5 Ways To Spare The Air (And Save Gas)

The sweltering Summer California heat brings with it dangers in many forms, including poor air quality that can be hazardous to certain groups and a health risk to all.

During Spare The Air season, which runs from May 1 until October 31,  California residents are encouraged to be extra aware of air pollution levels.  A Spare The Air alert will be issued when the air pollution level is forecast to meet or exceed 126 on the Air Quality Index.  When a Spare The Air alert is called, you are asked to change your routine as much as possible to help reduce air pollution.  One of the best ways to help is to try and reduce your driving, which lowers emissions and protects the health of everyone in the community.  Here are five ways you can reduce your driving:

  1. Link your errands into one big trip.   This reduces pollution by minimizing cold engine starts.  A cold engine that’s been sitting for at least an hour pollutes up to five times more than a warm one.  You’ll reduce pollution, save fuel and save time.
  2. Work from home.  Many employers have realized the benefits of allowing their employees to work from home at least one day per week. This allows employees to reduce their commute time and work without the usual office interruptions. In addition, employees can save on gas money and eat lunch at home instead of driving to pick up a mid-day meal. Ask your employer about telecommuting, especially when there’s a Spare The Air alert.
  3. Carpool to work.   If telecommuting isn’t an option, think about sharing a ride to work on a Spare The Air day. Carpooling just one day a week can significantly reduce air pollution.
  4. Bring your lunch to work.  This easy action reduces two trips, one to get to the restaurant, and one to return to work.
  5. Ride public transportation.  Plan now and check out the schedules in your area, so when it’s a Spare The Air day, you’re prepared to use public transit.

For more information, visit SpareTheAir.com or follow Spare The Air on social media.

You can also get more information from the California Local Air Quality Management Districts or by checking on the latest air quality conditions throughout California. 

Bryan May

Bryan May is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. Prior to joining Cal OES in 2017, Bryan spent 30 years as an Emmy award winning television anchor and reporter.

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