Vale of White Horse and South Oxfordshire district councils have launched a competition for primary school children to design a superhero to tackle air pollution. The councils will be giving a new Micro scooter* as a top prize to one winner in each district.
Children can draw their superheroes or create them as models. The judges are looking for a hero who can easily get about without using cars and whose superpowers can help make our air cleaner and clearer.
The competition is part of the councils’ air quality campaign called Turn It Off which is primarily aimed at drivers who let their vehicles engines idle while they are waiting for passengers – often waiting outside schools.
Air pollution is created from pollutants getting into the air. Petrol and diesel vehicles emit pollutants from their exhaust pipes into the air. Increased traffic means increased air pollution.
These air pollutants are linked to a higher chance of developing lung cancer, heart disease, asthma, coughs and bronchitis, particularly in vulnerable people such as older people and children.
Keeping the engine running – known as idling – while parked at the side of the road, sitting in traffic, or waiting to collect someone, contributes to an increase in levels of air pollutants.
According to information from DEFRA, if a vehicle engine is turned off and restarted after a minute or more this will result in less pollution than if the vehicle was idling for that time.
Cllr Catherine Webber, Vale of White Horse District Council cabinet member for the Climate Emergency and the environment said: “Air pollution is a serious risk to everyone’s health, but particularly to vulnerable people such as the elderly and young children.
“It’s so important we tackle this issue and one of the ways we can do this is to continue with our campaign to make residents – of all ages – aware of how important it is we reduce our use of pollutant-emitting vehicles where we can.”
Cllr David Rouane South Oxfordshire District Council cabinet member for housing and the environment said: “This competition is fun but it is also designed to make children aware of the issue of air pollution and ways to reduce it.
“However, you don’t have to be a superhero to help tackle air pollution. Turning off engines when parked is a superpower we all have.”
More info on Turn it Off.
*Terms & Conditions
Entrants must be aged 12 or under
They should create a superhero using our activity sheet here (if creating a model please send a photograph) including their superhero’s name and superpowers. Also importantly their name, age and contact details. If applying through schools – the child’s name and the school’s contact details are all that is necessary.
We will use entries as part of our promotional work including on social media, unless entrants indicate otherwise.
All entries should be sent to us BY POST to Air Quality Superhero Competition, Air Quality team, 135 Eastern Avenue, Milton Park, OX14 4SB
The deadline for all entries is World Environment Day – 5 June.
The competition will be judged by our councillors and the winner announced on Clean Air Day – 17 June 2021.
Please note all prizes are non-exchangeable and non-transferable.
No cash alternatives will be provided.
The winner and winner’s school
- *The winner will win a Micro scooter – they can choose the size and colour.
- The winner’s school will receive a custom-made roadside banner warning against anti-idling using the winner’s design.
- All schools which send entries will get anti-idling stickers, posters and key rings