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Kids pollution map for Bow

Helping families to find the clean air routes to get around in Bow

Pupils at four primary schools in Bow have teamed up with air quality consultants and a children’s illustrator to create a pollution map of the area, to help children breathe cleaner air every day.

The children used personal exposure monitors to measure the amount of pollution they are exposed to on different routes around their schools. The map highlights the most polluted streets and recommends using alternative cleaner streets and parks.

Idling Action campaign

Idling Action is a London-wide behaviour change campaign which is helping to improve local air quality by encouraging drivers to always switch off when parked. 

Cool World Consulting was the lead contractor for this campaign for 3 years, working with project partner Green Gumption. We developed the branding, communication materials and toolkits, and deliver events in 18 local authorities. 

Hundreds of volunteers have been trained, from local residents, business workers and school communities, to enforcement staff and local authority officers. At our training events, they learn air quality facts and are given advice on how to be effective at getting drivers to switch off.

At our events, with a positive and friendly approach, volunteers ask drivers if they will help to improve local air quality by switching off their engines when parked. When approached in this way, we find that only a very small percentage of drivers refuse. 

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Cleaner Air for Bus Drivers

Bus drivers play an important role in getting people out of cars, and transporting people around London. But due to the nature of their work, they are one of the groups of workers with the highest exposure to pollution.

We conducted pollution monitoring at bus stands on the Archway Road and could clearly see spikes (nearly ten times the base level) in pollution when a bus driver idled for more than a few minutes. 

We developed an anti-idling campaign with an eye-catching flyer, asking drivers to always switch off at bus stands. 

We spoke to drivers at the bus garage and gave out information about how they can reduce their exposure to pollution in their day-to-day lives. We explained that one way they can reduce their exposure is to always switch off at bus stands. Many drivers were very interested to see the graph showing the pollution peaks, and made the 'no idling pledge'.

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Clean Air, Yeah! A Clean air campaign for Great Ormond St Hospital

Two issues were tackled in this project. Firstly, Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) has a significant patient travel footprint; it receives around 240,000 patient visits per year. Secondly, many drivers waiting to pick-up and drop-off patients idle their engines unnecessarily outside the hospital.

Our solution:

Workshops with respiratory patients, to find out how pollution makes them feel, and create artwork in response, including an animation video.

Promoting greener travel by creating illustrated walking maps, together with respiratory patients.

Rewriting travel advice for patients to emphasise the benefits of using low emission transport.

Lower taxi emissions, by Increasing the number of taxis booked through the hospital that will be either electric or hybrid (from around 70% to around 91%). 

•Creating bespoke signage for a 'No Idling Zone' on Great Ormond Street. 

•Conducting workshops with all ambulance drivers. An awareness-raising presentation about air pollution, how it affects GOSH’s patients, how it can affect their health, and how they can reduce their exposure to air pollution. All drivers pledged (with hand prints) not to idle their engines and were given vehicle window stickers advertising the pledge.

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Clean Air for Kids - low pollution route maps

Choosing quieter walking routes is an incredibly simple way to reduce your pollution exposure every day.  Why is that?

  • As much as 60% of children’s pollution exposure comes from their journey to school and being in the playground. 

  • And we know that pollution can be up to 50% lower one road back from a main road.

  • So choosing quieter routes in our everyday lives has the potential to significantly reduce children’s pollution exposure.

In this project, the kids at a school in Stoke Newington became Clean Air Experts, and then helped to produce an iconic map for the area, which shows low pollution routes. An exciting, cross-curricular learning opportunity for schools with tangible outcomes, the project involved:

  • Pupils monitoring pollution on routes to school using personal exposure monitors;

  • Pupil engagement sessions at schools, where they: learned about pollution exposure; compared how polluted different routes to school were; were invited to suggest which roads they thought were likely to be more polluted; and came up with ways to breathe in less pollution;

  • Producing an illustrated map of the local area, showing which roads are less polluted, and highlighting recommended low pollution routes. The map includes drawings by the school pupils of their favourite places in the area;

  • Disseminating the map by giving leaflet versions (enclosed in this letter) to all school and nursery children in the map area in their book bags, we reached over 2,500 children in one week. 

  • Reducing pollution exposure by putting a giant banner version up on any gates or fences where pollution can easily pass into the playground.

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