Air quality in and around schools – Plants4Kids

We often can’t see or smell it, but it is now widely known that air pollution puts children’s vulnerable growing lungs at risk. Many of us watched Channel 4’s Dispatches in horror this week, as we watched experts come together to share the truth.

“Over 2,000 schools and nurseries across the UK are situated in areas where there are very high or illegal levels of air pollution – we are saying that this is a major child health crisis.”

Anna Kettley, Director of Programmes, UNICEF
Plants in the Classroom – Clean Air & Learning

“We know living in a more polluted area leads to smaller lungs and you never recover that lung capacity. There is evidence that if you improve air quality you improve the health of your children.”

Dr Benjamin Barratt, King’s College London

At City Air Technologies, we provide plant-based solutions to air pollution by combining living green walls with our airflow engineering technology.  We create pockets of purified air right where they are needed most, at street level and within urban buildings, including schools.

The air-cleansing abilities of plants are well documented, but did you know that plants can also improve children’s mental health, alleviate stress, reduce noise pollution, improve concentration and increase urban biodiversity? With City Air Technologies’ Plants4Kids (“P4K”) campaign, schools and communities can take action to provide a healthier environment and contribute to better air quality for all.

WHAT IS THE P4K CAMPAIGN?

The P4K Project enables schools to benefit from beautiful, self-sustaining, maintenance-free living walls at no cost to the school itself. The living walls are funded by a simple plant sponsorship programme, which allows parents, grandparents, friends and local supporters of the school to make a small contribution which will make a big difference. Businesses are also invited to support schools (locally or nationally), either by becoming Ambassadors (providing sponsorship) or Partners (providing practical support).

Plants can be sponsored for as little as £15 – the sponsorship will not only pay for the plants themselves but will cover installation and maintenance of the living wall for 3 years.  Names and messages of support of key sponsors will be displayed alongside the living walls themselves.

Once fully funded, the living walls will take pride of place in schools or playgrounds within reach of the children. Whilst the plants will be monitored remotely using the latest technology, pupils will be encouraged to interact with and care for the plants, touch and smell the foliage and learn about the different species in their wall, whilst having unlimited access to our plant care experts for guidance. The children will be involved from Day 1, from raising awareness of the campaign, to fundraising, to helping out with the installation day! Pupils will learn about the amazing air cleansing abilities of plants and the many benefits that plants can bring.

Alexandra Stacey, Head Teacher at Westminster Cathedral RC School, was delighted when her school was chosen to be P4K’s pilot school: 

“Every child in the school will be breathing cleaner, safer air straight away and the vertical garden will benefit the local community with its aesthetic, environmental and air cleansing properties. It’s also a fantastic educational tool for teachers and parents. A living testament to the remarkable power of nature.”

Find out more about this campaign here.

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