Breathe Easy September – the results are in!
14 October 2019
By Hayley Carmichael
We ran a campaign to tackle local air pollution throughout September for NHS trusts across Sussex and in Surrey.
What was involved in Breathe Easy September?
We designed the campaign so that all trusts could take part, whether or not they were actively delivering Care Without Carbon within their organisation.
There were three elements to the campaign with six trusts invited to participate (ESHT, SCFT, Sussex Partnership, SASH, Western Sussex and BSUH):
- #activecommute: the first was a pledge to make a more active commute to work at least one day per week. This could be walking, cycling or taking public transport. The pledge was available to all Trusts in the area, with staff at SCFT, Sussex Partnership and SASH sharing photos to feature in posters to promote the pledge on Trust sites.
- Our new Dare Challenge: the second was a new Dare Challenge called ‘Pedal Power’ which staff at SCFT, Sussex Partnership and SASH could take part in to encourage more people to use a bicycle for their travel. Staff have eight weeks from the date they started in September to cycle their chosen virtual route. There were three routes to choose from ranging from 100 to 750 miles.
- A focus on cutting idling: lastly we designed a ‘No Idling’ poster for use across all NHS trust sites to encourage more mindful use of vehicles on NHS sites. Drivers were encouraged to switch off engines when stationary to help minimise air pollution.
We promoted these three elements through internal communications channels at all the Trusts taking part and via social media. In addition we featured regular weekly blogs to support the topic and posters went up around Trust sites as a visual reminder.
At Brighton General Hospital we were also able to hold a joint event with Brighton & Hove City Council, Brighton buses and Love to Ride open to staff at SCFT and Sussex Partnership.
A successful engagement campaign
September is a great month to encourage people to change habits, with that ‘back to school’ freshness that comes after summer.
During September we had 148 people check out our Twitter profile, and tweets about Breathe Easy September gained over 23,000 impressions (that’s how many times they can be seen on Twitter).
Over 750 people visited the website during Breathe Easy September, which was a 21% increase in visitors from the previous month.
We had 52 people make the #activecommute pledge. The Office of National Statistics suggests the average distance people travel to work is 9.3 miles, which means our Darers saved 483 miles per week between them. Over the month this would equate to over 600kg of CO2 which would take 11 trees over 10 years to absorb!
You can still make your pledge to #activecommute and help reduce the carbon footprint from cars even further – just visit www.carewithoutcarbon.org/dares.
If you would like a copy of the No Idling poster for the NHS site you are based at please email email@example.com.