What Can You Do?
What You Can Do to Help
Each individual contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone, as well as industrial and commercial entities, and with simple efforts, each person can help reduce the emissions of harmful pollutants. Air-friendly tips are typically money saving and time saving tips, too!
In Your Car
- Drive less by combining trips and planning in advance.
- Bike, walk or ride the bus when possible.
- Keep personal vehicles well-tuned and tires inflated properly. You can save up to 20% on the amount of gasoline you use.
- Pressure check vehicle gas caps annually and replace when necessary. A faulty gas cap can allow up to 30 gallons of fuel per year to evaporate.*
- Refuel as late in the day as possible (after 7 pm preferably), especially on ozone alert days.
- Stop at the click. Don't top off your tank when you refuel. This keeps harmful fumes from being forced into the air.
*Note: A faulty gas cap can allow up to 30 gallons of fuel per year to evaporate. At today's prices, which can climb over $3 per gallon, you could be wasting over $90 per year compared to a new gas cap, which only costs around $10! JCDHE checks gas caps at various public events, including Earth Day at Shawnee Mission Park and at AquaFest in Olathe.
- Allow and promote teleconferencing instead of driving to meetings. If you must drive, carpool when possible.
- Bring your lunch, carpool or walk to lunch, especially on ozone alert days.
- Inquire about flexible work schedules that would promote driving less, such as the four day work week.
- Commute in style: bike, walk, carpool or take public transportation to work. Get in some exercise, good conversation or a little reading in the process!
- Purchase and use low-volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, solvents, pesticides, etc.
- Select printing companies that use soy-based inks or other low-emissions print processes.
- Reduce the amount of energy you use at home. Most of this area's electricity comes from coal-fired power plants that significantly contribute to ground-level ozone.
- Purchase ENERGY STAR equipment.
- Use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Turn off lights and appliances when they are not in use.
- Adjust the thermostat to a slightly higher setting in summer and consider installing a programmable thermostat.
In the Yard
- Mow as late as possible, preferably after 7 pm, when there is less sun and heat.
- Replace older gas cans with new "no-spill" gas cans for refueling equipment. Emissions from gasoline spills are major contributors to ozone and spilled gasoline costs you money.
- Practice low-maintenance lawn care, requiring less frequent mowing and less inputs of polluting chemical pesticides.
- Consider replacing any gasoline powered equipment with electric, batter or manual powered equipment.
- Convert lawn spaces to native plants to reduce the amount of mowing and watering.
- Avoid open burning.
On the Grill
- Do not use lighter fluid. It pollutes on both evaporation and burning. Your food will taste better without it, too!
- Use a charcoal chimney instead of lighter fluid to start the coals. They are easy to use and leave no telltale taste in the food.
- Choose briquettes that are additive-free and avoid any added chemicals flavors to the food.
- Gas grills emit less pollution than charcoal grills.
- Postpone grilling until evening on ozone alert days.