Helping the environment is as easy as doing little things like carpooling, riding your bike to work, or simply being conscious on how much energy you use in a day. Clean Air Action Days are in effect, which means the public is asked to take voluntary action to reduce emissions and protect their health.
Beginning in 2009, the program has grown and evolved to announce Action Days when ground-level ozone, fine particulate matter, or both, are expected to reach or exceed the unhealthy for sensitive groups threshold. Since it is possible to have unhealthy levels of fine particulate matter throughout the year, the Clean Air Action program is now year-round.
There are many no-cost voluntary actions that individuals can take on designated Clean Air Action Days. Consider some of these:
- Refuel vehicles before or after a Clean Air Action Day. If refueling is necessary, evening hours (after 6 p.m.) are the best time to do so.
- Carpool or use public transit whenever possible. Walk or ride your bicycle for errands.
- Don’t top off the tank. Be sure your gas cap is tightly sealed. If your cap is missing, replace it. Spilled gasoline evaporates directly into the air we breathe.
- Combine trips on Clean Air Action Days. A warm engine produces fewer emissions than repeated cold engine starts. If possible, drive your lowest emission auto—usually your newest one.
- Delay lawn cutting or other maintenance activities that require gasoline-powered equipment. A gasoline-powered lawn mower produces as many ozone-forming emissions in one hour as ten hours of driving a car. If you must mow your lawn on a Clean Air Action Day, do so in the evening hours when the threat of ozone formation is lower.
- Try not to use charcoal lighter fluid, solvent-based paint, or degreasers on Clean Air Action Days.
- Drive smoothly, avoiding “jackrabbit” starts that waste fuel and cause more emissions. Don’t idle gasoline engines unnecessarily. Avoid drive-thru services on Clean Air Action Days if possible.
- Consider energy conservation and reduced emissions when purchasing new equipment such as lawnmowers, boats, automobiles, etc.
Stay informed on when Clean Air Action Days occur by doing the following:
- Sign up to receive text message or email notifications from Enviroflash
- Call the Clean Air Action Hotline (1-800-656-0663)
- Keep an eye on the highway billboard signs
- Listen to the radio
- Watch the TV news and website
- Follow the WMCAC Facebook Page
To learn more about how to make a difference, just head to wmcac.org.