Cheap Ways to Help Air Pollution

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There are many ways to fight air pollution.
There are many ways to fight air pollution.

There are several common air pollutants found throughout the United States. These pollutants, also known as criteria air pollutants, include carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, lead, sulfur dioxide, ozone and particulate matter. These pollutants can affect health, cause property damage and harm the environment. Common daily activities including electricity usage, driving and cooling or warming our homes all contribute to air pollution. Fortunately, there are many simple and inexpensive ways to help fight air pollution.

  1. Driving

    • Transportation is one of the leading contributors to air pollution. Citizens can resort to a variety of transportation options (other than driving) to help fight air pollution. For instance, walking, riding a bike, joining a carpool or using public transportation will cut down on the amount of air pollutants emitted by your car. There are even ways to cut down on the amount of air pollution a car creates which include keeping your tires properly aligned and inflated, using energy-conserving motor oil, having your car tuned up and its spark plugs checked regularly, and never topping off your gas tank.

    Home

    • Energy generation plants are some of the bigger producers of air pollution. Electricity usage in the home, therefore, indirectly leads to air pollution. There are inexpensive ways to reduce the amount of energy used in your home including turning off lights and appliances when not in use, using solar energy, buying green products produced by low-pollution factories, setting your water heater's thermostat to 120 degrees and insulating your home. Other ways to reduce air pollution directly at home include using a propane barbecue instead of charcoal barbecue, using non-aerosol products, planting a tree and recycling paper, plastic, glass and aluminum.

    Shopping

    • Shopping wisely in relation to the environment is another inexpensive way to help reduce air pollution. Ways you can help at the store include buying products that come with less packaging. Packaging consumes energy when it's produced, makes harmful compounds when printed upon, releases carbon monoxide and dioxide when burned and produces greenhouse gases in landfills. Buying products made from recycled material also helps improve air quality. While you're at it, combine the number of errands you run, minimizing the time your car operates and produces air pollution. When stopping at the local fast food joint, don't wait in line at the drive-thru. This reduces your car's idling time, which is one of the times it produces the most air pollution.

    Work

    • Ways you can reduce air pollution at work include turning off your computer when your shift is over, setting your computer monitor to energy-efficient settings and making sure office printers and copiers are turned off at the end of the day. Setting your office's printer and copier to print on both sides also helps reduce air pollution because it takes less energy to print on paper than it does to produce paper.

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  • Photo Credit Hal Bergman/Photodisc/Getty Images

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