Thursday, October 18, 2012

Find your fun amid fall's foliage

  What better way to savor the splendor of the season in the greater New York metropolitan area than to walk or to ride a bike? These experiences offer a bounty of benefits: visual delights, terrific exercise, camaraderie among friends and family and, best of all, fewer motor vehicles generating emissions. Seize the moments now before winter curbs your enthusiasm for some outdoor activities.    
   There are abundant opportunities for leaf-peeping adventures in the region. While you are admiring the reds and golds on display, remember that all those falling leaves can be put to good use in gardens and on lawns because they are useful high-carbon materials. Mix the leaves with grass clippings in your compost pile and you’ll be grateful when spring planting season arrives. Shredded leaves also can be effective mulch for soil, adding nutrients and helping it retain moisture. Burning leaves, which is banned in many communities, is never good for air quality; leaf smoke may contain noxious chemicals such as benzo(a)pyrene, suspected as a major factor in lung cancer. Carbon monoxide in leaf smoke also can bind with hemoglobin in the blood. 
   To get going on your journeys, check out these choices for the bicyclist and pedestrian: 

In New York City:
In the Lower Hudson Valley:

In Long Island:
  Wherever you wander, we at Clean Air NY encourage you to explore, the free traffic, travel and transit information source provided by the New York State Department of Transportation to help you know what you need before you go.

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