There is no getting around it. We are in inversion season and last week was evident of that. As we glimpse clear air today due to the inversion clearing, now we must think about how to improve air for everyone until next time.
Experts at the Division of Air Quality report that with the inversion in place, air pollution doubles daily. This means changes are needed now before we get to a red quality air day.
The good news, these are easy things that are convenient and cost effective.
Two things you can do today:
- Don’t idle—Shutting off your car while you wait. If you’re waiting to pick your kids or friends up likely others are too—and nobody wants to walk through all that polluting exhaust that then travels miles and miles into our air.
- Skip the Trip—Opt to make dinner at home rather than going out—and pack a lunch tonight to bring to work with you tomorrow.
UCAIR has an number of other easy ways for us to help our air all winter. Plan to make one or all of these ShowUCAIR strategies part of your winter routine:
- Carpool—It’s a good way to reconnect with friends and co-workers. We did hear feedback that some would carpool but they didn’t have anyone to carpool with – UCAIR can help with that. Through their partner TravelWise, you can find others on your route. Find it on TravelWise.Utah.gov.
- Telework—If your employers offers this option, use those extra 30 or 40 minutes you’d be in your car and put them toward catching up on your inbox or spend them with your family.
- Take public transit—One day a week rather than driving will save you money on gas and help improve our air.
- Fill up with Tier 3 Fuel. Cleaner burning tier 3 fuel is now available in Utah. UCAIR partners. (Chevron, Marathon and Silver Eagle refinery have spent years and millions of dollars to develop Tier 3. The pollution reduction it delivers is the equivalent of taking four to five cars off the road. It’s available now at 26 Marathon Speedway stations across the state and is expected to be available at Chevron, Texaco, Sinclair and other gas stations the beginning of next year.)
- Switch to a gas-powered snowblower.—Maybe an idea for that hard-to-buy for person on your holiday lists—Gas-powered snowblowers emit a lot of pollution in our air. Using a gas-powered blower to clear your driveway and walks this winter can be the equivalent of driving your vehicle from Los Angeles to Miami.
- Be sure to watch burning advisories and better off, look into switching your stoves and fireplaces to natural gas. Wood burning puts a lot of harmful pollutants into our air.
With a lot of winter ahead, you can learn more ways to help improve our air at the newly launched UCAIR website at UCAIR.org. It’s a great resource to learn tips, learn about available rebates for making air quality improvements in your home, submit your air quality story, and more.
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