What are Ozone Action Days?
Ozone, a combination of Nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds that "cook" in the hot summer sun, is the main component of smog and can irritate lungs and eyes and make it difficult for some people to breath. In high quantities it can be dangerous for people's health and the Environmental Protection Agency has set limits for the concentration levels ozone should reach. Those areas that do not meet these standards may face penalties, such as a shutdown of road construction projects and stricter, more expensive automobile inspections. Central Texas already fails to meet some of these standards and is close to violating others. Ozone Action Days are intended to help reduce the amount of local emissions during the summer and clean up our air.
Actions you can take from the Clean Air Force:
- Keep your car tuned up
A car does not always produce visible smoke when it is emitting excess pollution. An auto shop can often make minor repairs that will result in better gas mileage and less air pollution. When you see a smoking car on the road, report it to the Texas Commission on Envirnomental Quality (TCEQ) Smoking Vehicle Program. Call 1-800-453-SMOG.
- Refuel after 5 p.m.
Ozone is created during hot, sunny weather. Refueling at the end of the day limits the amount of ozone-forming chemicals in the atmosphere during the heat of the day. Also, avoid topping off your tank. Learn to "stop at the click."
- Carpool or vanpool
Join a carpool or a vanpool for your commute to work. Call Capital Metro at 477-RIDE to sign up for their ride-finding services.
- Take a walk
At work, walk to lunch instead of starting up your car. Walk to your next meeting or on an errand near your home.
- Ride your bike
Make the commitment to bike for at least one errand each week. It is great exercise and a wonderful stress reliever. Consider biking to work.
- Take the bus
Ride the bus to work or for an errand. Contact CARTS at 478-RIDE.
- Rethink your landscape
Spark-ignition landscaping equipment, such as gasoline-powered lawnmowers, weed-eaters, and leaf-blowers, can emit far more pollution than your car. Try using an electric-powered mower or a push mower. You can reduce your need for mowing by installing water-wise landscaping such as native plants, wildflowers, and buffalo grass.
- Conserve energy and reduce pollution at home
Using less electricity helps reduce air pollution. Turn off lights you're not using and reduce the use of your air conditioner with ceiling fans, good insulation, and a programmable thermostat.
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