New Year, New Resolutions to Help Us All Breathe Easier

New Year’s Day is quickly approaching, and along with it, all those resolutions. Perhaps the best part of the New Year—besides the midnight toast—is getting to reflect on the past year and decide what changes you want to make as you move forward into the future. Making the choice to go green in the new year and resolving to adopt some eco-friendly actions will result in multiple positive changes to your wallet, your time, your health and the region’s air quality.

You just might be surprised at how truly easy it can be to incorporate sustainability into your everyday routine. By adopting just one of many green lifestyle changes, you can have a big impact on helping people all over the St. Louis region breathe easier in 2019. Here are a few simple New Year’s resolutions to consider to help improve the air quality:

  • Walk, Bike, or Take Public Transit – The region’s public transit system, ridesharing and bike-sharing services are all designed to eliminate the use of multiple vehicles on the road and offer great alternatives for the work commute or an option to hopping in your car for short trips. Any steps you can take to reduce your solo commuting this year by walking, biking or taking public transportation can reduce auto emissions to help keep the air quality in healthy ranges.
  • Properly Maintain Your Vehicle – Steps like checking engine performance, keeping tires properly inflated, replacing air filters every three months and changing oil regularly are all ways to become more environmentally friendly in the new year. Routine maintenance helps reduce emissions and fuel consumption, saving money at the pump and cleaning the air.
  • Think globally, buy locally – Locally grown food has countless benefits to offer and helps to reduce environmental impact. Imported food is often shipped hundreds and sometimes even thousands of miles to arrive at the supermarket. The greater distance the food has to travel the more fossil fuels are consumed. Buying local produce reduces the amount of travel time for big transport trucks, ultimately improving the air quality by cutting back on air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Clean Greener – Clean your home with non-toxic and natural cleaning products in the new year to avoid the harmful side effects. Create your own products by mixing a little warm water with either baking soda or white vinegar for the perfect all-purpose cleaner. Also, when replacing cleaning products, don’t just throw the old ones in the trash. If they’re too toxic for your home, they won’t be good for the drain or the landfill either.
  • Green Your Home by Recycling – Recycling is an important part of going green by keeping waste out of landfills and turning glass, paper, plastic and other items into new materials. Set up separate recycling bins in your home so it is easy for all family members to participate and consider purchasing recycled products to help clean the air.

    For more great tips on how we can work together to achieve cleaner air in 2019, visit,  like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair. Have a happy and healthy New Year!

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year to Go Green

While the holidays are meant for appreciating time spent with family and friends, our impact on the environment and air quality can be overlooked in the midst of all the gatherings this time of year. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste such as food, holiday cards, decorations, wrapping paper, bows, ribbons, and shopping bags increases by more than 25 percent. As a result, an additional one million tons of waste heads to landfills each week.

These statistics may come as a shock, but thankfully, there are a variety of ways to incorporate sustainability into our favorite holiday celebrations. The more people who participate in these energy and resource-saving activities, the greater and more positive effect they will have on our planet. With that in mind, here are just a few of the many ways you can go green for the holidays, celebrating to the fullest while minimizing any negative effects on the environment:

  • Send Out eCards and Recycle Old Cards Send holiday wishes to loved ones via ecards to save time, postage and trees. This is the optimal choice not only because there’s no paper needed, but also because there’s no delivery vehicle involved that contributes to harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Consider reusing the fronts of old cards as holiday postcards or gift tags.
  • Choose Greener Travel Options If possible, consider traveling by bus or train to your destination. These are the greenest options and can offer a certain level of convenience, particularly if the weather and roads are bad along your travel route. If you must fly, check to see if you can get an affordable nonstop flight to help improve the air quality by cutting back on carbon emissions that come from takeoff and landing.
  • Gift Differently – Consider giving a homemade gift such as a knit scarf, painting, homemade bath bomb, jar of jam or other tasty seasonal treats to loved ones this year. Gifting a used item from a second-hand shop or looking for items in your own home for a holiday exchange are also great ways to cut back on cost and green your holiday shopping.
  • Shop with Reusable Bags Holiday shopping is great fun but also a huge producer of plastic shopping bags. Keep reusable bags in your car so they’re always available and you don’t have to worry about forgetting them at home. Using and reusing cloth bags can help to clean the air by reducing the thousands of bags that end up in landfills.
  • Use Eco-friendly Wrapping Alternatives Newspapers, old posters, maps and reusable gift bags all are great ways to present your gifts this holiday season. Scrap fabric lying around the house also makes for beautiful, personal, and unique gift wraps. If you choose to buy gift wrap, look for recycled content gift wrap paper whenever you can find it.

A few small changes are all it takes to give the gift of helping the St. Louis region breathe easier this holiday season. For more tips, visit, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.