Clean Air Day (15 June) is an award-winning annual campaign coordinated by Global Action Plan. Partners help fund the day, and collaborators help deliver the largest air pollution campaign in the UK.
Since the first Clean Air Day in 2017, this awareness day has engaged thousands of people at hundreds of events, reaching millions more through the media. Clean Air Day brings together communities, businesses, education, and the health sector.
The event is organised by various environmental organisations, government agencies, and community groups worldwide. During Clean Air Day, individuals, communities, and organisations are encouraged to participate in activities that reduce air pollution and promote cleaner air. These activities may include:
- Educational campaigns: Raising awareness about the health impacts of air pollution and informing people about the sources of pollution in their communities.
- Advocacy and policy initiatives: Encouraging policymakers to take action to address air pollution, such as implementing stricter emission standards or promoting sustainable transportation.
- Public transportation promotions: Encouraging people to use public transportation, walk, or cycle instead of driving cars, which helps reduce emissions from vehicles.
- Tree planting and green initiatives: Organising events to plant trees, create green spaces, and promote the importance of nature in improving air quality.
- Clean energy initiatives: Promoting the use of clean and renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and decrease air pollution from power generation.
- Awareness campaigns: Engaging individuals through social media, workshops, and public events to educate them about simple actions they can take to reduce their own contribution to air pollution, such as using energy-efficient appliances or reducing waste.
Clean Air Day serves as a reminder that everyone has a role to play in improving air quality and protecting public health. It aims to encourage individuals, communities, and organisations to take steps towards cleaner air and a healthier environment.
Clean up our air to look after your mind
Promoting clean air offers numerous benefits to us in various ways: not only does it enhance our physical well-being and protect the environment, but it also safeguards our mental and cognitive health. This is why Global Action plan has made this year’s theme ‘Clean up our air to look after your mind’.
The adverse effects of air pollution on physical health, such as asthma, heart disease, and cancer, have been acknowledged for many years. Recently, researchers have started to comprehend how air pollution can impact the brain and mental health.
Individuals who inhale polluted air face a higher risk of developing mental health and brain-related conditions, and exposure to air pollution has been associated with depression, anxiety, and dementia.
“Clean Air Day helps people understand their personal connection to air pollution,” said Larissa Lockwood, director of Clean Air at Global Action Plan. “It inspires active participation in both behavioural and organisational changes to clean up our air. And crucially, it is a galvanising moment of collective voice to call on our local decision-makers for system-wide changes that will make even bigger differences to the air we breathe. Experiencing and participating in mass action will reward and embed the desire for change, as well as showcase the demand for this change to decision-makers.
“This year’s theme draws attention to the growing evidence base that shows air pollution can impact our mind and brain health. By taking clean air action on 15 June and every day, we are improving our air quality and reducing our risk of developing mental health and brain conditions.”
More information about Clean Air Day 2023 can be found at Global Action Plan’s Clean Air Hub.
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