Toolkit for Schools. There’s lots of helpful advice and contacts to help reduce air pollution in and around your child’s school. Islington Clean Air Parents worked in partnership with Islington Council to create this practical and easy to use guide to get you started. www.islingtoncleanairparents.uk/toolkit

Join Islington Clean Air Parents. Find support from like-minded people and get involved in events and campaigns. Since we started nearly four years ago we have held a public Clean Air event at Islington Town Hall, campaigned for School Streets, planted 200 trees in the borough, held clean air play streets, organised regular family walks and are creating a new woodland in the heart of Islington.

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