Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Vote for Cleaner Air with Your Actions

I Voted! Stickerimage by Mortimer62 used under Creative Commons license

We can all cast a vote for cleaner air with our actions, because pollution affects every New Yorker. Reducing air pollution doesn’t need to be inconvenient, either. Simple actions and small changes to your transportation habits are all it takes to make a difference in air quality. Here are a few ways to show you care about cleaner air:

Eat Lunch at Work: Many people think of “brown bagging” as a way to save money. Not as many realize that it’s also a great way to reduce air pollution. If you bring your lunch to work and eat it there, or if your office has a cafeteria and that’s where you buy lunch, you will reduce vehicle emissions by not driving to dine out or to pick something up. It may not seem like much, but if you work in the suburban metro area and typically drive 10 miles round trip for lunch, five days a week, eating at your office instead on those days would eliminate about 100 pounds of air pollution every week!

Take Mass Transit: The New York metro area has one of the most extensive mass transit systems in the country, which makes it easy to get around without a car and to reduce your carbon footprint. In 2008, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) joined the Climate Registry, a nonprofit that provides standards for measuring greenhouse gas emissions. It determined that for every unit of carbon emitted by New York’s mass transit system, more than eight units are saved because of reduced driving by transit riders. This is the equivalent of every person who takes transit driving a car that gets 100 miles per gallon!

Combine Multiple Errands into One Trip: Combining multiple errands into a single trip is a simple habit you can develop to reduce air pollution. First, doing all of your errands at once reduces the number of miles you drive because you don’t make multiple trips down the same road. Combining your errands also keeps your engine warm, which allows it to operate better and improves fuel efficiency. Not only does combining errands lead to improved air quality, it saves you time and money on gas, too!

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