June 29, 2012, Portage, IN – During these hot days of summer, Northwest Indiana Clean Air reminds you to Think Green to Breathe Easy. Good air quality is impacted by long hot days, especially when there are several such days in a row. There are many things you can do to help improve air quality at home, and for your neighbors across the region:
- Conserve energy in your home, which improves air quality by reducing energy needs from power plants; turn off appliances and lights when not in use.
- Try to fill your gas tank either early in the morning or later in the evening when it is typically cooler to reduce evaporation – and don’t top it off.
- Reduce car idling – turn off your car engine while waiting for a train to pass. Park and walk into a restaurant or bank rather than wait in a long drive-through line. You’ll save time and fuel.
- Combine errands or “trip chaining” – plan your route so that all your errands can be done in one trip with the least amount of stops and miles.
- Keep household paints, solvents, and pesticides in air-tight containers.
- Mow your lawn after 7 p.m.
- Avoid using boats, motorcycles, and other small engine vehicles on hot, sunny days.
- Take your lunch to work to reduce lunchtime trips.
- Get regular engine tune-ups and keep the right amount of air in the tires. Well-maintained vehicles create less pollution.
- Learn Ozone Action Day colors. They can tell you how clean or polluted your air is and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. Unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone can impact the health of family members and coworkers – especially children, the elderly, and individuals with heart or lung ailments.
Cynthia, from Lake Station, has a child with asthma. “I used to think that it would be good to go to the beach any day and didn’t understand why my daughter’s asthma would act up on some of those really hot days. Now, I know to check the ozone color. If it’s not green or yellow, we find things to do inside like go to the library.”
Being aware of how our actions can effect air quality is something all Northwest Indiana residents can do. Sharing ideas with friends, neighbors, and coworkers can make difference. John, from LaPorte, commutes to Lake County every day for his work. “My neighbor and I actually work fairly close to each other in north Lake County. We made some minor adjustments to our work schedules and now we carpool together. On the really bad ozone days, we opt to take the train. I really enjoy hiking at the Dunes. So I’m happy to make these small changes to help the air quality and environment.”
Northwest Indiana Clean Air, an initiative developed by the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC), is a partnership between the people and businesses of northwest Indiana to help all residents Think Green & Breathe Easy – understanding and inspiring actions to improve the air quality of this unique region.
For more information on how individuals and businesses can join the efforts of Northwest Indiana Clean Air, visit www.nwicleanair.com today.
Northwest Indiana – where it all adds up to cleaner air. Brought to you by Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, a clean air leader.
For more information:
Kathy Luther, email@example.com
Director of Environmental Programs
Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission
6100 Southport Road
Portage, IN 46368
219-763-6060 x 127