As we prepare to “spring forward” one hour and adjust our clocks on Saturday night for Daylight Saving Time, that means the days will be getting longer, weather is about to get warmer and the sunshine will soon be chasing away what’s left of the winter blues. Though spring is in the air and warm weather activities that we’ve longed for are great fun, a rise in temperature can also lead to a greater risk of poor air quality conditions, which makes it good to remember that – when it comes to air quality – we can always continue to do our share for cleaner air.
Thankfully, all it takes is a few small changes to incorporate sustainable and eco-friendly choices into our day-to-day routines. Here are some helpful tips to consider for living a greener lifestyle this spring and working to keep the air quality in healthy ranges:
- Walk, Bike or Take Public Transit – When weather conditions are favorable, replace car trips with walking, bicycling or using public transit to reduce air pollution. Area residents can also take advantage of other options such as carpooling or vanpooling to cut down on the number of solo commutes this spring. Fewer vehicles on the roads and highways means fewer automobile emissions, reduced traffic congestion and improved air quality.
- Greening Your Cleaning – By making environmentally conscious choices in the way you clean, you’ll make your home (and the planet) a healthier place to live and breathe for all. Consider creating your own products by mixing a little warm water with either baking soda or white vinegar for the perfect all-purpose cleaner. You can take green cleaning one step further by opting for rags from cut up old clothes, towels, or sheets that can be washed and reused any time instead of paper towels to reduce waste and save money on paper products.
- Clear Out the Clutter – Spring cleaning is the perfect time to go through closets and get rid of the things you no longer need or use. Rather than dumping everything into plastic trash bags, take a few extra minutes to dispose of them responsibly and sustainably. Keep items out of overcrowded landfills by asking family and friends if they have use for any of your unwanted items or donate them to charity!
- Make Your Cookout a Greener Event – It wouldn’t be spring without spending time outdoors and dusting off the grill to enjoy a cookout with friends and family. Charcoal grills, however, release about twice as much carbon dioxide per hour as gas grills do, so you can do your share for cleaner air by using a gas barbecue grill instead. Also, if you’re going with gas, invest in a high-quality, energy efficient model and make sure the gas tanks are refillable to cut back on cost and harmful waste.
There’s no better time to start practicing air-quality friendly habits than with a new season upon us. By incorporating some of these tips into your everyday life, you can help people all across the St. Louis region breathe easier this spring. For more great ways to achieve cleaner air year-round, explore the Clean Air Partnership website, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @gatewaycleanair.