Air Quality

Air emissions from motor vehicles are a major contributor to unhealthy ground-level ozone and smog formation in Central Texas.  The good news is you can do something to help reduce air pollution!

 

 

Ride sharing is a great option for commuting, you save money on gas and maintenance and reduce wear and tear on your vehicle.  And the added benefit, is reducing traffic congestion and air pollution!!

  • Don’t know where to start, check out the myCommuteSolutions.com website.  Commute Solutions is a regional carpool matching and trip-planning tool.  Commute Solutions can help you find a carpool partner if you do not already have one, you can search for bike routes, discover transit routes and log your commutes. To connect with potential carpool buddies, you can log on to , and create a profile that will allow you to use the free carpool matching service.

 

 

 

Idling is running a vehicle engine when it’s not moving. While some idling is hard to avoid, most idling is wasteful and avoidable.

  • This school season, turn your car off while waiting in line to pick up your kids. Idle cars in school pickup lines can produce harmful gases and use unnecessary fuel. This pollution is
    especially harmful to children, who breathe more air each minute than adults due to the size and growth rate of their lungs. So roll down the windows and turn your car off to save
    money on gas and improve the quality of air your children are breathing. The best school experience is one with clean air.
  • Sometimes early morning coffee is necessary before work, but waiting in the long line at the drive through isn’t. Park your car and head inside for your next order. One less idle car in line means less air pollution and reduced gas consumption.
  • Did you know that restarting your vehicle is better for air quality than idling your vehicle for 10 second or more? 3.8 million gallons of fuel is wasted by idling each day in the U.S #BeAirAware and start reducing air pollution and wasted fuel, https://iturnitoff.com/#/savings
  • Learn how to #TakeCareofOurAir with tips and resources to limit idling at AirCentralTexas.org


Maintaining your car will also help keep our air cleaner.

  • Follow your vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations
  • Keep your tires properly inflated (this also helps your gas mileage!)
  • Learn more at Drive Clean Across Texas
  • If you check engine light is one, get it checked, there is a good chance your car is releasing excess pollutants and/or consuming too much gas
  • If your car has failed its inspection you may qualify for the Drive A Clean Machine Program. You could receive up to $600 for vehicle repairs or up to $3,500 towards the cost of a vehicle replacement.

 

The City of Round Rock is committed to participating in air quality initiatives.  Ground-level ozone is the area’s number one air quality issue.  Ozone forms in the sun, is worse in the afternoon and early evening and is usually more prominent on hot summer days.  Ground-level ozone can affect anyone, but children and persons with a compromised respiratory system are especially vulnerable.

To learn more about our regional air quality, what you can do to reduce emissions and exposure to air pollution please visit www.AirCentralTexas.org.

Air Quality IndexWho Needs to be Concerned?What Should I do?
Good
(0-50)
It’s a great day to be active outside.
Moderate
(51-100)
Some people who may be unusually sensitive to ozone

Unusually sensitive people: Consider reducing prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.  Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath.  These are signs to take it a little easier.

Everyone else: It is a good day to be active outside.

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (101-150)Sensitive groups include people with lung disease such as asthma, older adults, children and teenagers, and people who are active outdoors.

Sensitive groups: Reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion.  Take more breaks, do less intense activities.  Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath.  Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when ozone is lower.

People with asthma: Follow your asthma action plan and keep quick relief medicine handy.

Unhealthy
(151-200)
Everyone

Sensitive groups: Avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when ozone is lower. Consider moving activities indoors.

People with asthma: Keep quick-relief medicine handy.

Everyone else: Reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Take more breaks, do less intense activities. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when ozone is lower.

Very Unhealthy
(201-300)
Everyone

Sensitive groups: Avoid all physical activity outdoors. Move activities indoors or reschedule to a time when air quality is better.

People with asthma: Keep quick-relief medicine handy.

Everyone else: Avoid prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion. Schedule outdoor activities in the morning when ozone is lower. Consider moving activities indoors.

Hazardous
(301-500)
EveryoneEveryone: Avoid all physical activity outdoors.

Source: Air Now, http://www.airnow.gov

Citizens are encouraged to take voluntary actions to reduce emissions and exposure to high ozone levels when they occur.  Here are some ways you can help:

  • Drive less. Use public transportation, walk, or ride your bike. Just spend less time in your car.

  • Carpool.

  • Drive a “greener” vehicle. When it’s time to buy a car, look for high gas mileage…or an alternative fuel.

  • Pick up a friend. Pick up your friends when heading to the movies or a night on the town. Sharing the trip saves gas, and makes parking easier.

  • Don’t idle. Skip the drive-thru and don’t leave the engine running while you run in a store or wait for a passenger.

  • Refuel after 6pm. Vapors from gasoline escape when you refill your tank. Fueling in the evening prevents those vapors from “cooking” all day long.

  • Tune up your car. Proper maintenance can increase gas mileage and reduce pollution.

  • Combine or put off errands. Make lists and plan errands efficiently to avoid extra driving and save time. If you can, delay your driving errands until the ozone is less severe.

  • Stay & play in your neighborhood. Instead of driving, shop locally, take walks, and reconnect with your neighborhood.

  • Walk or jog. Instead of driving to the gym, try getting your exercise the old-fashioned way.

  • Bring your lunch. Don’t drive, pack! Or carpool to lunch with co-workers, or walk to a nearby eatery.

  • Save energy. Most energy is produced by burning fossil fuels, so more energy equals more pollution.

  • Use less water. It takes energy to pump and treat water, so using less water reduces energy waste and pollution.

  • Recycle and reuse. Find new uses for old materials and reduce the demand for high-polluting factory processes by recycling as much as possible.

  • Use low-VOC paints. Cut down on fumes with low-VOC paints, and use brushes or rollers instead of spray equipment.

  • Turn off your monitor. Computer monitors are energy hogs. Upgrade to a more efficient model, or turn the monitor off while away from your desk.

 


Caren Lee
2008 Enterprise Drive
Round Rock, Texas 78664
512-671-2869