Public Lab Research note

Empowering People to Act on Air Pollution

by A_SCH with kgradow1 | November 08, 2020 22:35 08 Nov 22:35 | #24956 | #24956

Bobby Peek explains how bucket monitors are powerful tools communities can use to organize around and create campaigns.

"The bucket is a tool and the bucket brigade is a system."

In creating a successful campaign two main things are needed: data and social advocacy. Buckets are the tool that provide the data necessary in proving the legitimacy of the community concern. They strengthen the campaign by being able to prove to industry, government, and fellow community members the very real and very serious risk caused by polluters. At the same time, data alone cannot create change, it needs the voices and energy of people behind it to make sure it is seen and taken seriously. This is where the system of the bucket brigade come into play by using the available tools of bucket monitors and social advocacy tactics to build a powerful campaign.

"The bucket is a self empowering tool allowing you to take control of campaigning. You don't have to depend on information from industry or government."

One of the most important aspects of bucket monitoring is that it's community controlled. Communities don't have to wait for, or fight for, data to be released, instead they can gather the information themselves. This allows communities to both work on their own timeline as well as have a better pathway to challenge the data and claims of industries.

"It's good science that communities can use in their daily organizing and campaigning."

Bucket monitors are successful tools because they are accessible without sacrificing reliability. The technology is inexpensive and easy to build meaning it can be used often, and widely through a community. It's reliable because it consistently produces accurate information about the air quality and in-depth data about specific chemical levels. This combination makes bucket monitors an ideal air sampling method for community use and campaigning.


@A_SCH has marked @kgradow1 as a co-author.

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