Clean air event encourages locals to reduce their carbon footprints

Councillors and Residents sign their pledges for Clean Air Day, Pic: Bill Brown

Residents in Lewisham were encouraged to pledge to reduce to their carbon footprints at an event to mark Clean Air Day last Tuesday which highlighted the impact traffic has on air quality in the borough.

The “clean air” pledge event held by Lewisham Council aimed to raise awareness of air pollution by inviting those who live in the borough to sign up to a commitment to change their lifestyles whether by using public transport or switching to electric or hybrid vehicles.

The event in Lewisham shopping centre was co-sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and Airtopia, a social enterprise providing air quality tests.

The pledge event in Lewisham Shopping Centre  Pic: Ting Hu

Lewisham’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, Sophie McGeevor told ELL: “ I want to express to the public that they can improve air quality in simple actions. For instance, by switching off car engines when they are stationary, loading or waiting. It is the simplest thing,  it transforms our living environment because cars cause  half of London’s toxic air. Air that can damage people’s lungs and make asthma, heart disease and lung cancer. Young children are more vulnerable which means they need higher quality air, when we switch off a car engine, we are taking action to protect our air quality.”

Louise Krupski, Rushey Green Ward Councillor, has been promoting this event and encouraging residents to do some simple things to improve environmental quantity.

She told Eastlondonlines: “We gave advance mentions of this activity on social media earlier. Although some residents can not come here, they leave messages for us and pledge on the internet. For example, a resident named Jini vowed not to burn any garbage in her garden to reduce the levels of toxic air in the borough. Another resident, Michud, promised to change to a new low-emission car. These are small acts that, taken all together, will bring about significant change.”

Besides the pledge event, there were several other activities held in Lewisham. Nick Pond from Lewisham Ecological Regeneration Team led a walk around Ladywell Fields, a public park in the borough. He shared advice on the benefits of walking for health, well-being and transport.

McGeevor and Krupski also visited Haseltine Primary School in Sydenham to talk to parents about switching off their engines when stationary and handed out new anti-idling awareness cards.

The cards are designed by Haseltine pupil Mehri Kabilova, who recently won the school’s anti-idling banner competition, run by Lewisham Council sustainable transport team.

Lewisham Council’s parking team handed out leaflets about a new emissions-based parking consultation proposal at Lewisham station. The proposal includes a new system for parking permits, in which the cost of the parking permits are based on the emissions of vehicles. Residents are encouraged to express their suggestions before July 26. The online survey can be found here.

Leave a Reply