Monday, June 29, 2009

Why All Drivers Should Avoid Idling...

Clean Air NY encourages alternatives to driving, promoting healthier air through biking, mass transit and reduced vehicle use. But — sometimes — even the best of us give in to the convenience of a car. When driving, alone or (we hope!) in a carpool or vanpool, you can lower your vehicle’s impact. One easy way is to reduce idling.

We idle anytime we leave the engine running while the car isn’t in use. Many New Yorkers idle based on misinformation regarding fuel consumption and engine wear. We’ve heard that stopping and restarting our car wastes more gas, harms the engine and prevents the car from warming up properly.

But these false assumptions often skim over the negative effects of idling. Our vehicles, our air and our wallets feel the costs on a regular basis:
- In addition to soot and smog-forming particles, idling vehicles produce about 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
- Fuel cannot combust completely in idling vehicles, so idling engines experience increased corrosion along with general wear-and-tear.
- An idling car or truck can waste between $62 and $529 of gas each year (based on current prices).

Most idling myths don’t hold up with today’s vehicles. Allowing your car to idle for more than 10 seconds actually wastes more fuel than restarting the engine. Idling in cold weather is unnecessary: Cars actually warm up more thoroughly when driven slowly and carefully for the first few minutes. Additional engine use and increased fuel consumption far outweigh the costs of wear-and-tear from restarts.

The good news: Reducing idling is simple and translates to real environmental, health and financial benefits for drivers. Most of us idle without a second thought—in the drive-through lane, at railroad crossings or while waiting to pick up a passenger. By cutting off such habits, you can save gas and improve New York’s air quality.

So stop and think next time you’ll be stopped for a bit. Shut off the engine. Step outside and breathe in the healthier air that you’re helping create.

Interested in learning more?
Idle-Free NYC:
Environmental Defense Fund: “Idling Gets You Nowhere”

For more information on other things you can do to improve NY’s air quality, please visit:

Guest Blogger: Sarah Tansey, Clean Air NY/CommuterLink summer intern.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Commit to Cleaner Air Week, Day 5- Nassau County Press Conference

Check out the Clean Air NY press release with snippets of the press conference with Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi:

The American Lung Association, the Girl Scouts of Nassau County and Long Island Transportation Management were there as well and they have all committed to cleaner air and you should too, visit!

Jessica S. Horne, Clean Air NY Marketing and Outreach Associate.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Commit to Cleaner Air, Day 4 - Penn Station

The Clean Air NY Street Team and Cloud were planning to have a big day walking around New York City, hanging out in Central Park and visiting commuters in Penn Station. Unfortuantely because of the rainy weather, the team was only able to be in Penn Station. The fews hours spent there were very successful though, because the team was able to educate the public about New York's air quality and thank them for taking public transit.

Commit to Cleaner Air, visit

Jessica S. Horne, Clean Air NY Marketing and Outreach Associate.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Commit to Cleaner Air Week, Day 3 – White Plains Transit Center and Northern Westchester Hospital

The Clean Air NY Cloud welcomed train and bus passengers as they departed and arrived at the White Plains Transit Center. Train and bus riders told the Clean Air NY Street Team that their morning commute on mass transit is a stress-free experience. They find themselves reading a good book, listening to their music or just closing their eyes for a relaxing nap. And today, seeing the Clean Air NY Cloud was a special treat as they Committed to Cleaner Air in New York!

The Cloud and Street Team headed to Northern Westchester Hospital, a Clean Air NY Champion to celebrate the week with Cloud Cake and a fun trivia game for the visitors and employees! The Clean Air Cloud visited Northern Westchester Hospital’s VIP parking lot for carpoolers which was full of cars (carpoolers pictured above)! In addition, more than 50 individual partners committed to cleaner air!

If you spotted the cloud, post your picture on Clean Air NY’s Facebook Page:!

Jessica S. Horne, Clean Air NY Outreach and Marketing Associate.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Commit to Cleaner Air Week, Day 2 - Subway Ride & Clean Air NY Champion NY Methodist Hospital Event

Day 2 of Commit to Cleaner Air Week -- the Clean Air NY Cloud (who still needs a name - e-mail ideas to rode the "B" subway from 86th Street and Central Park West downtown and transferred at Rockefeller Center to the "F" train to Park Slope, Brooklyn! A great example of how easy mass transit is!

The Clean Air NY Street Team continued to celebrate Commit to Cleaner Air Week with Clean Air NY Champion New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn! At the hospital Clean Air NY gave out blue colored cotton candy to employees and visitors in honor of Commit to Clean Air Week which was a hit. The Clean Air NY Cloud also visited the children's out patient waiting room where we gave the children coloring books about improving New York’s air quality.

Clean Air NY successfully got almost 100 Methodist employees and visitors to commit to cleaner air!

You should commit to cleaner air too! To learn more about Commit to Cleaner Air Week visit

Jessica S. Horne, Marketing and Outreach Associate of Clean Air NY.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Commit to Cleaner Air Week, Day 1 - NBC's Today Show and Grand Central Terminal

Clean Air NY kicked off Commit to Cleaner Air week outside of The Today Show studios in Rockefeller Center. As the camera spanned the audience outside, millions of viewers, nationally, caught a glimpse of how important it is to improve the air quality in New York State’s downstate region.

