Did you know air pollution causes up to 36,000 deaths in the UK each year? In addition to causing health problems such as heart and lung disease, poor air quality is also linked to low birth weight and lung developmental issues in children. Both the UK government and the World Health Organisation recognise that air pollution is the largest environmental risk that we currently face - so, what can we do to protect our planet and our health?

Many Brits think they are eco-friendly, but the truth is, we can all do that little bit more. 

Clean Air Day 2022 is coming up, giving you the perfect opportunity to do your bit and help spread awareness about air pollution. In this article, you’ll find out more about this fantastic campaign and how you can get involved.

What is Clean Air Day?

Clean Air Day is the UK’s largest clean air campaign, providing resources and organising events to inspire and encourage individuals, schools, businesses, local authorities and the healthcare sector to make everyday changes with the goal to reduce air pollution.

Organised and led by environmental charity Global Action Plan, Clean Air Day aims to improve public understanding of air pollution, building an awareness of how this issue impacts health. The campaign explains what can be done to tackle air pollution to help protect the environment and our wellbeing, providing examples of what you can do to help solve this problem.

Since it first launched Clean Air Day in 2017, Global Action Plan has seen a 22% increase in the number of people who choose to walk or cycle short journeys rather than taking the car, and a 28% increase in people opting to use quieter or less polluted routes when walking or cycling.

According to Global Action Plan, over half of the UK population have now heard of Clean Air Day. In 2021, the campaign saw over 2.7 billion opportunities to spread the message about air pollution, and there were 350 Clean Air Day events organised throughout the country, amassing over 30,000 social media posts. As a result, there are now 270 organisations that are official Clean Air Day Supporters.

When is Clean Air Day 2022?

Clean Air Day 2022 is scheduled to take place on Thursday 16th June. This year, Global Action Plan will celebrate its fifth consecutive year of this campaign.

How can I get involved in Clean Air Day?

The good news is, there are a number of ways in which you can get involved in Clean Air Day this year to help spread the word about air pollution and inspire others to take action.

For example, the Clean Air Day website is updated regularly with details of its upcoming events, some of which might be happening in your area, or you may be able to join in virtually online.

The Clean Air Day site also features a variety of free resources for you to download, including fun and informative social media graphics for you to share with your friends, family and colleagues over Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as letter templates you can use to express your concerns about air quality with your employer or local councillor. You’ll also be able to find a variety of resources to help you host your own Clean Air Day event, such as printable bunting, stickers and pledge cards.

Whether you want to raise awareness about air pollution at school, work or within your community, Clean Air Day offers a whole host of ways for you to get the word around so that you can make a difference.

What can I do to reduce pollution?

It’s important that we all do our bit to improve the quality of the air we breathe, and it’s the small, practical changes to our day-to-day routines that can help make the biggest difference. Here are three simple suggestions of what you can do to cut your carbon footprint and help reduce air pollution in your area.

1. Don’t drive - walk or cycle instead

Whether you’re commuting to work, dropping the kids off at school or visiting your local shops, cut down on the number of car journeys you make and choose to walk or cycle instead. Not only will you be reducing air pollution, there are also plenty of benefits to your physical and mental health.

If you’re not able to go completely car-less, there are ways you can be more eco-conscious behind the wheel. For example, you could car-share with a colleague for your commute to the office, meaning there’s one fewer car on the road.

2. Choose eco-conscious businesses

These days, many businesses are aware of their impact on the planet, putting measures in place that enable them to provide goods and services which have a reduced impact on the environment. Choosing companies that are environmentally conscious means you’ll be part of the wider picture in protecting our planet.

At Viessmann, we’re conscious of environmental protection - that’s why sustainably is a topic of great importance to us. We’re constantly striving to improve our environmental performance to avoid pollution and keep our effect on the planet to a minimum. For example, our heat pump systems harness renewable energy, reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and lowering CO2 emissions.

3. Eat less meat

The link between eating less meat and reducing air pollution is not an obvious one, but the truth is, animal agriculture is actually responsible for over 50% of air pollutants. Cattle farming produces a large number of ammonia emissions which causes pollution in the air. Simply cutting back on the amount of meat you consume could help make a difference.

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