Read these 10 Air Pollution Prevention and Solutions Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Air Quality tips and hundreds of other topics.
Controlling air pollution isn't just about picking the best solution and doing nothing else. There are many little things people can do every day to reduce gasoline or electricity use, which reduces the need to consume more fossil fuels:
1. Microwave meals instead of cooking with a gas stove.
2. Hanging laundry up to dry instead of using a gas or electric dryer.
3. Avoid burning wood, leaves, trash, and charcoal during ozone action days.
4. Using public transportation for short local trips.
5. Raking leaves rather than using gas-powered leaf blowers.
6. Reducing dependence on central air conditioning with fans and open windows when possible.
7. Avoid running your car's engine during traffic jams and train crossings.
In order to better control air pollution, even the simple little things listed here can go a long way if enough people do them regularly.
It's easy to forget about the connection that ordinary household items and appliances have with air pollution, but it's very important to remember a few things when it comes to proper disposal of some things around the home:
1. Older refrigerators may contain the now-heavily regulated refrigerant Freon. Don't dispose of an old fridge without learning how you can safely handle this controversial refrigerant.
2. Most states have strict requirements regarding the disposal of tires and motor oil. Burning is usually not permitted except in cases where special permits are obtained.
3. Old aerosol cans may have air pollutants in them. Check with your local recycling center to learn how to safely dispose of old spray paint, canned air, hair spray, and other items.
4. Plastics emit Dioxin and poisonous gases when burned. If you are planning any kind of trash burn (with local permits in place, of course) keep any and all plastics out of the fire.
There are many regulations governing the proper disposal or destruction of these items in some circumstances. Check with your local recycling center or other responsible agency to learn what the best method of disposal is for these potentially polluting products!
If you are concerned with air pollution prevention, but find yourself needing to use a lot of light in your work or at home, consider the use of "low energy" light bulbs. These are bulbs that still put out high amounts of light with very low electricity use. If you need the brightness of a 90-watt bulb, low energy bulbs can do the job using only 18 watts. This is one of the best solutions you can buy in order to do your part to control air pollution. Did you know that even television professionals now have lower wattage bulbs that can be used in place of those wasteful and over-hot studio lights? These bulbs, often known as "Cool Lux" lights, operate with much lower electricity demands. Everybody can pitch in to reduce electricity use and participate in air pollution prevention.
Are you interested in green vehicles and alternative fuels? If you want to be part of an excellent air pollution solution for today's overcrowded roads, check out the U.S. Department of Energy's helpful alternative vehicles page. One of the most helpful resources at this site is the map of alternative fuels stations. Purchasing an alternative fuels vehicle as a way to help control pollution does no good if you can't find a place to fill up the vehicle!
In an age where motor vehicles are among the leading causes of air pollution, alternative fuels vehicles make a lot of sense. The Department of Energy page can point you in the right direction to find the right alternative fuel vehicle for you. You can be part of one of the best solutions for both drivers and the economy when it comes to air pollution prevention.
Carpooling is one of the best solutions to the problem of expensive gas and is an excellent air pollution solution. Like any other venture that involves the participation of other people, you may need to agree on some things in advance in order to keep things running smoothly. A car pool can remove three to four vehicles from the road per day, and you'll want to continue this personal step in air pollution control for as long as possible. To do so, try some of the following:
1. Agree in advance how gas expenses will be split among the car pool members.
2. Decide in advance whether one person will do all the driving, or if the duties will be shared.
3. If driving duties are to be shared, agree ahead of time whether one vehicle will be used, or if carpool members will volunteer their vehicles.
Agree in advance to these terms and you will save yourself a lot of hassle. Carpooling is an excellent air pollution prevention technique, but it only works if you approach it with the forethought needed to make such a group effort work properly.
Did you know that some states have "Green Fleet" programs, which offer rebates for purchase and use of an alternate fuels vehicle? This is yet another great air pollution solution that not only improves the quality of the air, but also saves you money. Many alternative fuels such as bio-diesel are much lower in emissions, which results in fewer particles and vapors being discharged into the air. In other words, easier on the environment.
The Illinois Green Fleets program is an excellent example. You can get one of three rebates for corporate, organizational, and even individual use. Participants can choose one of three rebates;
1. A rebate for the purchase of an alternative fuels vehicle.
2. A rebate for conversion to an alternative fuels vehicle.
3. A rebate for the "incremental cost of using alternative fuels".
This could be the best solution for those who want to help control air pollution, but may be operating with controlled funds, or a budget. Consider your next car purchase carefully, and check into your state's Green Fleet program to see what benefits it may offer you!
Did you know that turning off the lights is part of the best solution to control air pollution? Power plants must generate electricity by either nuclear reactions, or by burning fossil fuels. Every time you leave the light on in the basement, more fossil fuel must be burned to keep that light on, and more pollution is put into the air as a result. To effectively control air pollution, it's necessary to reduce the amount of fossil fuels being burned. The next time you hit the light switch, remember that you are directly contributing to the air pollution solution.
All vehicles in the United States are required to have catalytic converters installed in their vehicles; one of the best solutions for the problem of vehicle emissions at the time the law was passed. The problem is, catalytic converters wear out like any other part on your car. When they start to go bad, your car's emissions are likely to increase, and before you know it you are no longer part of the air pollution solution, you're part of the problem. Many states do not require emissions testing, but if you suspect you are coming up on a maintenance period for your car or truck, have the emissions tested if facilities are available. What you discover may surprise you. Those interested in air pollution prevention should have their emissions checked when other routine maintenance happens. Tune-ups, brake checks, and other muffler replacements are all good times to see just how much a part of the problem you could be.
In the 1970s, an energy crisis forced people to give serious consideration to ways to conserve energy, and consequently, reduce air pollution. The best solution at that time was carpooling.
In a time when gasoline prices are on a steady climb, and global warming is a very real concern, why don't more people carpool? The problem is that many people don't know how to get a carpool started.
Those living in major cities who want to save money and control air pollution should post ads on company Intranet site and in company break rooms. In your ad describe the neighborhood where you live, and the route you take to work. Tell people to join you in your efforts to car pool. It may sound strange, but nobody wants to feel like they are the first to sign on with you! In a matter of weeks or months, you could have a full car, each person sharing gas expenses and treating the environment to three or four fewer cars on the road.
Your next choice in vehicles could make a big difference in the amount of air pollution you contribute to the problem. The best solution to worries about what kind of vehicle to buy might come from a handy publication put out by the Environmental Protection Agency. The "Green Guide" is designed to help consumers buy the best vehicle when it comes to air pollution prevention.
If you are in the market for a new car or truck, check out the EPA's site for models in your price range. Remember, when using this guide the only factor taken into account is the environmental impact when the vehicle is actually used. No information on the recycle ability of the vehicle or other environmental impact is listed. That said, the Green Vehicle guide is quite valuable as an air pollution prevention tool.
Did you know the Toyota Prius has the best environmental rating for 2006? The worst rated vehicle maker according to the guide is Lamborghini, with one model getting a pathetic nine miles to the gallon.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|