After our Today Show spotting, the Clean Air NY Street Team, along with our new Clean Air NY mascot made our way across town – carpooling of course – to Grand Central Terminal (the quintessential hub of New York public transit). At Grand Central, the Clean Air NY Cloud entertained hundreds of people commuting to and from work, while the street team spoke to dozens of people about committing to cleaner air. New Yorkers were interested in learning how to reduce their carbon footprint and Clean Air NY had just the answer! We explained to them that it is as simple as making smart travel choices – carpooling, taking public transit or biking, especially on air quality action days!

Want to learn more about Commit to Cleaner Air Week? Visit

Jessica S. Horne, Marketing and Outreach Associate of Clean Air NY.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Commit to Cleaner Air Week, June 15-19

Monday, June 15 kicks off "Commit to Cleaner Air" Week-- Spot the Cloud mascot, post your photo on Facebook, e-mail name suggestions for our mascot to, or post it on Facebook for a chance to win FREE Metrocards!

Check back throughout the week for more updates!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Understand the State of Air in New York, American Lung Association’s State of the Air Report Cites New York’s Poor Air Quality

(An interactive map, showing air quality data by county, finds 22 out of the 33 counties with air-quality monitors received failing grades).

On April 28, the American Lung Association released its 10th annual State of the Air report. According to the report, more than 12.5 million New Yorkers - a stunning 65 percent of the state’s residents - live in counties where air pollution levels endanger lives.

Applying new, stricter federal standards, the report found that New Yorkers are breathing in dangerously high levels of both particulate matter and ozone. And this is particularly troublesome for the 1.6 million New Yorkers who suffer from asthma, as ozone and particle pollution are to blame for many of these respiratory conditions. American Lung Association’s State of the Air Report Cites New York’s Poor Air Quality.

New York City ranks 17th on the top-25 list of most polluted U.S. cities by ozone; 16th on the top-25 list of cities most polluted by short-term particle pollution; and 22nd on the top-25 list of cities most polluted by year-round particle pollution.

Breathing in high levels of ozone could injure your lungs like sunburn and could lead to coughing and asthma attacks; in severe cases, high levels of ozone could send people to the emergency room or even lead to premature death.

Particle pollution, on the other hand, involves microscopic solids – such as tiny bits of dust or soot. These microscopic particles are 30 times smaller than the width of a human hair and can penetrate the body’s natural defense systems. When inhaled, these tiny particles get trapped in the lungs’ deepest parts. The effect of particle pollution is like rubbing sandpaper on the lungs’ tissue. Research proves that people with chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, are at an increased risk of death when particle pollution is high.

Please spread the word to your friends and family on how everyone can help make New York’s air healthier by making simple changes to transportation habits. The American Lung Association in New York works closely with Clean Air NY to educate the public on how to improve air quality in the metro New York area. To learn more, visit

We know that air quality is not going to improve on its own, so the American Lung Association in New York, along with Clean Air NY, will continue fighting for air. Hopefully, all of New York will someday receive an A for air quality.

Guest blogger: Michael Seilback, Vice President, Public Policy & Communications, American Lung Association in New York.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

National Bike to Work Day 15 Inspired This Commuter to Become A Biker

Do you have a bike in your garage that you've wanted to use now that the weather is warmer? Well, if you’re like me, I had been waiting for the right time and found it just recently. My company participated in National Bike to Work Day on May 15 by setting up a competition among offices to see which one could get the most people to bike to work. Some of my colleagues ride in every day, but I was new to biking and not sure I was ready for the challenge. When a colleague told me about all the reasons biking is so good for me and my surroundings, I couldn't say no. Did you know that a short, four-mile round trip by bike keeps about 15 pounds of pollutants out of the air we breathe? Even our small steps can make a big difference!

Aside from the environmental benefits, I saved money on my commute (no stops at the pump to fill up on gas!) and felt a fresh, energetic start to the day. Biking to and from work is now my mode of exercise; did you know that a 130-pound cyclist burns 402 calories while pedaling 14 miles in an hour? By biking to work, I found that I felt healthier, saved money and improved the air quality in my region. Grab your bike out of the garage and get on the road!

Guest Blogger, Ryan Thompson, Clean Air NY individual partner.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Clean Air NY Launches Our Clean Air NY Mascot

Clean Air NY launched our new mascot at the American Lung Association Asthma Walk in Battery Park City on Saturday, May 30. Over the next three weeks our mascot will be on a road trip around the NY Downstate Region - Lower Hudson Valley, Long Island and New York City. Check Clean Air NY's events page on our website ( to track the mascot's road trip. If you spot the mascot, take a picture of it or with it and upload it to the Clean Air NY Facebook Events Page ( by choosing to attend the event and then click the Add Photos link to upload your pictures and enter to win a free Metrocard.
And there is one more thing... we need your help, OUR MASCOT NEEDS A NAME! Help Clean Air NY name our mascot by entering the "Name the Clean Air NY Mascot" contest. E-mail your mascot name ideas to If your name is picked by the New York State Department of Transportation, you will win a free public transportation pass around the NY metro area!

To learn more about Clean Air NY or to sign up to receive real-time Air Quality Action Day Updates visit!