How to Reduce Particulate Matter

Use Alternatives to Open Burning

Open burning is a large source of PM. Open burning includes the burning of landscaping debris, household trash, demolition debris, and land-clearing debris.

  • Using Composting and Grasscycling, yard trimmings and garden scraps can be recycled to improve and beautify the garden and landscape.
  • What is the difference between Open Burning and a Prescribed Fire?
  • It is against the law to burn household garbage and trash in South Carolina. Learn what you can and cannot burn in South Carolina
  • Know the effects of particulate matter on your health and the environment.

Drive Less

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.

Drive Smart

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.


Amy Curran, (803) 898-1644