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How to Reduce Air Pollution

Residents, business owners and visitors living in Maricopa County can take small, simple steps to make a big impact on the air we breathe. There are lots of things that each of us can do to stop being part of the problem — and start becoming part of the solution. So if you’re interested in learning how to reduce air pollution, here are some personal actions you can take.

In the Car

  1. Drive efficient, low-polluting vehicles. For a list, visit www.epa.gov/greenvehicles.
  2. Plan your trips to save gasoline and reduce air pollution by trip-linking.
  3. Avoid long lines at fast-food restaurant or bank drive-thrus. Park your car and go inside.
  4. When possible walk, ride a bike, carpool, van pool or use public transportation.
  5. Get regular vehicle tune-ups and maintenance checks (especially for spark plugs, oil changes and air filters).
  6. Keep tires properly inflated and aligned.
  7. Use energy-conserving (EC) grade motor oils.
  8. Ask your employer about flexible work schedules or telecommuting.
  9. Report smoking vehicles to your local Air Quality Department.
  10. Share the ride — join a carpool or vanpool to get to work by calling 602.262.RIDE or visiting www.ShareTheRide.com

 In the Outdoors

  1. Avoid outdoor triggers to help control your asthma. Visit www.epa.gov/asthma to learn more.
  2. Minimize strenuous outdoor activity when pollution levels are high.
  3. Ditch the leaf blower and use a rake or broom instead.
  4. Never use gas-powered lawn and garden equipment during high pollution advisories.

 In the Store

  1. Buy environmentally friendly goods like ENERGY STAR products, including energy efficient lighting and appliances. Visit www.energystar.gov or call 1-888-STAR-YES for more information.
  2. Choose products that have less packaging and are recyclable.
  3. Shop with a canvas bag instead of using paper and plastic bags.
  4. Buy rechargeable batteries for devices used frequently.
  5. Replace gas-powered lawn mowers, leaf-blowers or other garden equipment with electric-powered equipment and hand rakes.

In the Home

  1. Check daily air quality forecasts on this website.
  2. Convert your wood burning fireplace to natural gas or propane. While you wait for the conversion, be sure to keep the fireplace well maintained with a clean chimney.
  3. Consider replacing old wood stoves with EPA-certified models. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/woodstoves. Burn only clean, dry wood.
  4. Turn off appliances and lights when you are not using them.
  5. Use compact fluorescent bulbs.
  6. Recycle paper, plastic, glass bottles, cardboard, and aluminum cans to conserve energy.
  7. Plant low water-using deciduous trees around your home to provide cooling shade in the summer and let light through in the winter.
  8. Buy “green electricity” produced by low pollution or zero-pollution facilities.
  9. Put your outdoor lights on a timer or use solar lighting.
  10. Wash clothes with cold or warm water only.
  11. Lower your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees F.
  12. Use low-VOC or water-based paints, stains, finishes, and paint strippers.

Find out more about how to reduce air pollution. Sign up to receive pollution advisories and No Burn Day restriction alerts when you Make the Clean Air Commitment!