Tips for Individuals
Follow these tips to help reduce air pollution and protect the health
of everyone in our region.
- Choose a Better Way to Go by carpooling, vanpooling, or riding
the bus or MetroLink whenever possible. For more information, contact:
- Metro at (314) 231-2345 in Missouri or (618) 271-2345 in Illinois, or visit Citizens
for Modern Transit.
the regional ridesharing agency, at 1-800-VIP-RIDE, for carpooling
and vanpooling assistance.
- Madison County
Transit (MCT) for transit information in Madison County, IL at (618)
- Organize a parent carpool in your neighborhood to take the kids to and from school.
- Share a ride with a friend to social and recreational activities.
- Walk or ride a bike for short morning trips or where overexertion isn't likely - unhealthy pollution levels usually occur mid-afternoon or later.
- Visit www.gatewayguide.com or use MoDOT’s 511 travel information number to get real-time traffic information and use it to better plan your route to avoid traffic tie-ups and highway construction zones.
- Consider carsharing opportunities when taking transit, biking or walking as a way to get to and from midday errands and meetings. For information on St. Louis’ new WeCar program, visit www.cmt-stl.org/car_share.html.
- Take advantage of flex-time and telecommuting options. Flex-time arrangements allow employees to change the starting and ending times of their workday to avoid idling in rush hour traffic congestion, while maintaining the same total work hours for the week. Telecommuting is a mobile work option that allows employees to be productive outside the traditional office setting, and can eliminate the work commute one or more days a week.
- Choose a car that gets high gas mileage. You'll save money on gas and also emit significantly less air pollution.
- Drive smarter. Fast, aggressive driving wastes fuel. Try to maintain a constant speed - most cars reach peak efficiency while cruising between 55 and 60 miles per hour - and avoid rapid acceleration and braking, which can increase fuel consumption by as much as 40 percent.
- Make your next car a fuel efficient vehicle.
- Replace your air filter at least every three months. A blocked filter can result in higher energy costs and increased wear on a car’s engine. Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car’s gas mileage by as much as 10 percent - saving up to 55 gallons of gasoline, or about three trips to the gas station, each year.
- Combine errands by planning ahead.
- Avoid excessive idling of your vehicle by planning your route in order to avoid traffic jams and construction zones. You can also limit your idling by turning off your engine while you wait and avoiding drive throughs.
- Keep your tires properly inflated. Tire pressure drops one pound per square inch for every 10 degrees in temperature. When all four tires are under-inflated by 10%, gas mileage will decrease by 10%.
- Clear the clutter. Every 100 pounds you carry inside your car lowers its fuel economy by one to two percent. So, if you don't need it, don't have it in your trunk.
- Wait until after dusk to refuel your car, especially on days when the air quality is poor. Wait 3 seconds after refueling before removing the nozzle and never top off the tank because any fuel that drips outside of your tank adds to ozone formation.
- Keep your cool. Need relief from the heat? Use the air conditioner if you're going faster than 40 miles per hour, since a lot of engine power at high speeds goes to reducing drag. When you're cruising around town, it's more efficient to roll down your windows.
- Walk to lunch. Your car emits the most pollution during short trips.
- Recycle copy paper, newspapers and drink containers.
- Utilize reusable lunch or shopping bags, coffee cups and dinnerware and water bottles, rather than disposing of Styrofoam or paper and plastic cups, plates, flatware, bottles and bags.
- Properly recycle office products, including paper, ink cartridges, batteries and old electronic equipment.
- Collect wrappers, juice pouches and plastic yogurt containers and send them to TerraCycle. You’ll see them reincarnated as purses, backpacks and planter pots!
- Print smarter. The average U.S. office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of copy paper a year. Try printing on both sides, or use the back side of old documents for faxes, scrap paper, or drafts. Avoid color printing and change the print quality to draft mode whenever possible to conserve ink.
- Go paperless when possible. Post employee manuals and similar materials online rather than distributing print copies. They’re easier to update that way too.
Other tips to help you do your share...
- Avoid using gas powered garden equipment such as gas-powered lawn mowers. If you must use a gas lawn mower, mow before 10 a.m. or after 7 p.m. to avoid peak ozone formation hours.
- Avoid use of charcoal lighter fluid when barbecuing.
- Avoid using chemicals that contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as spray paint, paint thinners, pesticides, glue solvents, weed killers, etc.
- Avoid activities that use small gasoline-powered internal combustion engines, such as trail bikes, all-terrain vehicles, chain saws, leaf blowers and lawn mowers.
- Use water-based paints to reduce the amount of solvents that evaporate into the atmosphere and contribute to the smog problem.
Click here to read clean air success stories from individuals who are doing their share for cleaner air.
Click here to learn about tips for