Last week saw the UK celebrating Clean Air Day – an annual initiative organised by Global Action Plan that’s designed to encourage people to find out more about air pollution, and how we can make the air cleaner and healthier.

Here we’ve rounded up some of the great ways local councils celebrated the day last week, as well as some ways that you can help to make the air cleaner all year round.

Clean Air Day initiatives across the UK

In Southampton, there were performances from a ‘healthy lung’ choir, as well as lung health checks by Southampton City Council. A local school also performed a clean air dance in the city centre, to promote a reduction in cars coming into the school site. Clean air is a focus for the city at the moment as it launches a public consultation on a clean air zone – reducing pollution from the city itself and the surrounding busy docks.

Further north, Cheshire West and Chester Council provided free Park & Ride travel in Chester, to promote their use of buses with ‘enviro-clear’ engine technology. In Weymouth, the local fire station ran a competition with a school to encourage kids to understand the link between clean air and health – producing posters that were then awarded prizes.

In Birmingham, one school teamed with Friends of the Earth to test the air for Nitrogen Dioxide – finding that pollution was at illegal levels. They then sent their data to MPs and councillors to demand action. According to the Huffington Post, experiments conducted across four UK cities (Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and London) found that “primary school children are exposed to 30% more toxic pollution than adults while walking to school” – showing the startling impact that toxic air is having on future generations.

How can you help?

If you’re interested in helping to reduce air pollution then you don’t have to wait until next year to get involved. There are lots of little changes that we can make on a daily basis in order to make the air cleaner and healthier for people all over the world.

Here are some suggestions on how you can make a change:

  • Try to walk or cycle instead of driving a car – good for the environment, and good for your health!
  • If you have to go further afield, try to use public transport to reduce the number of cars on the road.
  • If you do have to use your car regularly, make sure it’s serviced – this can help to reduce harmful emissions, as well as potentially cutting running costs.
  • In your home and garden, stock up on plants – there are links between common indoor plants and the filtering of chemicals from the air, as well as potentially helping to reduce colds and respiratory problems.

Cleaner air means healthier people, which is why it’s vitally important that we all do our bit to contribute towards improving the air quality across the UK. Do you have any tips for reducing air pollution? If so, share them with us on Twitter – the more the merrier!

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