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50 THINGS YOU CAN DO
FOR CLEANER AIR

Tired of breathing dirty air? Well, you can help reduce air pollution.

Every time you drive to work or school, use your heater or air conditioner, clean your windows or even style your hair, you make choices that can reduce or increase air pollution.

This pamphlet shows you how to reduce air pollution. When more people make clean air their business, we'll all breathe easier.


Drive Less

In California, about half the air pollution comes from cars and trucks. Twobig ways to reduce air pollution are to drive less, even a little less, and to drive smart. Fewer trips in your car or truck will help cut air pollution. And how you drive can reduce your car's air pollution contribution.

Driving less doesn't mean you have to stay home. Try combining driving with other ways of getting where you want to go:

     1. Carpool.
     2. Walk or ride a bike.
     3. Shop by phone or mail.
     4. Ride public transit.
     5. Telecommute.


Drive Smart

Driving smart keeps pollution at a minimum:

     6. Accelerate gradually.
     7. Use cruise control on the highway.
     8. Obey the speed limit.
     9. Combine your errands into one trip.
    10. Keep your car tuned and support the Smog Check Program.
    11. Don't top off at the gas pump.
    12. Replace your car's air filter.
    13. Keep your tires properly inflated.
    14. Report smoking vehicles.

That's not all. When shopping for your next car...

    15. Look for the most efficient, lowest polluting model or even a zero-polluting electric car. .

And if you must drive on days with unhealthy air...

    16. Drive your newest car. Newer cars generally pollute less than older models.


Choose Air-Friendly Products

Many products you use in your home, in the yard, or at the office are made with smog-forming chemicals that escape into the air when you use them. Here's a few ways to put a lid on products that pollute:

    17. Select products that are water-based or have low amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
    18. Use water-based paints. Look for paints labeled zero-VOC.
    19. Paint with a brush, not a sprayer.
    20. Store solvents in air-tight containers.
    21. Use a push or electric lawn mower.
    22. Start your barbecue briquettes with an electric probe. Or use a propane or natural gas barbecue.


Save Energy

Saving energy helps reduce air pollution. Whenever you burn a fossil fuel, you pollute the air. Use less gasoline, natural gas, and electricity (power plants burn fossil fuels to generate electricity):

    23. Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
    24. Replace energy-hungry incandescent lights with fluorescent lighting.
    25. Check with your utility company for energy conservation tips.
    26. Use a programmable thermostat that automatically turns off the air conditioner or heater when you don't need them.
    27. Add insulation to your home.
    28. Use a fan instead of air conditioning.
    29. Use an EPA-approved wood burning stove or fireplace insert.
    30. Microwave small meals.
    31. Insulate your water heater.
    32. Install low-flow shower heads.


Waste Not

It takes energy to make and sell the products we use. Here are ways to cut energy use, reduce air pollution, and save money.

    33. Choose recycled products.
    34. Choose products with recyclable packaging.
    35. Reuse paper bags.
    36. Recycle paper, plastics, and metals.
    37. Print and photocopy on both sides of paper.


Watch Out for the Small Stuff

When you breathe, very small particles such as dust, soot, and acid droplets can slip past your lung's natural defense system. These particles get stuck deep in your lungs and may cause problems increased asthma attacks, more bronchitis and other lung diseases, less resistance to infections, and even premature death for the elderly or people who are already ill. Here are a few things you can do to reduce PM10 pollution and protect yourself:

    38. Don't use your wood stove or fireplace on days with unhealthy air.
    39. Avoid using leaf blowers and other types of equipment that raise a lot of dust. Try using a rake or broom.
    40. Drive slowly on unpaved roads.
    41. Drive less, particularly on days with unhealthy air.
    42. Avoid vigorous physical activity on days with unhealthy air.


Know the Inside Story

Air pollution is a problem indoors and out. Most people spend at least 80 percent of their lives indoors. Here are some ways you can reduce pollution in your home, office, or school:

    43. Don't smoke. If someone must smoke, send them outdoors.
    44. Some products such as cleaning agents, paints, and glues contain dangerous chemicals. Use them outdoors or with plenty of ventilation indoors.
    45. Use safer products, such as baking soda instead of harsher cleaners.
    46. Don't heat your home with a gas cooking stove.
    47. Have your gas appliances and heater regularly inspected and maintained.
    48. Clean frequently to remove dust and molds.


Speak Up for Clean Air

Now that you have read this pamphlet, you know more about reducing air pollution than most people. Try some of the ways described above. It will make a difference. Then, let other people know what you've found out.:

    49. Write to your local paper. Support action for healthy air.
    50. Let your elected representatives know you support action for cleaner air.

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Written by: California Air Resources Board


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