The choices made by individuals, both in relation to their personal lives and in the workplace, have a huge impact on the overall air quality picture, so it is essential that air quality continues to be kept in the public consciousness and that the right messages are consistently and clearly put across.
Public awareness of the clean air agenda is critical in helping to guide people’s choices, but the topic is very broad and there is a lot of scope to confuse, particularly as public understanding of air quality is informed by a very wide range of sources not always in complete agreement.
Some examples of real world air quality improvements that can be supported by good public awareness are:
- Helping people to make more informed travel choices for their commute or the school run
- Understanding the air quality impacts of certain types of stoves, and what the rules are for stove types and fuels in their area
- Raising awareness of the health impacts of certain domestic products in the home, and the importance of good ventilation
- Helping people to understand the relationship between energy usage and air quality impacts
- Providing understandable data about the quality of air where people live, particularly where this is subject to spikes in pollutants on certain days
The causes and impacts of air pollution and emissions need to be understood at an individual level so that each person is able to balance their own needs with their choices, such as where and how they travel.
Local Authorities, Public Health agencies, and other public bodies, are uniquely placed to be able to provide information to people to promote positive changes.