pollution in our air, water, soil, and food. There is rarely a place on Earth today that has not been subjected to pollutants in one form or another. Although pollution is unfortunately all around us, we all have a role to play when it comes to preventing pollution. The following list can help you to get started thinking about ways that you can prevent air pollution in your own life from day to day. What other ways can you think of to help keep the air clean and healthy?
- Reduce the air pollution of your automobile. When you are out for a drive, do not idle your vehicle. Drive less by combining trips, telecommuting, carpooling, carsharing, riding a bike, walking, and using public transit. When you are in the market to buy a new vehicle, consider buying the most efficient, and least polluting vehicle. Be sure to keep car tuned and regularly replace air filters at recommended intervals.
- Save energy. When you save energy, whether it is at home, at work, or while you are traveling, you will be reducing air polluting particulates as well as carbon emissions that pollute the air. For more information on how you can save energy, check out our articles on 10 Tips on How to Improve Energy Efficiency at Home and 10 Ways to Save Energy and Money at Home.
- Use eco-friendly products in your home and in your yard. When purchasing household products for your home and your yard, opt for the cleanest and greenest products that don’t contain any harmful polluting chemicals.
A few great tips:
- Opt for no-VOC or low-VOC paints, stains, finishes, paint strippers, and glues.
- Instead of using chemical-filled air fresheners, use essential oils to make your home smell nice.
- Use green cleaning products instead of conventional chemical-filled products. For ideas about which products contain the cleanest ingredients, The Environmental Working Group’s Consumer Guides web page is a great place to start.
- If you smoke, do not smoke inside your home.
- Support public policies and representative politicians who will work to protect the air and the environment.
- Support companies that are committed to sustainable manufacturing practices and reducing pollution in the air.
- Recycle and buy recycled products. It takes more energy and natural resources to make new things, increasing the environmental footprint (including the air pollution that is produced) of those products, compared with those products that are made from recycled materials.
- Plant trees around your home and in your community that can help to reduce air pollutants. Trees help to clean the air of gaseous pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and ozone, as well as particulate pollutants¹.
- Keep air-cleaning houseplants to help reduce the air pollutants inside your home. A list of recommended houseplants to help keep your home’s indoor air clean can be found here.
- If you own a wood burning stove or a fireplace, be sure to keep it well-maintained. Old wood stoves can be replaced with newer models that are more efficient. It is also important to burn the right wood in the right way to prevent the generation of unnecessary air pollution. For more information, see epa.gov/burnwise.