Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Combine Errands – Combat Air Pollution and Climate Change

There are many terms related to “going green” that some people may not understand. However, saving energy is one concept we all comprehend, not just power or fuel, but your own personal energy.

One way to conserve your own energy is to combine your errands into one car trip. At first glance, this may seem obvious, but it is something that we often neglect to do.
For example, in the past – prior to starting my internship with Clean Air NY – if I had errands to do after work, my exhaustion would get the best of me; since I was ready to get out of my work clothes and high heels and into my yoga sweats, I would bypass the supermarket, the bank and gas station and just head home. Having a car, I could do that. Sound familiar?

It is easy to get caught up in a convenient lifestyle we can enjoy. But it takes just a little extra effort to make those conscious decisions, like holding off on swapping your stilettos for your favorite flip-flops so you can complete a few errands before driving home.

The message at the very heart of Clean Air NY’s mission is that there are little things we can do in our everyday life that do not cost an arm and a leg and that, in fact, will help you save money, time and energy. By combining errands, Clean Air NY’s simplest and most popular call to action, you also can help reduce the harmful effects of climate change. (See picture above of Clean Air NY's bus ad that are running throughout the NY downstate region).

It’s so important to make smart travel choices because the emissions from millions of cars in New York affect you, your family and friends. We should all be concerned about the estimated 370,000 children (NYS Department of Health Asthma Surveillance Summary report, 2005) who can’t breathe properly on Air Quality Action Days because the air quality in the New York metro area is deemed unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Be smart, plan ahead and combine your errands into one car trip. That’s what I’ve started to do after learning the benefits from Clean Air NY.

To find out more about simple changes to your driving habits that can help reduce the harmful effects of climate change, visit

Guest Blogger: Thea Charles, Clean Air NY/MetroPool summer intern.

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