On Thursday the 21st of June Active Streets and the Birmingham Cycling Revolution were at Kings Heath Primary School to raise awareness for Clean Air Day 2018. The success of this event was greatly due to the student’s understanding of the seriousness of Birmingham’s air pollution problem.
So… What Is Clean Air Day?
Clean Air Day is dedicated to raise awareness of the problem of air pollution in our cities and people are encouraged to take action to help belay this serious situation. Air pollution is a global problem and we all have a responsibility to help improve the air quality of our streets. We can do this through small acts such as walking or cycling to work, planting more trees or stopping car idling.
The pupils of Kings Heath Primary School quickly understood that vehicles were a large part of the problem as they emitted vast quantities of nitrogen dioxide: an irritant gas which causes irritating problems such as reducing a persons immunity to infections, wheezing, coughing and much much more.
After a survey regarding the pupils’ choice of transport and comparing them to a similar survey we did in 2015 at the same school we were able to determine that there was a slight improvement in the method of travelling to and from school. However, there is much more that can be done!
Throughout this session students did well to engage in vital conversations about the wellbeing of the environment and the importance of having access to clean air.
So… What Can We Do To Help?
The pupils came up with wonderful ideas about what could be done to help cut down on toxic gas emissions and they illustrated their ideas with brightly coloured posters. There was a whole variety of unique and interesting suggestions such as a car running on biofuel, cheaper electric vehicles, easier pedestrian access and a myriad of beautiful plants around schools to help counter the levels of gas emissions from vehicles. What’s more, after this activity a lot more students expressed an interest in walking or cycling to school. They definitely got into the Clean Air Day spirit!
So… Let’s Take It To The Streets!
The Birmingham Cycling Revolution took to Poplar Road to teach the children a thing or two about the wonders of bikes. There were taught many useful skills including the basics of bike maintenance. By the end of this activity the students of Kings Heath Primary School probably knew more about bikes than most grown-ups!
The street was closed off so that parents and children could enjoy a myriad of fun games and activities without worrying about vehicles polluting the air. There were many activities available for the children to enjoy after a hard days work. Many pupils approached us with nicely polished posters that they started during the first session of the day and they expressed an interest in making more to put around the school to inform more people about the situation.
Kings Heath Primary students deservedly enjoyed the success of their Clean Air Day!
Thank you staff and students of Kings Heath Primary School, BCR members and the volunteers that helped to carry out this successful event.
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