Thursday, May 26, 2011

Memorial Day Travel Tips for Cleaner Air

Memorial Day signals the unofficial kickoff of summer in the United States, with many people having a day off on Monday to commemorate the holiday. Whether you’re traveling to the beach or the barbecue this weekend, it’s always a good time to make travel choices that benefit our air quality.

If you and your friends and family are all traveling to the same vacation destination together, it’s a great opportunity to share a ride and to save money, too. Splitting the cost of parking and fuel among multiple riders will reduce the cost of your trip significantly, especially with soaring gas prices. More carpools will reduce the number of cars heading to recreational areas, thus alleviating congestion and pollution.

While you’re carpooling to and from your vacation spot, don’t forget to stop filling your gas tank when you hear the pump “click.” If you keep trying to top off the tank after the click, fumes will escape into the atmosphere instead of remaining safely in the tank.

Also remember before you leave, fill your tires and check that every part of your car is in good condition. A well-maintained vehicle gets much better gas mileage, produces fewer emissions and helps ensure that you aren’t on the shoulder of the highway waiting for a tow truck instead of lying on the beach!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Create Your Air Quality Action Day Plan Now

Air Quality Action Day Image

If you don’t already get our e-mail updates on Air Quality Action Days, sign up now and then keep reading. Otherwise, you won’t know when to put your Air Quality Action Day plan into action!

Air Quality Action Days occur when the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation declares that the air quality will be unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children, people with asthma and the elderly. On these days, we ask that Clean Air NY supporters be especially mindful of their travel choices and we send out updates on these days to alert people to take action.

We know it’s hard to change your daily routine, especially on short notice. That’s why we want to encourage you to create an action plan to help reduce air pollution during Air Quality Action Days. They can happen any time during the year and are sometimes unpredictable; having a plan in place ensures you’re ready, no matter when the Air Quality Action Day announcement is made.

There are two main ways to help reduce air pollution and to improve air quality on Air Quality Action Days:

1. Decrease your driving
  • Bike, Walk, or Take Mass Transit
  • Carpool
  • Combine Multiple Errands into One Trip
  • Eat Lunch In
2. Ensure your vehicle is doing its part to reduce emissions. Sometimes driving on an Air Quality Action Day is inevitable. If you have to drive, do these to minmize the impact:
  • Stop At the Click - Don’t Top Off Tank
  • Avoid Idling
For more suggestions on actions you can take on Air Quality Action Day, and to download our free worksheet to help you create your own customized plan of action, visit our Web site!

Monday, May 9, 2011

May is Bike Month in NYC

The New York City Department of Transportation and Transportation Alternatives are encouraging everyone to join in their annual monthlong celebration of biking in the five boroughs in May. Bike Month NYC began in 1990 as a one-day event encouraging cyclists to bike to work. It grew from there to become a weeklong and then a monthlong series of activities that showcase bicycling in NYC and the tri-state region. Events include fixing flat tires, bike tours of different neighborhoods, classes for beginners and more; whatever your skill level, there is something for you.

On an average day, 236,000 New Yorkers ride their bikes, more than twice the number who did so just five years ago. People who begin riding their bikes to work also lose an average of 13 pounds during the first year! For more information about the health benefits of biking and how it relates to improving air quality, read our blog post “Break Out Your Bike and Walking Shoes.”

Monday, May 2, 2011

Air Quality Awareness Week

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service declared the week of May 2 Air Quality Awareness Week.

Check out this website here for answers to basic air quality questions including –
  • What is air pollution?
  • What affects my air quality?
  • How do I keep my lungs and heart safe?
  • How to get current air quality information?
  • What can I do to help make the air cleaner?
You can learn even more about your local air quality on Clean Air NY’s website here.