Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Celebrate our nation and its resources

Millions of Americans will salute the founders of our United States on the Fourth with festivities of every size, from parades and fireworks to quiet backyard barbecues. Because so many people are traveling on the Fourth and throughout July, we at Clean Air NY want to alert you to how increased demands on our transportation system create higher pollution levels this season, especially amid summer's sweltering heat.

Motor vehicles are a prominent factor in air pollution as the biggest contributors to what generates ground-level ozone, a major pollutant in our cities. This ozone is produced as fossil fuels are burned, allowing hydrocarbons to react with nitrogen oxide in the presence of sunlight (ultraviolet radiation). As more vacationers hit the roads and streets, more ozone is generated, contributing to cardiovascular and respiratory problems, particularly for sensitive groups.

If you are traveling to a holiday party or event, share a ride with someone or take mass transit for part of the trip. If you're the host, encourage your guests to take these simple actions so everyone can avoid the stresses of holiday traffic.

If you are heading to a vacation, whether it is a weekend in the city to see the sights or a longer journey, know before you go where and when is the best time to travel. By checking out the New York State Department of Transportation's free traffic, travel and transit information service,, you can learn about any alerts and delays as you map out your route.

Vacationers want to breathe easier this month. With some smart choices, they can do so and honor the legacy of all those who struggled to make our country independent and free. Clean air is part of that celebration.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

For dads, grads and everyone: Be smart this summer

June is abloom with travel plans, to celebrate graduations, Father’s Day and the official start of summer. At Clean Air NY, we know there are plenty of presents to give in the spirit of the season that keep on giving and improve air quality.

If your dads or grads are car buffs, give them gift certificates to get an oil change or a tuneup. A well-maintained vehicle produces fewer emissions. For bonus points, do these simple maintenance procedures for them, including checking tire pressure.

For the runner, hiker or rollerblade enthusiast, the proper footwear and other gear make thoughtful gifts, not the least of which is good health. These activities help your loved ones stay in shape and provide cleaner air for all as they reduce their carbon footprints.

Using transit slashes emissions, too. For the grad on a tight budget and who is out there looking for a job, a useful gift is a transit pass or Metro Card. 

When you're out looking for gifts for dads and grads, shopping for the essentials for a picnic or attending the latest summer blockbuster at the theater, don’t waste time, energy and patience looking for a closer space at malls or entertainment venues. Park your car at the first open spot and walk; you’ll reduce the emissions from that endless circling and idling and it probably won’t take you any longer to get inside.

For a glorious gift, take a bike trip across some of New York’s beautiful bike trails. Use 511NY to search for bicycle routes by geographic location. Summer is the time to shine!