Cheshire East Council is calling on people to ‘show the air you care’ – and do their bit to mark Clean Air Day.
Clean Air Day, on October 8, will see schools, workplaces and communities across the borough and UK raise awareness of air pollution and inspire people to take simple steps to tackle air pollution – helping protect the environment and health.
Cheshire East Council is committed to improving our air quality and has taken numerous actions to achieve this.
These steps include creating active travel schemes to encourage cycling, walking and scooting in communities and locations across the borough, a shift to electric and greener vehicles, producing and implementing an Air Quality Action Plan, visiting schools to deliver talks on air quality and creating a dedicated awareness page on our website.
These actions have a real impact on reducing air pollution – but the actions of individuals and communities can have just as much impact on improving air quality.
Everyone has a role to play in having a positive impact on air quality in Cheshire East – and the council wants to inspire its staff, partners and local residents to take simple actions to help reduce air pollution and limit its impact on their health and that of others.
Councillor Mick Warren, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for communities, said: “Reducing air pollution is a priority for this council as it affects our health from our first breath to our last. Damage done in childhood can carry through to affect us in old age.
“As the largest environmental health risk we face today, air pollution causes illness such as heart and lung diseases, is linked to low birth weight, can affect children’s lung development and may even contribute to mental health issues. Both the World Health Organisation and UK government recognise that action must be taken to improve air quality.
“We know people’s travel behaviour has changed because of the impact of Covid-19. Our monitoring results have shown a significant decrease in nitrogen dioxide levels during lockdown and we are determined to secure the benefits of more people walking and cycling to make our air cleaner and our communities healthier and more welcoming to shoppers and visitors.
“But air pollution is not just the responsibility of the council – it is primarily down to the actions and choices of us all as individuals and communities.
“Residents can reduce the pollution their family is exposed to and help improve the air quality for both themselves and their community by making small changes to how they travel, what they buy and how they manage their home.
“I urge people not only to support Clean Air Day on Thursday 8 October – but also to continue these simple pollution-reducing actions going forward, to help improve the health and wellbeing of everyone.”
Clean Air Day is a day of practical action and awareness raising, so we can all breathe cleaner and healthier air. Actions people should take to reduce air pollution include:
● Give your car a day off – Walk, cycle or take public transport to work or school, or work from home if you can;
● Don’t idle – If you drive, turn off your engine when your vehicle is stationary and it is safe to do so;
● Discover the side streets – Use quieter streets when you’re on a bike or on foot to avoid polluted main roads;
● Go electric – There are lots of ways you can travel electric. Hire an electric car, taxi or test drive an electric vehicle today;
● Only burn dry, well-seasoned wood or smokeless fuel on your stove, open fire or barbecue.
Clean Air Day is coordinated by environmental change charity Global Action Plan and is supported by more than 200 councils, health institutions and universities, including the Royal College of Physicians, the British Lung Foundation and numerous NHS trusts.
Clean Air Day gives every school, workplace, hospital and residential community free access to cutting-edge advice on avoiding and tackling urban pollution, approved by health experts and academics.
For more information on how to get involved in Clean Air Day, visit: www.cleanairday.org.uk