Monday, December 10, 2012

Give Yourself and our Earth the Best Gifts

  While dashing through the snow in the New York metro area, many people would love to have a one-horse open sleigh to take them on their errands, laughing all the way. Reality means we're navigating through crowds of shoppers, workers, tourists and travelers this holiday season and that can make our spirits less than bright.

   We at Clean Air NY have a wish list we'd love for everyone who believes as we do, that taking everyday steps to improve air quality is the best gift for our planet, to take to heart.

   First, we wish that more people would seize the opportunity to drive their vehicles less and to choose alternatives to travel. Explore the range of what's available for you, whether it is bus, rail, subway, ferries, carpooling, vanpooling, or when the weather allows, biking or walking. Any of these options will produce more cash savings and less stress than if you were stuck in traffic.

   Second, we wish that for those drivers who cannot adopt these alternatives into their routines, even occasionally, to be creative in combining all their errands into a single trip. They will save themselves time and money and reduce stress on themselves and their vehicles. Take it easy as you start and stop your vehicles; reduce idling time; remove items weighing down your trunk; keep tires properly inflated; and use the overdrive and cruise control features if you have them.

   The biggest gift of all by taking any one of these steps: Reducing the amount of fuel you use improves air quality, since transportation accounts for 38 percent of all greenhosue gas emissions in New York State. Since we all know traffic never seems to take a holiday, celebrate this holiday season with gifts of wiser behavior and better health for everyone on our planet.