Air Quality Health Index classroom kit, grades 5 and 6, environment: chapter 15

A. Cut Down on Fossil Fuels

Bicycle lane along a street

Instead of burning fossil fuels like oil, coal, and natural gas to get you moving, why not burn the energy stored in your body from the food you eat?


Walking and running are the most sustainable modes of transportation. They are good for the environment and are also part of a healthy lifestyle.


Prevent air pollution by cycling or rollerblading back and forth to school. Remember to wear a good helmet and clothes that drivers can see.

Take public transit

Public transit can be a form of independence as you get older. You can freely travel in an area, it is affordable, and it saves a lot of energy! Why not learn the routes and road safety now with an adult?


Organize a carpool with friends, school, or teammates.

Ask adults not to idle

Turn off a vehicle if it will be sitting still longer than 10 seconds. Remember, the best way to warm up a vehicle is to drive slowly for the first five kilometres.

Reduce the use of gas-powered tools

The engine in a gas-powered lawn mower produces eight times the pollution that a car engine does. Use a push lawnmower instead, a rake instead of a leaf blower, and clippers instead of a weed eater. You’ll get more exercise and less noise!

Keep the heat down

Keep the heat no higher than 20°C during the day, and turn it down when you’re out or asleep.

Create a walking school bus

A walking school bus is a group of children walking to school with one or more adults. It can be two families taking turns, or it can be volunteers who walk along a route with meeting points.

Road sign indicating children walking to school

Zap It!

If all Canadians avoided idling for just five minutes every day, we could prevent more than 2,000,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

That’s like taking 380,000 cars off the road!

How will you convince adults to turn off the key?

Gasoline pump
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