Friends of the Earth England, Wales, and Northern Ireland is part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world. It unites over 2 million supporters and 5,000 local groups across more than 75 countries who work towards ensuring that the next generation will enjoy an environment that's getting better: a safer climate, flourishing nature, and healthy air, water and food.
For more than 40 years, the charity has recognised that the wellbeing of people and planet go hand in hand – and this is what inspires its campaigns. Together with the support of thousands of people, Friends of the Earth's work has led to the passing of laws and policies such as the landmark 2008 Climate Change Act and the 2003 Household Recycling Act. At a community level, Friends of the Earth has inspired hundreds of newly-planted, bee-friendly nature spaces, and the development of community-owned energy schemes and safe cycling routes.
Thanks to the incredible £500,000 that players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised to support Friends of the Earth, it continues to tackle the most pressing global issues. In 2016 it launched a major new campaign to tackle air pollution which aims to have a revolutionary impact on the quality of our air.
Craig Bennett, CEO of Friends of the Earth, said, "The support from players of the People's Postcode Lottery is crucial in helping us tackle air pollution.
"Through our Clean Air campaign we want to see people across the country taking action to help reduce air pollution in the places that they care about most: their children's school, on their street, at the heart of their communities. On top of that, we're lobbying the UK government to urgently take the action needed to make sure that we all have cleaner, safer air to breathe."
Air pollution is linked to heart disease, lung cancer, worsening asthma, and poor lung development in children and leads to the premature deaths of around 40,000 people every year in the UK. But because you can't often see or smell it, people don't realise the danger.
This is why Friends of the Earth has launched a ground-breaking nationwide citizen science experiment on air pollution to help people find out more about the air they're breathing. Friends of the Earth's 'Clean Air Kits' enable people to test the air quality near them, as well as provide people with tips on how to avoid air pollution and what they can do to help support the fight for clean air.
The environmental charity is hoping thousands will join in the experiment so that they can create a comprehensive national air pollution picture. The data generated by the experiment will feed into a national map which will help create a state of the nation report on air pollution.
Friends of the Earth has also created a 'Clean Air Schools Pack' to help schools learn about the impact of air pollution, and what they can do to keep school children's young lungs safer.
The ongoing support from players of People's Postcode Lottery is crucial in providing Clean Air Kits to schools and community groups, as well as campaigning for the government to urgently take action to clean up our air.