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IDEM > Your Community > Partners for Clean Air > Air Quality Tips Air Quality Tips

Tips for Home

  • Limit driving. Defer errands, share a ride (carpool), or use public transit. For short trips, walk or ride a bike.
  • If you must drive, avoid excessive idling or jackrabbit starts. Idling for just 30 seconds uses more fuel than stopping and starting your engine.
  • Avoid refueling your car on Air Quality Action Days. If you must refuel, do so only after 7 PM when sunlight is not as strong.
  • Avoid drive-thru windows and congested areas to save fuel and time.
  • Delay using gas-powered vehicles or tools, including recreational vehicles and lawn mowers. Small engines are a significant source of air pollution.
  • Get regular engine tune-ups and keep the right amount of air in the tires. Well-maintained vehicles create less pollution.
  • Take your lunch to work to reduce lunchtime trips, and if you cannot defer errands, combine them to reduce miles driven.
  • When you barbeque, use a charcoal chimney or electric starter instead of charcoal lighter fluid.
  • Avoid using oil-based paints, solvents, cleaners, varnishes, or other household and personal products that cause fumes.
  • Conserve energy in your home, which improves air quality by reducing energy needs from power plants.
  • Do not burn leaves and other yard waste, and postpone burning wood in fireplaces.

Tips for Work

Employee / Employer Activities

  • Designate a work place coordinator for the Air Quality Action Day program.
  • Notify employees of upcoming Air Quality Action Days through e-mail memos, banners, intercom announcements, etc. Also, have your contact person insure that managers remind their employees.
  • Allow your staff to work at home, if possible, through telecommuting.
  • Use teleconferencing instead of driving to meetings.
  • Promote alternatives to drive alone commuting.
  • Obtain and promote transit maps and schedules for nearby routes to your employees.
  • Start an in-office rideshare program for employees.
  • Offer employees incentives and recognition for not driving.
  • Encourage flextime to reduce peak hour roadway congestion.
  • If available, subsidize and sell employee transit passes at the office.
  • Buy a bike rack for your employees, and encourage them to use it, or allow employees to keep their bicycles safely indoors.
  • Encourage brown bagging it on Air Quality Action Days. Provide free sodas, or coffee and donuts, to employees who make an extra effort.
  • Organize deliveries from popular local restaurants.
  • Create a special lunch discount in the cafeteria to encourage lunch on site.

Fleet Maintenance Activities

  • Delay refueling vehicles and equipment until late afternoon or the next day.
  • Schedule deliveries from your site together to eliminate multiple trips.
  • Turn off vehicles when loading or unloading for more than 30 seconds.

Industrial Activities

  • Defer cleaning with volatile solvents until late in the day. When possible use alternative cleaners that are nonvolatile, non-hazardous, and often cheaper.
  • Schedule structural painting for cooler weather.
  • Defer high emission or batch production activities until evening shifts or the next day.
  • Make water-based latex paints, stains, and sealers your first choice. If using oil-based coatings, ask for low-solvent versions.
  • Implement money saving pollution prevention actions in such areas as waste separation, solvent recycling, or the use of high efficiency electric motors.

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