Schools are keen to share with the world their eco-credentials and so they should because many work hard at putting the environment at the heart of who they are.
Yet the same schools like to ignore the fact that their ageing school buses run on diesel.
Like most children who get the school bus, the vehicles they ride inside are merrily pumping out diesel emissions into the atmosphere. The buses line up at the end of the school day with their engines running in idle mode and the school gets a good dose of diesel to finish the day.
Some cities are struggling to breathe and so are the people that live there. Air quality is so bad in some places that anyone living and working there is at high risk for respirator illnesses.
But it is children who are among the most vulnerable to health impacts from air pollution caused by diesel emissions and that’s partly because of their higher respiration rates and also because of the long bus rides they make daily.
According to research from the University of California, exposure to high levels of traffic-related air pollution is seemingly a direct cause of the type of DNA damage that is known as telomere shortening,
So rather than rely on diesel dinosaurs we need to invest in a new fleet of electric buses or alternative-fuel vehicles and take responsibility for cleaning up the contaminated air.
The transport sector is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gases are it is something of an irony that children with asthma are being taken to and from school in these coughing and spluttering wheels of death.
Air pollution everyone but the message still doesn’t seem to be getting through. Fighting for clean air and for zero-emissions buses should be on every school’s agenda. Cleaning the air for our children and teaching them that a clean transportation future is possible has to be a priority for every school. No one wants to be breathing in the crap that comes out of the exhausts of diesel buses and they need to go.
Eco-schools who put their children in zero-emission buses deserve their badges and honours but those who don’t shouldn’t get a shiny plaque to adorn their reception area.