(Good Things Utah) -Along with reducing your energy use and driving less, clean air advocates say there are several steps people can take to prevent bad air quality. Here are 6 tips to help reduce pollution in Salt Lake City.

1. Be Idle Free: 

Whether waiting to pick up kids from school or in the drive-through people should turn off their engines. According to the Environmental Protection Agency if a car is running for more than 10 seconds it saves more fuel to turn it off and back on again.

2. Combine Trips: 

Try to combine errands and do them on the same trip. This will save time and decrease the amount of pollution you put into the air. 

3. Avoid Short Trips:

Studies have shown the worst car pollution happens within the first few minutes of a vehicle starting up and moving – that’s why short car trips are bad for air quality. Experts suggest walking or biking when possible to avoid unnecessary emissions.

4. Don’t Warm Up a Vehicle: 

Modern vehicles don’t have to “warm-up” to work properly so idling in the driveway only adds to the bad air. The EPA notes that a car’s heater warms up faster by driving than by idling.

5. Telework: 

If your job allows, try to work from home to avoid driving together, especially on days when the Air Quality Index (AQI) is in the orange zone of higher. Download the EPA’s airnow.gov app to your smartphone so you can check on the AQI daily.

6. Use Public Transit: 

Try to use public transportation to get to where you’re going. See if your employer offers discounted passes.

Bad air during the Wasatch Front’s typical winter inversion is a compounding issue, meaning that air pollution builds up over time. Taking these steps before the air quality deteriorates to dangerous levels can help prevent it from getting there in the first place. That’s why clean air advocates urge people to adopt better habits throughout the year.

Visit Intermountain Healthcare to learn more.

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