This guest post is by Billie Seddon of nrdc.org.
The desire to keep the environment clean and beautiful continues to grow stronger every year. While most people understand the importance of not littering and keeping water supplies clean, keeping the air clean can be a little more complex. Air quality is incredibly important for health, and you would be amazed at how easy it is to do your part.
Traveling by car is often necessary, but you can make more of an effort to move around by foot or bike. Carpool when possible, and make the trip by foot when you can. Moving around on your own is great exercise, and it’s an easy way to improve air quality.
Every gallon of gas you save is not only putting money back in your wallet, but it’s also saving the air quality. There are several things you can do to burn less gas.
- Drive conservatively to avoid burning fuel unnecessarily. Accelerate slowly and coast when possible to boost gas mileage and help the environment.
- Plan trips carefully to avoid driving miles you don’t have to. Do all your errands at one time, and teach the kids to walk to their friends’ homes instead of asking for rides all the time
- Stop idling the car. Cars don’t have to idle to warm up, they will warm up better with slow driving for the first few miles. You also don’t have to let the car idle at lights. If you are going to sit for more than 30 seconds, you will actually save fuel by shutting the car down.
The best way to boost air quality is to boost car maintenance. Regular oil changes, properly inflated tires and tune-ups all boost our gas mileage. It’s a great way to save money, extend the life of your car and clean up the air around you. You also won’t have to worry about breaking down while in traffic, and your car will have a higher resale value when the time comes to get a new car.
Lower Utility Bills
Unless you’ve embraced the solar revolution and are using renewable energy sources, then you are contributing to pollution every time you turn on the furnace. Producing electricity and delivering gas drives pollution, so you can clean up the air by reducing your energy consumption at home. Homes are major energy hogs, but there are easy things you can do at home to change that.
- Turn the furnace down a few degrees, lower the temperature on the water heater and try to use the air conditioner less. A few degrees won’t cause you any discomfort, but it can help save the environment.
- Keep the major appliances in your home working efficiently by having them serviced regularly. This is especially important for the furnace and air conditioner. Change the air filter often to keep the system working efficiently .
- Passive improvements make a difference. Caulk cracks around the house, add insulation and put replace worn weather stripping around doors.
Saving the environment isn’t as difficult as you might think, and most of the changes will save you money in the process. The air quality around you will improve, and you will even improve your finances and health in the process. The changes are easy, and the effects can be profound. Get started today, so you can reap the benefits tomorrow and for years to come.
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