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"Switch it off!" School kids' plea to Harrogate drivers on Clean Air Day

"Switch it off!" School kids' plea to Harrogate drivers on Clean Air Day

Published at 1:30pm 20th June 2019. (Updated at 1:40pm 20th June 2019)

School pupils in Starbeck are urging drivers to do their bit for the environment on Clean Air Day. 

  • Students from Starbeck Primary and Springwater School have teamed up with Zero Carbon Harrogate 
  • They've made banners and posters which are on display on the High Street and are urging drivers to switch off their engines when stationary 
  • They've been focusing on the railway crossing, where cars can be stationary for several minutes at a time 

Students from Starbeck Community Primary School and Springwater School have been taking part. 

They've been campaigning on Starbeck High Street to mark the national initiative. 

They've teamed up with Zero Carbon Harrogate for the campaign, which is encouraging drivers to switch off their engines when stationary. 

clean air
Students from Starbeck Primary taking part in the campaign

The pupils have made banners and posters, which have been on display at the roadside.  

clean air day
clean air day
Posters made by the pupils are on display on Starbeck High Street

The campaign's been focusing on the Starbeck level crossing, as cars can be stationary at this junction for several minutes at a time. 

10-year-olds Saffie Demirci and Alex Prince, who're both students at Starbeck Primary, spoke to Stray FM. 

Alex said: 

"I think it is important because if we don't do anything now it'll be up to us to change this, and maybe our grandchildren and children. 

So we need to do something now so we have somewhere good to live.

"When people turn their engine off we give them a big cheer. It's good how they understand us and they know they're doing the right thing."

Saffie added:

"It's going quite well, most people are switching their engines off, which has been quite nice."

clean air
10-year-olds Saffie and Alex with one of their handmade posters

Starbeck in Bloom, the resident's association, local councillors and residents have also got involved with the initiative. 

Vicky Wild, from Zero Carbon Harrogate said:

"When we're talking about climate change, it's the children who are going to be affected most. 

"When we're talking about air pollution, it's the children that are going to be affected most because their bodies are still growing.

"So children therefore are the best people to talk to and engage on the matter, and they are really switched on about it."

Vicky says drivers may not realise the impact leaving your engine running will have. 

She added:

"The air pollution inside the car is worse that outside, and that is going to affect your health. 

"It's also wasting all that fuel. We need to start thing about how much fuel we use, we need to start thing more about climate change. 

"So the message is it's better for your health, better for the environment, it's better for your wallet and it's better for the car as well."