Better Air on the Go

Small actions can make a big difference in our air. Be part of it.

Combine trips, plan ahead. Easy ways for you to have better air.

Besides trying a smarter commute to work each day, you can clean up the way you make smaller trips, too. This helps keep dangerous pollutants out of our air. One of the easiest things you can do is take the One Ton Challenge.

  1. Choose Alternatives to Driving Alone: Try carpooling, vanpooling, riding transit, teleworking, bicycling, walking, or even working a compressed work week.
  2. Plan Ahead: Combine several errands into one trip or run errands on the way home from work. Run groups of errands in the evening hours, since the impact of emissions is worse during hotter hours.
  3. Get Children on Board: Encourage children to ride the school bus or organize a "school pool" -- a carpool with other parents. Share after-school driving and take turns driving children to sports practice, swim lessons, music lessons, etc.
  4. Use Technology: Use the phone and the Internet to locate or purchase products and services, instead of driving from store to store.
  5. Make a Smart Vehicle Choice: Find and compare gas mileage and air pollution ratings for new and used cars and trucks. Consider a hybrid for your next purchase.
  6. Maintain Your Vehicle: Keep your engine tuned, tires inflated and replace your air filters regularly. A tune up can increase your gas mileage by an average of 4.1 percent, while a new air filter can improve it by up to 10 percent.
  7. Walk or Roll: In the U.S., more than 25 percent of the auto trips taken are less than a mile in length.* Walk, bike, jog or rollerblade when running errands. Exercise is a bonus.
  8. Air-Friendly Outings: Take transit to metro area sporting events, museums and festivals. Kids will enjoy riding trains and buses.
  9. Don't Idle: Remember to turn off your car instead of idling for long periods. Extended idling causes greater wear and tear on your car, wastes fuel and add pollutants to the air. Avoid drive-thru lanes and walk inside instead.
  10. Refuel After 6 p.m.: Fill up your gas tank in the evening rather than the morning. Evaporative emissions from morning gasoline fill-ups contribute to air pollution, particularly during the summertime.
  11. Check Your Gas Cap: Leaking gas caps contribute to air pollution and waste fuel due to evaporation. Every leaking gas cap equals approximately 200 pounds of evaporative emissions each year. Up to 30 gallons of gasoline can be released annually -- that's a lot of money wasted.

* U.S. DOT, Federal Highway Administration