Air Quality Forecast
Tuesday, May 3rd, is Green.
The next wave of holidays is right around the corner, and although we recognize this to be a wonderful time of the year, it’s also considered the most wasteful. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day alone, an added one million tons of waste will head to landfills each week.
While that may come as a shock, there are a variety of ways to combat unnecessary waste and help keep the holiday spirit alive. The more people that work to save energy and resources during the holiday season, the bigger the impact that can be made. Here are some tips to keep in mind for incorporating sustainability into those treasured holiday traditions:
Making a few small changes to go green this holiday season can make all the difference in helping people across the St. Louis region breathe easier. For more information, visit our website, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.
The summer days are drawing to a close, and many area students are already back in the classroom. While the cooler nights and more pleasant daytime temperatures on the way make it less likely that the quality of our air will be top of mind, the St. Louis area continues to struggle with ozone and particle pollution, so it’s important to not lose sight of the fact that there are various things we can be doing during the school year to help keep the region’s air clean year-round.
The good news is all of us can play a role in helping to reduce emissions to improve our region’s air quality by practicing greener habits in our daily lives. Now that parents and kids are getting settled into their back-to-school routines, here are some helpful tips to consider for keeping the air clean:
The Clean Air Partnership is proud to play a role in raising awareness about all the ways we can reduce emissions. To access a wealth of air quality information and tips designed to help area residents do their share for cleaner air, parents and kids are encouraged to visit the tips section of our website, like the Clean Air Partnership on Facebook or follow @gatewaycleanair on Twitter.
As cooler, fall temperatures begin to settle into the region, you may be tempted to idle your vehicle more often than usual. Idling is one of the main contributors to air pollution, yet many misconceptions exist regarding the need to idle and the negative effects of idling on our air, our engines and our pocketbooks. Before you think about warming your car on a cold morning, or idling in a drive-thru or school drop-off zone on a chilly winter afternoon, make sure you can decipher what’s myth and what’s fact when it comes to vehicle idling.
Myth: Engines should be warmed up before driving, especially in cold weather.
Fact: Today’s electronic engines do not need long warm-ups, even in winter. No more than 30 seconds of warm-up time is needed in the winter. Easing into a drive is the best way to get a vehicle heating system to deliver warmer air faster.
Myth: Idling is good for your engine.
Fact: Excessive idling can damage your engine components, including cylinders, spark plugs and exhaust systems. Fuel is only partially combusted when idling because an engine does not operate at its peak temperature. This leads to the build-up of fuel residues on cylinder walls that can damage engine components and increase fuel consumption.
Myth: It’s better to leave the engine running than shutting it off and restarting it because “cold starts” are hard on the engine and use more gas.
Fact: Frequent restarting has little impact on engine components. Idling, however, forces an engine to operate in an inefficient and gasoline-rich mode that can affect the engine’s performance and reduce gas mileage. More than ten seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting the engine.
Myth: It’s better to leave an engine idling because “cold starts” produce more pollution.
Fact: Driving a car immediately after a cold start allows the engine to heat up significantly faster, especially in newer models. When the car heats faster, its catalytic converter becomes more efficient at reducing emissions — by as much as 99 percent.
Explore our website for information on anti-idling initiatives, or additional steps you can take to help improve air quality. We also encourage you to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @gatewaycleanair.