Is it a bush? Is it a wood? No, it’s an eco-friendly tram

All aboard! The Anti-Smog tram is full of leaves and the sounds of nature. Business Consulting Katowice / Facebook

Officials in the province of Śląskie have come up with an innovative way of encouraging locals to be more air-pollution aware - by getting them to ride on a tram decorated with leaves.

Designed with a tropical interior and the calming sounds of nature, the initiative from the Marshal's Office of the Śląskie Voivodeship, is to help inform people learn about the dangers of high emissions.

Wojciech Saługa from the Śląskie Voivodeship said: “The effective fight with smog must take place on many levels. 

“The actions and activities we are doing are supposed to educate us about the impact we have on air quality. 

The information board educates commuters of the health issues that come with smog, such as headaches, lung infections and increased risks of strokes.Business Consulting Katowice / Facebook

“We must realize that it is us who contribute to the poor quality of air and the state of the environment depends largely on us.”

Poland has some of the worst counts of air pollution in Europe, with 33 out of 50 of the most air polluted cities being in Poland (according to the UN). 

This is a result of people burning coal and rubbish as a cheaper means of keeping warm during the winter.

To counteract that, inside the tram travellers are surrounded by green and shrubbery and the relaxing sounds of nature, while information boards show them how air pollution can affect their short and long-term health.

A travelling eden: The tram held beautiful live plants and informed people of the different ways they could monitor air quality.Business Consulting Katowice / Facebook

Each commuter on the special tram is also given an information pack on how they can do their bit to lower emissions.

So far, the Eco-tram has made appearances in Katowice, Chorzów, Świętochłowice, Bytom, Ruda Śląska, Zabrze, Gliwice, Sosnowiec and Będzin.

Residents will also be given information about the anti-smog resolution, the impact of smog on health, and the possibility of obtaining funding for activities that will help reduce air pollution.