What You Can Do

You Can Help Keep the Air Cleaner -- Every Day!

Air pollution can affect your health and the environment.  There are actions every one of us can take to reduce air pollution and keep the air cleaner, and precautionary measures you can take to protect your health.

These guides will help you determine ways to protect your family's health when ozone or particle pollution levels reach the unhealthy range, and ways you can help reduce air pollution.

Transportation Tips

  • Use clean, efficient, and sustainable ways to get around.
    • Consider eco-friendly modes of transportation when traveling short distances such as riding a bike or walking. Both options are better for the environment and good for your health, generally, as long as the air quality index is below 100.
    • Public transportation options such as the bus or train are efficient as well.
    • Carpooling with a colleague, friend, or neighbor helps to reduce traffic congestion and per person emissions, especially in urban areas.

  • If you must use a vehicle, consider an electric, hybrid, or smaller vehicle that is more environmentally friendly and less polluting. They generally cost less to fuel and operate, too.
  • Remember electric vehicles (EVs) have no tailpipe emissions, which does enable deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. For more information, check out EPA’s EV Myths page.
  • Drive sensibly - Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking) can lower your gas mileage 15% to 40%.
Bicycle picture

Household Tips

  • Use environmentally safe paints and cleaning products whenever possible.
  • Some products that you use at your home or office are made with smog-forming chemicals that can evaporate into the air when you use them. Follow manufacturers' recommendations for use and properly seal cleaners, paints, and other chemicals to prevent evaporation into the air.
  • Conserve electricity. Consider setting your thermostat a little higher in the summer and lower in winter. Participate in local energy conservation programs. Look for the ENERGY STAR label when buying home or office equipment.
  • Consider using gas logs instead of wood. If you use a wood-burning stove or fireplace insert, make sure it meets EPA design specifications. Burn only dry, seasoned wood.

Lawn and Garden Tips

Mulch or compost leaves and yard waste.

Manual lawnmower image

Action Day Tips

Days when ozone is expected to be high:

  • Conserve electricity and set your air conditioner at a higher temperature.
  • Choose a cleaner commute—share a ride to work or use public transportation. Bicycle or walk to errands when possible.
  • Refuel cars and trucks after dusk.
  • Combine errands and reduce trips.
  • Limit engine idling.
  • Use household, workshop,and garden chemicals in ways that keep evaporation to a minimum, or try to delay using them when poor air quality is forecast.

Days when particle pollution is expected to be high:

  • Reduce or eliminate fireplace and wood stove use.
  • Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
  • Avoid burning leaves, trash and other materials.