Opinion: The importance of Clean Air Day

Nick Ruxton-Boyle, Director of Environment at Marston Holdings, discusses why Clean Air Day is important and how he plans to celebrate this year. 

What are we all doing for clean air day? I’m serious what are we all doing?

Clean air day has been running for many years now and this year it’s Thursday 16 June.

I know what you are saying ‘everyday should be clean air day’. I agree and until it is we have to make the most of this annual celebration.

Global Action Plan, a fab organisation, coordinate the celebrations and their theme this year is ‘air pollution dirties every organ in our body, take steps to improve your health this clean air day’.

three person walking on pathway

I will be celebrating by travelling to my hometown of Leeds [by train naturally] and presenting an online seminar to some of our customers on hyper local air quality monitoring. Some places still available so if anyone would like to join, drop me a line.

This is after I present at a special assembly at my son’s school on air quality. A new online resource called ‘pollution patrol’ has been launched by local authorities in the region and it’s a fantastic way to engage with young adults on the science behind pollution and how we, and in particular schools and students can reduce it.

The power to enforce local traffic schemes, including school streets, using cameras is coming to local authorities outside London this year. School streets have been shown to improve air quality, increase active travel, reduce obesity and are generally more locally supported than sometimes controversial low traffic neighbourhoods.

Modest physical interventions together with behaviour change programmes such as pollution patrol are cost effective and scalable ways of reducing exposure to our youngest citizens who, as we are now more aware, are more susceptible to the severe health impacts of pollution.

So, if you have nothing else planned for clean air day why don’t you give the car a rest for the day; walking, wheeling, cycling, scootering are great ways to get around, will keep you healthy and produce next to no pollution or carbon!

Photo by Phil Hearing


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