Take Action for Clean Air!

father-and-daughter-fullYour health depends on clean air!
California has made tremendous advances in improving the state's air quality over the past 20 years, but more still needs to be done. The health of Californians continues to be at risk from dangerous pollutants we breathe everyday. You can help us in the Fight For Air by making personal changes in the way you live - even the smallest things make a big difference.

Here are 10 basic steps you can take to help California reduce pollution and contribute to cleaner, healthier air:

1. Drive one less day per week, and bike or walk as often as possible.
Cut down on driving. Try out the bus or light rail if you have one in your area. Using public transportation, walking and biking are all great ways to clean the air and get healthier through exercise. Harmful motor vehicle and other transportation emissions account for more than half of all pollution on a statewide basis.

2. Conserve energy.
Turn off lights when you leave a room and only run your dishwasher when full. Replace your light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. Only use the air conditioning or heater when necessary or automatically set the thermostat to go off when you don’t need it. Visit the Flex Your Power website to learn more at: http://www.fypower.org/

3. Ride a bike!
Biking – even just a few times a week – is not only great exercise, it’s a great way to decrease air pollution! Research your city's bike routes and commit to replacing your car with your bike 1-2 times a week. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe on your bike: http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/tpp/offices/bike/safety.html

4. Reduce the amount of time you idle your car.
Idling for only 30 seconds uses up more fuel than restarting the engine. If you expect to idle for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine and then restart (except in traffic, of course). Instead of idling in bank or restaurant drive-through lines, park your car and go inside. You will save fuel and prevent pollution! http://www.consumerenergycenter.org/myths/idling.html

5. Use a natural or propane gas grill for outdoor grilling.
This summer, cut down on outdoor grill use or use a propane or natural gas grill. The smoke a traditional barbecue grill creates adds to air pollution. If you do use a barbecue, use a metal chimney or electric probe instead of lighter fluid.

6. When washing clothes, wash in cold water.
A whopping 90 percent of the energy used by a washing machine goes to just heating the water. Washing clothes in warm or cold water will save you money and reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 72 pounds in just one month!

7. Avoid burning wood.
Avoid use of wood burning in indoor and outdoor fireplaces. Just like tobacco smoke, wood smoke pollution is harmful to your health. Wood burning comprises 33 percent of particle pollution during the winter in some areas. Cleaner burning alternatives such as natural gas and electric fireplaces are available for the glow without the smoke!

8. If buying a car, consider a cleaner and more efficient electric or hybrid-electric car or a very low emission vehicle.
Every day, Californians drive 825 million miles – emitting 5.4 million tons of pollutants daily. Choosing a cleaner car has never been easier. Every new car in California now has an Environmental Performance Label showing how clean the car is for both smog and greenhouse gases. State and federal tax credits and rebates exist to encourage cleaner car purchases. From electric cars and hybrids to very low emission gas vehicles, cleaner technologies are available now. See www.driveclean.ca.gov for more details.

9. Purchase energy efficient appliances.
Did you know you could earn money while helping clean California’s air? When you replace your old, energy draining appliances (refrigerators, washers and air conditioners) for new Energy Star products you will receive a government rebate! Visit www.cash4appliances.org for more information.

10. Donate to the American Lung Association in California. The American Lung Association in California fights for your right to breathe clean air by pushing for policies to ensure a legacy of healthy air for California. We can't do it without your support!

For more in-depth information about air pollution in your area, please read the American Lung Association in California State of the Air 2011 report

Help us Defend the Clean Air Act!
We are defending the Clean Air Act to ensure that all Americans can have air that is safe to breathe.

Additional Resources on keeping our air clean: Air Pollution and What You Can Do from the California Air Resources Board