Many environmentalists believe that the best way to reduce air pollution is to prevent it getting into the atmosphere in the first place. Air pollution can be reduced by having less vehicles driving near schools, including parents taking their children to and from school.
Schools can be well-springs of behaviour change, encouraging and incentivising both children and parents to reduce their car use, encouraging cycling and walking.
Take a look at this article produced by UNICEF about the dangers of the ‘toxic school run’.
There are charities who can help develop programmes to support alternative methods of transport.
Sustrans, the national charity supporting walking and cycling, has a School Streets programme, teaching resources and a consultancy service helping create safer routes to school for UK schools
Living Streets also has a set of tools for teachers and parents to help kids and their families start walking rather than driving.
#BikeIsBest – A movement to get everyone on their bikes
Tfl also has a scheme which encourages active travel in London.
Vehicle idling is one of the most harmful ways to poison the atmosphere, as the emissions are much worse when a car is still than when it is driving.
The GLA have also produced some information on idling (Download it here).
Close roads around your schools at drop off and pick up times.
School streets are roads that are temporarily closed in the mornings and afternoon during drop off and pick up times, preventing cars driving and parking outside school gates.
Most London councils have a dedicated page on their websites on school streets in their area. There are a number of many successful school streets in the capital.
Streets Ahead focuses on school streets in Edinburgh
Schools can also be a good forum to discuss introducing behaviour change at home. Wood burning for example is increasingly recognised as the largest single source of harmful particulates in the UK (Read More)