What can schools and universities do?

On 5 June 2019, World Environment Day will be on the theme of “air pollution”— a call to action to combat one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time. Hosted by China, World Environment Day invites us all to consider how we can make changes in our daily lives to reduce air pollution, which in turn can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and benefit people’s health too. China has demonstrated tremendous leadership in tackling air pollution domestically and its commitment to improving air quality can serve as an inspiration to countries around the world.

Our Campaign

Together we can #BeatAirPollution and governments around the world are invited to take part. Explore this site to learn about the different types of air pollution and why they matter to you using infographicsquizzes, and stories from around the world.

World Environment Day can be a platform for students and education officials to lead the fight for cleaner air and ask their governments and schools to transition to cleaner energy.

Discover how your school or university can celebrate

Here are some examples of actions that could be taken by schools:

  • Host a tree-planting event on World Environment Day and ask students to bring in seedlings for their own plants. 
  • Ask teachers and professors to teach a whole day on sustainability and air quality for World Environment Day.
  • Support students in the creation of environmental clubs on campus, which can empower youth to be innovative and come up with ideas to tackle air pollution. 
  • Use World Environment Day as an opportunity to commit to using renewable energy on your campuses. 
  • On World Environment Day consider installing air quality monitors to check air quality on your campus and area so that the community is aware of the air they are breathing.
  • On World Environment Day consider committing to provide electric buses and making your school campus bicycle friendly.
  • Consider creating no-car-idling zones near your School.
  • Register your event here.

Resource Guide for Schools and Universities

Lesson Plans:
  1. Check out this 45-minute Science lesson to teach K - Grade 12 students about the sources of air pollution.
    Source: Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering, the University of Colorado at Boulder

  2. Air Pollution 101 is a one-class Science lesson plan for high school students that educates about the sources and dangers of air pollution. 
    Source: Earth Day Network; Clean Air School

  3. Check out this hands-on activity guide for educators to use in the classroom about how to measure particular matter.
    Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  4. List of further Air Quality lesson plan resources 
    Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA

University Lecture Notes:
  1. 25-page University of Illinois Air Pollution Leaning Module focusing on air pollution sources and its effects on the environment and human health. 

  2. 1-2 lesson LSC Lecture Notes on Air Pollution covering the history of major air pollution events, primary and secondary pollutants, a case study example and air pollution trends.  

Other Resources for Schools:
  1. Access this archived online Air Pollution course (2010) about the principles and concepts of air quality management. 
    Source: The Open University 

  2. This Air Quality Toolkit targeted at Primary Schools aims to educate children and their families about the positive changes they can make to improve air quality. 
    Source: London Sustainability Exchange (LSx)

  3. This Handbook for Schools on Organic Waste Management can help you understand how to manage organic waste in order to reduce emissions from waste.
    Source: Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) & International Solid Waste Association (ISWA)

  4. The US EPA Air Quality Flag Program helps to alerts institutions to the local air quality forecast and helps them to take actions to protect people’s health, including those with asthma.
    Source: Air Now

  5. These UK Clean Air Day resources and activities provide a variety of air quality educational materials that can be used to educate your students about air pollution.  
    Source: Global Action Plan

For more ideas, view the full guide below