We know that a lot of air pollution is local (54). That means we can clean up the air in and around our schools and help our children live healthier lives and learn better.
Air around our schools influences how well our children learn and how healthy they will be (see Health Effects section). In addition, a 2018 study in Oakland showed that air pollution drops off rapidly away from sources like roads by as much as eight times less just a city block away. So keeping the air clean near our schools makes a big difference. We can create healthy "islands" of clean air for our children .
Several of Denver's schools are already monitoring air quality on school grounds as part of a $1 Million grant program from the Bloomberg Mayor's Challenge. The data has been starting to accumulate and we are starting to understand which schools need help the most. At right is Gust Elementary's air monitor which is part of the program explained in the video below.
We at DeSmog Denver advocate for a transition to all electric lawn equipment in Denver Public Schools to start. We also advocate for electric school buses to start replacing the old, dirty diesel fleet. See an example of electric buses here. We will be studying the air quality around our schools as this transition takes place. Idling laws are also effective at reducing air pollution near schools but they must be enforced-something that we support as well. We also advocate for electrification of all Denver school buildings (see Clean Buildings section) for heating and hot water.
(photo courtesy of Proterra buses: https://www.proterra.com/)