Posts made in February, 2014

Take advantage of a good air day!

By on Feb 12, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Air Quality Flags help us learn more about the effect air quality has on our health. The flag colours – blue in particular – remind us to get active on good air quality days, which are frequently recorded in BC. Each day, students log in to their school page on to raise the Air Quality Flag – sharing what kind of air day it is in their community. The school page has a blog, which students can use to share their thoughts on the day itself, or the topic of air quality. How students use the blog is up to them. Students in Brentwood Bay, BC, use it to share the kinds of daily activities they take part in on the playground. Here are some posts from the Brentwood Elementary blog: “Today is a blue flag day. It is 5.1 degrees Celsius. It is a good day to get moving and have fun. You could play soccer or baseball. It is a cloudy day in Brentwood Bay.” “8.7 degrees Celsius today. No rain for once!!!! It’s a great day to play capture the flag or manhunt outside.” “It’s a grey, cloudy, rainy day in Brentwood Bay today. At 4.1 degrees Celsius, it’s a great day to get hot chocolate. Let’s get outside and play soccer, rugby or ride our bikes in the rain!” The colour of the flag you raise each day depends on the air quality – but what activities you choose to do is up to you. When it’s a blue flag day, everyone can get active outside. Here are some activities you can do to take advantage of on a good air day: Add wheels to the mix: Whether it’s riding bikes, scooters, or skateboards – remember to wear a helmet and elbow/knee pads! Take advantage of the snow: Stay warmer outside through active play – build a snow man or go tobogganing! Play catch: Use a baseball, Frisbee – even a boomerang! Try a traditional game: Croquet and bocce are not all that common – give them a try! Appreciate nature: Ask your parents to take you out on a hike – climb a local mountain, or bird-watch with friends. On grey, brown, or...

Read More

Air Quality: Fact or Fiction?

By on Feb 3, 2014 in News | 0 comments

Learning something new always raises a few questions. As students learn more about air quality – it’s a great time to consider some common thoughts about the air and whether they are, indeed, facts. Air quality isn’t as bad during the winter. Fact:  Cooler air in winter can trap pollutants. Winter months are known as inversion months. Inversion is caused by warmer air moving over cooler, denser air, which stays trapped – keeping the cooler air closer to the earth’s surface. When that happens, particles in the air have a harder time dispersing (spreading) and stay closer to the ground, too. Inversions can continue for hours – even days. Temperature affects air quality. Fact: Temperature plays a role in the quality of the air. During hotter days in the summer, for example, the air closer to the earth’s surface can be much warmer than the air above. Sometimes large volumes of this warm air will rise and mix with the air farther away from the earth’s surface. When a small amount of polluted air mixes with a large amount of clean air, it can help disperse the pollution – leading to cleaner air. The rain washes the air. Fact: Rain can “wash” the dirt away.  Precipitation, especially rain, improves air quality by capturing particles and dissolving gases on its way to the earth’s surface. I live next to a park – the air must be good. Fact:  Particles in the air travel.  Tiny particles in the air have the ability to travel for long distances because of the wind. Air pollution doesn’t stop at country borders. If a large fire or natural disaster is making the air more polluted in one place, those particles can travel to other places and impact the air quality there, too – even across oceans! Wind, temperature, precipitation and topography, individually and together, can all impact air quality. If you live in a valley, surrounded by mountains – sometimes air can get trapped in that area.  Wind can help disperse pollution (make it spread) and rain can help improve air quality. Since air pollution is usually invisible to the naked eye, the Air Quality Flags help tell us what kind of air day it...

Read More