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The Noise Center: Ideas for noise activists and organizers

To address the widespread, insidious impact of noise on hearing, health and the quality of life, the Center for Hearing and Communication sponsors International Noise Awareness Day every April, in conjunction with professional organizations, community activists and individuals around the world.

Each year, professional organizations and community groups from around the country play an important role in this campaign by providing free hearing screenings, disseminating information and hearing protection, and helping to promote the importance of reducing noise in our lives. The response has been overwhelming from participants and the media.

Ideas for getting started

Connect with other stakeholders and grow your movement

Community activists and groups can partner with professional organizations concerned with noise. Professionals can contact local grassroots anti-noise community groups. Community groups can contact local hospitals, speech and hearing clinics, or universities for support. Considering asking local schools about whether noise pollution has a place in the curriculum. Look for nonprofits, activist groups, parent groups, or environmental associations to connect with.

Take stock of your local community code

Attend public meetings, meet with town or city officials and educate them about the hazards of noise. Contact your local Department of Environmental Protection and Police Department for information about the noise code and its enforcement.

Coordinate free hearing screenings

Work with speech and hearing clinics, universities, or hearing professionals to provide free hearing screenings in your community. (Most hospitals and speech and hearing centers do generally provide free public hearing screenings regularly. Scheduling and promoting a full day of availability is just one step further.)

Free hearing screenings at CHC in New York City and Fort Lauderdale »

Read about CHC’s mobile hearing screening van in NYC. »

Use our materials or create your own

Educate friends, co-workers, community board members, local police, your patients, etc. about the harmful effects of noise on hearing and health. Encourage the use of hearing protection, when appropriate. Encourage consideration of each other’s right to peace and quiet.

Download our materials. »

Share your resources (email). »

Letter to the mayor / mayoral proclamation for International Noise Awareness Day

Each year, more towns, cities, and localities officially recognize International Noise Awareness Day. Adding the date to the yearly agenda can help ensure elected officials address noise issues. Consider requesting a Mayoral Proclamation for INAD and a ceremony to present it to the community.

Letter to the mayor sample content »

Ask for A Minute’s Peace and Quiet (part of The Quiet Diet)

Ask for 60 Seconds of No Noise from 2:15 – 2:16 pm (regardless of time zone). Just one minute highlights what “quiet” really sounds like, and how little thought most people give to everyday noise.

The full recipe for The Quiet Diet »

Give away hearing protection

At town meetings, business places, college campuses, locations offering hearing screenings, and even on city streets, noise control activists can hand out earplugs and noise protection headphones.

Donate or sponsor hearing protection (email). »

Organize a town meeting: “Sound Off on Noise”

Get leadership interested in inviting community activists, noise experts, local police departments, representatives from the Department of Environmental Protection, and local politicians to a town meeting dedicated to noise in the community. Give residents a chance to voice their concerns about noise and encourage leaders to make living there better.

Other publicity: Art installations, company promotions, contests

People from around the world have written to us reporting their own creative take on International Noise Awareness Day. Universities have unveiled art installations on the theme of noise and quiet; companies have promoted newer, quieter versions of their products; and nonprofits have held contests for the best ‘quiet’ places in town.

Distribute a press release

Use our template to get started.

Sample press release »

For schools: anti-noise poster contest

This activity is popular in school systems with noise pollution on the curriculum. An anti-noise poster contest provides students with the opportunity to learn about the dangers of noise and, through art, demonstrate their knowledge to others. Ahead of the date for International Noise Awareness Day, students may have “noise unit” covering information like decibels, local noise ordinances, and noise pollution, and teachers can display the wining posters the week of INAD.

Sample anti-noise poster contest guidelines »

You have to make some noise to end it.