The Mail is reporting claims from green campaigners that millions of children driven to school each day by their parents are ‘killing the planet’ with the pollution they generate…
They argue that the traditional school run by mums and dads in their 4X4s and other vehicles ‘costs the Earth’ because every time a child is driven to primary school and back their car releases into the atmosphere the equivalent of 84 balloons worth of carbon dioxide (CO2) – the so-called ‘greenhouse-gas’ which some scientists blame for global warming.
They are urging parents to encourage their children to walk, cycle ‘scoot’ on a scooter or take a bus to school rather than rely on the chauffeur services provided by legions of mums and dad causing gridlock outside the school gates.
The research by environmental transport charity Sustrans says that if a child is driven to school every day they would generate 183,379 balloons worth of CO2 over their school career: ‘That’s 84 balloons every day’, says Sustrans.
Overall Journeys to school made by car are responsible for releasing over 363,075 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, it claims.
Their report notes:’Currently over 1,760,000 children are driven to primary school across the UK – even though pupils live an average of 1.8 miles from their school which takes just 20 minutes to bike or scoot.
The announcement comes at the start of The Big Pedal (3 -14th March); an inter-school competition run by Sustrans which encourages families to cycling or scoot the school run.
This year The Big Pedal is partnering with Climate Week (3-9th March) to emphasise the impact the school run has on the environment.Malcolm Shepherd, chief executive at Sustrans said: ‘Driving to school not only contributes to UK-wide air pollution levels, it also causes pollution at the school gates which can be harmful for children.
‘If families who lived closer to school travelled by bike or scooter then both pollution and congestion levels could be significantly reduced.’
Kevin Steele, the founder of Climate Week said: ‘We’re calling on all the teachers who support us to change themselves from pedagogues to pedalogues and get their schools involved in the Big Pedal for Climate Week.’
Learn more about The Big Pedal 2014 here
What do you think about the claims made by Sustrans? Do you think it is possible and sensible to encourage more children to ride to school? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…