We can tell you the number of people who die early each year because of air pollution in your town, so you could do something similar. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This event did an incredible job of drawing attention to the campaign, including coverage in local press and on the BBC.
Here’s some top tips for how you could run a similar stunt in your town:
- Think about where might be good to do it – a public square or open space in the town centre that is well known is ideal
- Check what permissions you need – contact the council to find out if you need to ask for permission
- Plan your date – when might be a timely time to do the stunt? Is there a council meeting coming up on the environment or even air pollution? Has pollution been prominent in the news? Could you do some research online to see if there any key events in the news coming up which will raise the profile of air quality issues?
Top tip: You might also want to wait until after you’ve had results back from any monitoring you may have done, or when you’ve built up lots of signatures on a petition
- Invite a local councillor along
- Take along plenty of information leaflets and action cards – or copies of your own petition if you have one
- Let the press know what you’re doing in good time, or send them photos and a press release afterwards
2) Air-cleaning plants to bring your stall to life
We all know that stalls can benefit from eye-catching visuals to attract passers-by, but that can be tricky with an invisible problem like air pollution.
A couple of Friends of the Earth local groups have already used air-cleaning pot plants, like English Ivy, as an ice-breaker to start up conversations about air pollution. Although pot plants are used to clean up the air inside our homes, activists have found that they can be used as a ‘way in’ to talking about the pollution outside, too.
You could also plan a plant giveaway for the end of the day, or offer them as a thank you for donations. Some Friends of the Earth activists had great success trying this out at a stall in the busy Whitechapel Market in East London.
We can send you some labels which can be attached to the pots so that people can find out more information when they get home – write to email@example.com to request some labels.
Winchester Friends of the Earth have put together this handy guide sheet to the best plants for cleaning air pollution.
3) Activity poster – who’s exposed to the most air pollution?
This is designed to get people thinking, and talking, about the effects of air pollution. Ask people to decide who in the picture they think is being exposed to the most air pollution and why.
You could display this poster somewhere prominent (see above for tips on where to set up your activities) and ask passers-by to decide who in the picture they think is being exposed to the most air pollution and why.
The thing to make clear is that they all suffer to some degree, but surprisingly, the baby in the car could well be experiencing the most pollution. In some cases, it’s been found that pedestrians or cyclists are often exposed to less air pollution than people in vehicles. The ventilation system that sends air up into the car often sucks in dirty air directly from the exhaust of the car in front, and then traps it inside.
This can be a great way to start talking about the issues and get people to sign up and join the campaign.
Download the poster.
More information can be found here:
Familiarise yourself with the 6 killer facts about air pollution before starting to talk to people. You'll feel more confident in what you're saying and it will prepare you with answers to some of the questions people may have. [ we need to link to a pdf of the poster which supports this – and ultimately get it designed up!]