Air pollution: what you can do about it:
1. Take part in consultations and enquiries – watch this space for info.
2. Reduce your contribution
Leave your car at home – whenever you can, walk, cycle or use public transport instead of taking the car. Share rides with other people, and share the school run with other parents to save you time and money as well as cutting your emissions. Here is some advice from the police on keeping your bike safe.
Switch off your engine when your car is stationary – idling creates a lot of pollution. So if you’re parked somewhere, pulled over waiting for someone (especially outside a school), or sitting at traffic lights, switch off your engine.
Go for a low emission vehicle – If you’re buying a new car, ask about its emission standards, and steer clear of diesel if you can. Use this tool to find out which cars are least polluting. To find out where electric charging points are use the Source London website and to request one near your home email HighwayandInfrastructure@brent.gov.uk.
3. Reduce your exposure
Take less polluted routes – air pollution is worst on main roads and at busy junctions. Walking or cycling along side streets and back routes can dramatically cut your exposure to air pollution. Use walkit.com to plot low pollution routes.
Know when air pollution is particularly bad – pollution levels fluctuate depending on weather and other factors. You can subscribe to free alerts from airTEXT on air quality in London or visit londonair.org.uk.
Don’t exercise outside when pollution levels are high – use an app like ‘Air’ by Plume to avoid strenuous activity outdoors when pollution levels are high.
4. Lobby for cleaner air
- Write to your MP – you can express your concerns about air pollution and ask your elected representative to raise those concerns in parliament on your behalf. Here‘s a really easy way to tell your MP you care. We have also written to the Prime Minister which you can read here: CAfB Letter to the Prime Minister re diesel scandal 4 April 2017 Write to her too!
- Approach your councillor or London Assembly Member – ask what they intend to do to make a difference in Brent. Here’s how to find your councillors. Brent’s Assembly Member is Navin Shah – find him and other Assembly Members here.
- Respond to consultations – Brent Council, the Mayor of London and the government have all been consulting on measures to tackle air pollution. Have your say on how we clean up our air.
5. Do some monitoring of your own
Are you interested in measuring air pollution in your local area? You can conduct your own ‘citizen science’ project to find out what air pollution is like in the streets near you. The easiest thing to measure is nitrogen dioxide using simple, inexpensive diffusion tubes that you can fix to trees and lampposts in the local area. Check out this information leaflet from London Sustainability Exchange to learn more. You can order your tubes and get them processed here. You’ll need to get the tubes themselves (the price includes sending them back for analysis), and a clip and strap for each one to attach to lamp posts above head height (so they don’t get removed by others). If you have questions drop us an email and when you get results please share them with us, and we in turn will share them with Brent Council.
The Mayor of London has issued this guidance on monitoring air quality in London.
If you would like to complain about a particularly polluting and smokey vehicle you can use these contacts:
- Lorries and buses – contact DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) online or phone 0300 123 9000, option 7
- Cars – call the police on 101 or send them a message here
- Ice cream vans are not allowed to trade within 100m of the entrance to a primary school in Brent
https://www.brent.gov.uk/business/licences/get-a-licence/street-trading?tab=icecreamvans If a van is not compliant it should be reported to Brent street trading
7. Become a Clean Air Champion
Could you become one of Brent Council’s new Air Quality Champions? The programme aims to raise awareness of local air quality initiatives and the steps people can take to help improve local air quality. Champions will help members of their local community to engage with these initiatives, and take part in major air quality events in the borough. This includes sustainable travel options such as car clubs, cycling, and electric vehicle charging points. On Clean Air Day, champions will be going out in pairs to schools near the Civic Centre to do anti-idling work with parents picking up their kids by car.
Anyone living in the borough with an interest in improving the local community can join, and give as much or as little time as they wish. Training will be provided by the council’s Environmental Monitoring Team. If you are interested please email email@example.com
8. Get more actively involved with CAfB
Clean Air for Brent is also keen to engage you in voluntary activity, e.g. helping with upcoming stalls, speaking at your local residents’ association, or monitoring local air quality. If you would like to join the steering committee then tell us a bit about you and why you’d like to be part of it. Email us firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Also drop us a line if you’d like to make a donation – we rely on this for the expenses even a voluntary organisation has to deal with.
9. Donate to other Clean Air campaigns
CAfB has been following the tragic case of the death from asthma, possibly caused by pollution, of Ella Kissi-Debrah. If you would like to support her mother’s fight to find out what killed her daughter you can do so here – helping pay her legal fees for a second inquest.