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Image by Kouji Tsuru

Preventing air pollution

Forest Trees

Quick Facts: What causes air pollution?


  • Air provides oxygen for everyone and the planet to breath

  • 30% of climate emissions come from our homes

  • Natural pollutants, pesticides and household cleaners can make air inside our homes 2-5 times, and sometimes up to 100 times, more harmful than the air outside.

  • Refurbishing with furnishings, building materials, paints can release VOC’s

  • Air pollution comes from small particles, gases, chemicals and mould

  • Industrial activity and energy generation releases Sulphur dioxide

  • Nitrogen dioxide is a main source of air pollution released from road transport

  • Open fires, household burning, and wood stoves contribute particle matter, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide

  • Farming releases ammonia

  • Air pollution causes health problems and disease.

Urban Gardening
Forest Trees

What you can do as a school


  • Limit air pollution from chemicals inside the classrooms and have cleaner air by opening windows

  • Create green walls around school and oxygenating plants in the classrooms

  • When refurbishing classrooms reduce chemicals. Use low emission products labeled as low VOC

  • Use less energy and turn off appliances to save electricity 

  • Walking, cycling or using public transport to school reduces traffic air pollution

  • Walk on quieter roads away from busy roads to have fresher air

  • Create pollution and car free zones away from school drop off points

  • Plan trips combining activities to reduce use of car travel.

Teaching and learning resources for schools

AIR – Clean Air


Check out following learning resources for clean air.  


Adapt some of the suggestions for where you are. What actions can your school and students take?


Clean Air Movement by Global Action Plan teaches ways in which students can think about creating better breathing spaces around the school environment and at home. – has put together free clean air framework for acting on air pollution.  


It shows how to assess volume of traffic outside the school, improve air quality inside schools, create low pollution habits, advocacy having your say as a school to local and national decision makers to improve air quality across your local area.  Read the case studies about what some schools have been doing.


Adapt some of the suggestions for your own region. Take a look and see what you can do.



Find more learning resources and videos about reducing air pollution here


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