Each of us makes choices every day that affect the air we breathe. We have the power to change our habits on the road, at work, and at home to help clean the air and preserve our planet for future generations. Here are tips for reducing your contribution to air pollution:
ON THE ROAD…
Drive less, particularly on days with unhealthy air.
Use public transit, walk or ride a bike when possible.
Organize and condense errands into one trip.
Limit idling your vehicle to 30 seconds or less.
Accelerate gradually and obey the speed limit.
Travel lightly and remove any unnecessary items that may weigh down your vehicle.
Maintain your vehicle; keep tires properly inflated
Support the Smog Check Program.
Report smoking vehicles at 1-800-28-SMOKE or via the APCD's website at www.sdapcd.org.
When buying a car, choose an efficient, low-polluting vehicle or a zero-emission electric car.
Ask your employer to consider compressed work schedules or teleworking.
Join a carpool or vanpool to get to work.
Bring lunch to work to avoid mid-day outings.
Start a worksite recycling program.
Print and photocopy on both sides of paper.
Harness the power of the sun: open the blinds and turn off the lights.
Dress for the weather and adjust layers before adjusting the thermostat.
Turn off office equipment after hours.
Check the Air Quality Forecast to plan daily activities and limit personal exposure to air pollution.
Turn the lights off when you leave a room.
Use energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Visit www.energystar.gov for information.
Use a surge protector for multiple appliances and turn it off when products are not in use.
Ask your energy supplier about alternative energy solutions like solar or wind.
Use a fan instead of air conditioning.
Use a programmable thermostat and set it to 78°F in the summer and 68°F in the winter.
Add insulation to your home.
Choose products that use recycled materials.
Recycle paper, plastic, metals and organic materials.
Have your gas appliances and heater regularly inspected and maintained.
Microwave or use a toaster oven for small meals.
Use a propane or natural gas barbecue rather than a charcoal one.
Use water-based cleaning products that are labeled ‘zero VOC’.
Store all solvents in airtight containers.
Paint with a brush instead of a sprayer.
Use a push mower or electric lawn equipment.
Insulate your water heater and any accessible hot water pipes.
Eliminate use of toxic chemicals at home; opt for natural substitutes.
Plant a tree! They filter the air and provide shade.