During the first year of our project, we conducted two workshops titled, “Be Air Aware: A Healthier Home in a Changing Environment.” These workshops took place in fall 2014 at the Philadelphia Nurse-Family Partnership and Drexel’s Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships. The workshops were attended by 39 people total, across both locations. Childcare was provided for the Nurse-Family Partnership workshop, although we did have two babies in the room!

Our workshop provided information on climate change, as well as outdoor and indoor air quality. We also ran two activities. In the first activity, participants were led through a series of prompts that helped them identify factors that worsen or improve air quality in their homes and neighborhoods. In the second activity, participants learned how to make an all-purpose cleaner for their homes using chemical-free household products.

Hand-outs and activities from this workshop, as well as our presentations, can be found on the 2014 workshop materials page.

Workshop findings

  • Most participants identified rising temperatures and extreme weather events as examples of climate change
  • Most participants stated that turning off the lights, using energy efficient bulbs, and recycling were ways to prevent climate change
  • Survey data suggested many workshop participants wished to learn more about air quality, allergies, and product safety in the home
  • Our data also showed that a significant number of participants learned that using bleach-free cleaning agents, opening windows, and purchasing potted plants can help improve indoor air quality. A number of participants reported that they or a family member had asthma, and that it was helpful to learn about triggers in the home and outdoor environment.
  • Following the workshop, a greater number of participants identified mold, mice, food, and ozone as indoor air quality hazards
  • Survey results indicated an increased knowledge about which parts of the home can be impacted by mold
  • Workshop participants also discussed together that costs of being environmentally friendly, noting that actions to protect or improve the environment were often expensive.
  • Participants overwhelmingly reported enjoying the workshop and stated that they would recommend the workshop to friends and family