Ways you can reduce air pollution - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Ways you can reduce air pollution

From http://www.epa.gov

We make choices everyday that can help reduce air pollution. Below are a few ideas that you can take to help clean our air.

At Home

  • Conserve energy - turn off appliances and lights when you leave the room.
  • Recycle paper, plastic, glass bottles, cardboard, and aluminum cans. (This conserves energy and reduces production emissions.)
  • Keep wood stoves and fireplaces well maintained. You should also consider replacing old wood stoves with EPA-certified models. Visit www.epa.gov/woodstoves.
  • Plant deciduous trees in locations around your home to provide shade in the summer, but to allow light in the winter.
  • Buy green electricity-produced by low-or even zero-pollution facilities.
  • Connect your outdoor lights to a timer or use solar lighting.
  • Wash clothes with warm or cold water instead of hot.
  • Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F.
  • Use low-VOC or water-based paints, stains, finishes, and paint strippers.
  • Test your home for radon-a dangerous, radioactive gas that is odorless and tasteless. If the test shows elevated levels of radon, the problem can be fixed cost effectively. Visit www.epa.gov/radon.
  • Choose not to smoke in your home, especially if you have children. If you or your visitors must smoke, then smoke outside. Visit www.epa.gov/smokefree.

Buy Smart

  • Buy ENERGY STAR products, including energy efficient lighting and appliances. They are environmentally friendly products. For more information, visit http://www.energystar.gov/ or call 1-888-STAR-YES.
  • Choose efficient, low-polluting models of vehicles. Visit www.epa.gov/greenvehicles.
  • Choose products that have less packaging and are reusable.
  • Shop with a canvas bag instead of using paper and plastic bags.
  • Buy rechargeable batteries for devices used frequently.

Drive Wise

Plan your trips. Save gasoline and reduce air pollution.

  • Keep tires properly inflated and aligned.
  • In the summertime, fill gas tank during cooler evening hours to cut down on evaporation. Avoid spilling gas and don't "top off" the tank. Replace gas tank cap tightly.
  • Avoid waiting in long drive-thru lines, for example, at fast-food restaurants or banks. Park your car and go in.
  • When possible, use public transportation, walk, or ride a bike.
  • Get regular engine tune ups and car maintenance checks (especially for the spark plugs).
  • Use an energy-conserving (EC) grade motor oil.
  • Ask your employer to consider flexible work schedules or telecommuting.
  • Report smoking vehicles to your local air agency.
  • Join a carpool or van pool to get to work.

For Your Health

  • Check daily air quality forecasts, which tell how clean or polluted your air is, and the associated health concerns. Visit http://www.airnow.gov/.
  • Remove indoor asthma triggers from your home and avoid outdoor triggers in order to effectively control your asthma. Visit www.epa.gov/asthma to learn more about asthma triggers and ways to avoid them.
  • Minimize your sun exposure. Wear sun block and UV protection sunglasses. To find out about current forecasts of UV where you live, go to www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html.
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