Below are actions that individuals can take, as well as actions for policy makers and business leaders.
How can I reduce air pollution personally?
The first step to take is to learn about the state of air in your area. There are websites which will help you find this information. Try searching for your location and ‘air pollution levels’ to find the latest data from air quality monitors near you. If you would like to take action on air pollution in your area, you can:
- Talk to local politicians and representatives and tell them why you care about clean air. It’s critical that politicians know they have public support for clean air measures.
- Find and join local groups that campaign for clean air.
- Join global campaigns on air pollution. Our Children’s Air collects powerful stories from parents across the world. You can read the testimonials and add your own. Go to the Our Children’s Air website.
You can also make changes to your lifestyle to improve air quality:
- Walk, cycle or take public transport instead of driving a car or travelling by plane.
- Cut down on meat. Meat production contributes significantly to air pollution.
- Avoid using a wood-burning stove. Wood burners are a major source of pollution.
- Reduce and recycle your rubbish instead of burning it.
How can policymakers improve air quality?
Policy makers hold the key to cleaning up our air, from city and national levels through to regional and global levels. Political leaders can champion the importance of clean air, support practical measures to tackle emissions or gather data, and back the funding needed for clean air projects. Steps to take:
- Learn about the state of air in your city, country or region.
- Find out if your government is funding clean air initiatives.
- If you work at city-level, take a look at the work of C40’s global network of mayors taking urgent action to confront the climate crisis. Check out C40’s resources on air quality. The Breathe Life network connects city leaders who care about air quality. Find out more about the Breathe Life network.
- Joined up action on clean air and climate change can address the major challenges of our time. Find out more in our publication on joined-up action.
How can my business reduce air pollution?
The first step you can take is to ask your business or workplace what they’re doing to reduce harmful emissions in their business and supply chain. With this information, you can encourage your employer to do more to reduce air pollution.
If you’re a business leader, you can use your influence to improve air quality. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Learn about the impact of air pollution on the economy.
- Persuade your Board to tackle air pollution in your business and supply chain.
- Champion clean air by joining a forum like the Clean Air Alliance, a corporate movement for clean air to accelerate action on climate and create healthy communities around the world. Go to the Clean Air Alliance website.