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Clean Air Day 2020

The purpose of the Clean Air Day campaign is to improve everyone’s understanding of air pollution and raise awareness on how it affects our health. Over 36,000 people in the UK die every year as a result of poor air quality and The World Health Organisation recognise air pollution to be the largest environmental risk we face today.

Many things are being done to help reduce the air pollution across the country;

  • clean air zones are being introduced in cities around the UK,
  • the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has already been introduced in the capital and is set to expand next year,
  • electric cars and vans are on the rise and the government are considering bringing forward the petrol/diesel ban again from 2035 to 2030,
  • green government grants are also available to help make green improvements to you home which could help reduce your family’s carbon footprint.

What can you do to play your part?

There are lots of ways you can help improve the quality of the air around you and reduce air pollution, we have put together a list of some ways you can try and start to make an positive impact on your local environment.

  • Give your car a day off –  walk, cycle, take public transport or work from home instead.
  • Get to school without the car – if you live close enough try walking or cycling to school with friends.
  • Avoid burning at home.
  • Work from home – we know this isn’t an option for everyone and a lot of the UK are already doing this, but if you’re not already and are able to work from home, give it a go.
  • Plant something.
  • Go electric – If you’ve already made that decision, we are here to help!
  • Don’t idle your engine – if you haven’t made the switch to electric yet, then turn off your engine when idle for more than 10 second. This can save both money and reduce air pollution levels (restarting your car does not burn more fuel than leaving it idling).
  • Wise up: visit the Clean Air Hub to learn more about air pollution or if you’re available tune into Clean Air Day Live.
  • Trial a school street.
  • Share your experiences and inspire others, let others know what you’re doing to tackle air pollution.

Low carbon commuting at DriveElectric

As a company we are always looking to reduce our carbon footprint and accelerate EV adoption to improve air quality for everyone, and Clean Air Day an important day of reflection and taking action to us.  

Normally on Clean Air Day we challenge our team to try lift sharing, public transport, working from home or an EV for the day (if they’re not already an electric car driver). This year we’re mostly working from home, so 80% of our team have an incredibly low carbon commute currently today, which involves walking from one room to another in their own home. What a year! But the good news is that WFH has helped us smash our low carbon goals for Clean Air Day 2020! #nailedit.

Taking into account those who will be in the office today we’re still looking pretty low carbon for today in terms of travel, we’re up to 87% low carbon commuters from 60% last year, good news for local air quality! We’ve put together a couple of pie charts to compare our team’s 2019 and 2020 Clean Air Day commute: 

DriveElectric 'Clean Air Day' Commute 2019

60% Low Carbon Commuters v. Petrol or Diesel car commuters

DriveElectric 'Clean Air Day' Commute 2020

88% Low Carbon Commuters v. Petrol or Diesel car commuters

Try the air pollution calculator

Give the air pollution calculator a go and find out what your individual contribution to air pollution in the UK and ways you are able to reduce it. This is the UK’s first personal Air Pollution Calculator, which helps you to better understand how lifestyle choices affect the quality of the air we breathe and the simple steps that can be taken to reduce it. Focusing on the largest sources of air pollution like personal transport and domestic burning, therefore is just an estimate of your footprint.

Get your air pollution footprint here.

Clean Air Day Live

Clean Air Day Live will recognise the benefits of clean air places, celebrate those that are acting to improve the air we breathe and inspire others to play their part in cleaning up our air. Clean Air Day Live will run for the whole day on Thursday the 8th October 2020 from 10am to 5.30pm BST. The line up is subject to change but currently will include talks from the following:

10:00 – Welcome to Clean Air Day
10:15 – Virtual School Assembly
10:30 – Clean Air School Framework
11:15 – Campaigning
11:45 – Campaigning Case Study 1: Citizen’s UK
12:00 – Nocado Campaign
12:30 – Unequal Air – Panel Session and Q&A
14:30 – How Can The Health Sector Tackle Air Pollution
15:30 – How many cars do we need?
16:15 – Clean air workplaces for healthier employees
17:00 – Clean Air Celebration Event
18:30 – Clean Air For All – COVID-19, Clean Air and Mobility Event

Clean Air Round-Up

We have gathered a few of our favourite news stories from 2020 highlighting and celebrating clean air

‘Breathable Billboard’ with flowering lungs to visualise local air quality

30th July 2020 | Global Action Plan

The “breathable billboards” were placed different spots around the city; Canary Wharf, Finchley Road and Westfield White City, and flowering lungs were used to remind commuters and the public around the city to be conscious about travel choices to help prevent pre-COVID-19 levels of air pollution returning.

The lungs on the breathable billboard reacted with real time localised pollution data from the ‘Daily Air Quality Index’ based on the billboard’s location. When pollution levels are low and healthy the sites are bright and clear, and the lungs are blooming. But when air pollution is high or approaching illegal levels, it changes colour and darkens with withered and brown brown lungs with a different message.

London’s air quality has significantly improved since 2016

 5th Oct 2020 | Air Quality News 

A report, including data from the Environmental Research Group now at Imperial College London has revealed that even before lockdown, measures implemented by the Mayor of London since 2016 have significantly improved London’s air quality.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘I’m pleased that Londoners are breathing cleaner air, that we’re saving the NHS billions of pounds and preventing over a million hospital admissions.

‘However, air pollution remains a major public health challenge and it’s time for Government to step up, set ambitious national targets and provide the powers and funding we need to consign air pollution to the history books.

‘We can’t sleepwalk from the health crisis of COVID back into complacency over the major impact of toxic air on everyone’s health.’

Driving greener: motoring after lockdown

 10th July 2020 | Admiral.com

Admiral take a look at the effects felt by the motor industry following the Corona virus and our MD Mike made some contributions to this article from an EV sales point of view. The good news is that there are some planet friendly changes on the horizon. We can still look forward to a greener future on our roads as the UK government has pledged to ban the sale of all new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2035.

Mike Potter of DriveElectric is confident that sales of EVs will still recover to hit the 100,000-target forecast in January, despite taking a hit during lockdown. “Actually, I’m still hopeful that 100k is possible – June BEV (battery electric vehicle) registrations were 8,900 and a lot of new product is due,”.

Air pollution is a major threat to Honey bees

11th Aug 2020 | Air Quality News

A new study has shown air pollution threatens honey bees. Air quality news reports:

“Whether it’s exhaust fumes from cars or smoke from power plants, air pollution is an often invisible threat that is a leading cause of death worldwide2″
If air pollution can harm human health in so many different ways, it makes sense that other animals suffer from it too. Airborne pollutants affect all kinds of life, even insects. In highly polluted areas of Serbia, for instance, researchers found pollutants lingering on the bodies of European honeybees. Car exhaust fumes are known to interrupt the scent cues that attract and guide bees towards flowers, while also interfering with their ability to remember scents.”

Air pollution halves during first day of UK Coronavirus lockdown

25th March 2020 | Air Quality News

Air Quality News analysed Department for Energy, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) monitoring data for nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in eight UK cities, comparing March 24th with the same day last year. They found air pollution halved in some UK cities on the first day of the lockdown to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

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