Clean Air Day
Clean Air Day is the UK's largest air pollution campaign, engaging thousands of people at hundreds of events, and reaching millions more through the media.
Coordinated by Global Action Plan, Clean Air Day brings together communities, businesses, education and the health sector:
- to improve public understanding of air pollution, both indoors and outdoors
- to build awareness of how air pollution affects our health
- to explain some of the easy things we can all do to tackle air pollution, helping to protect the environment and our health too.
In 2018 more than 2,000 organisations and thousands of individuals took part in 550 events across the UK. The campaign generated more than 1,750 media items, and 51,000 tweets. Central to the campaign is the UK’s leading public information portal on air pollution and health www.cleanairday.org.uk.
Costs of air pollution
Air pollution harms the health of millions, particularly young children and those with lung and heart problems. It's a public health issue on a par with cancer and heart disease - and costs the UK some £20 billion a year.
Through simple messages, such as walking or cycling to school, we're inspiring thousands of people up and down the country to take part in events in their schools, communities or at work.
About Clean Air Day 2018
The 2018 campaign, in the run up to Clean Air Day on 21 June, got off to a brilliant start with our story about the London Marathon in late April. Our research revealed a massive 89% drop in the capital's air pollution on the day of the Marathon when the streets were closed off to traffic. This was picked up not only by the UK national media, but internationally too.
Over the following months we went on to reveal new research about:
- awareness of the dangers of air pollution in our homes
- how car engine cold starts double air pollution
- the health costs of air pollution from cars and vans
- how young children are being exposed to 30% more air pollution than adults while walking to school.
The campaign peaked on Clean Air Day itself, with events up and down the country, Global Action Plan staff appearing on TV and radio news to talk about air pollution, and #CleanAirDay trending on Twitter for eight hours.
Many people took up the challenge to walk or cycle to work, college or school. In Edinburgh they closed off the Mound to traffic for the morning, landscaping and installing benches to make the are more pedestrian-friendly.In Manchester a hospital ran free bike maintenance sessions for its 3,000 staff.
Portsmouth gave away free park-and-ride tickets to encourage people to use more public transport. And in Lambeth, London, as part of a week of events, a school installed a screen of ivy to protect it from pollution from a nearby road.
Thousands taking part in Clean Air Day
The 2018 campaign clocked up more than 1,450 news or broadcast items since the beginning of April. This, combined with social media, meant we had a staggering reach of more than 900 million. At least 2,000 organisations engaged in the day and there were more than 550 events.
Most important of all, however, is that we can be sure that the air pollution message, and what we can do to tackle it, is now firmly in the mind of many many more people.