Driving a car is likely a person's single most polluting daily activity. Driving less reduces the number of vehicles on the road which helps to reduce air pollution from vehicle emissions.
Other ways to reduce the number of vehicles on the road include:
- Using an Alternative Work Schedule (if possible). A flexible work schedule allows you to work a staggered schedule to avoid driving in peak rush hour traffic.
- Telecommuting (if possible). This allows you to work from home and reduces the miles you drive to and from work.
- Shopping by phone, mail, or the Internet.
- Have a healthier commute by walking or biking to your destination.
How we operate our vehicles can help reduce pollution. Here are some ideas:
- Do not idle your vehicle. Turn off your engine if you expect to be stopped for long periods of time (except in traffic). Consider not using drive-through windows, instead park and walk inside.
- Slowly increase your car's speed and use cruise control on the highway.
- Trip-Chaining, which combines several errands into a single trip
- Obey the speed limit. It saves gas and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
- Keep your vehicle tuned up and your tires properly inflated. Both help save gasoline and improve air quality, as well as make your car safer.
- Don't top off the gas tank.
- When shopping for that next car, consider more efficient, less-polluting models.
Use Air-Friendly Products
Many products in our homes, yards or offices are made of chemicals that escape into the air when used. To reduce this type of pollution:
- Select water-based solvents or those with low volatile organic compound (VOC) content.
- Use water-based paints or those labeled zero VOC .
- Paint with a brush instead of a sprayer; paint overspray from a sprayer can disperse into the air
- Store solvents like paint thinners in airtight containers so that they do not evaporate into the air you breathe.
- Use a reel or electric lawn mower and other non-gas-powered equipment such as edgers.