Skip to main content

How you can help improve air quality outside schools

Family cycling and scooting

How we can all help

There are a few simple steps we can all take on the school run to help improve the air quality outside schools and in the local area:

  1. Walk, wheel, scoot or cycle to and from school. Leaving the car at home will reduce the amount of exhaust fumes being released into the air. Often the air quality inside a car can be worse than that outside, as the car draws in air from outside and becomes concentrated in smaller spaces.
  2. If you need to drive to or from school park a distance away from the school and walk the rest. This will reduce the number of cars outside the school and the amount of exhaust fumes being added to the air.
  3. Turn your engine off when parked or stationary. Not only will this save you money but will stop unnecessary pollution to be added into the air. If it is cold outside keep the doors and windows closed in the car to keep the heat in. If it is too hot find a shady spot outside whilst you wait.
  4. Swap other short local journeys from the car to more self-powered active options. It could be quicker to walk or cycle that drive, as you won’t have to sit in traffic or find a parking space. Remember you don’t always have to walk and cycle the same route as you would by car, there may be short cuts and traffic free routes. Try to choose quieter roads where the air quality is likely to be cleaner.
  5. If you have an automatic stop-start mode on your car makes sure this is enabled. This will automatically turn your car off when stationary, for example at traffic lights or in a traffic jam.
  6. Is your school running their own air quality or anti idling campaign? If not let them know about the Clean Air School Toolkit.

While the toolkit has been designed for teachers, there are resources that you are welcome to use: