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Reducing Air Pollution

air pollutionWhy is it so important to care about air pollution?  Janice Nolen, National Policy Adviser and State of the Air Project Director for the American Lung Association answers that question: "Because all of us have to breathe it. We don't have choices."  

Contributing to air pollution is something that we do every day and it can be hard to totally avoid.  However, there are still plenty of small steps that you can take to help clear our air.  

- Conserve energy.  Turn off your lights and your electronics when you're not using them.  A long time ago, I heard that it made sense to leave your computer on to conserve power, but that isn't true.  Shutting your computer down instead of leaving it on is the eco-friendly choice. 

- When it comes time to replace your appliances, seek out the most energy efficient.    Learn about the Energy Star Most Efficient rating.

- Drive less.  Carpool, walk, bike, use public transit, and combine your errands.

Keep your automobile tuned up and well-maintained.  Having a smooth-running car helps reduce air pollution.  Keep up with routine maintenence such as oil changes and replacing filters. 

- Don't idle your car.

- Use a push mower for small yards or an electric mower for larger ones. Try to reduce your grassy area in your yard so you have less to mow.

- Run your dishwasher and clothing washer only when it's full.  

- Seek environmentally friendly dry cleaners.  While one dry cleaner may not create too much air pollution, if there are ten dry cleaners in one city it can really add up and pollute the air.  

 - Use a rake instead of a leaf blower.  Your neighbors will thank you for the reduction on volume, too!

- Quit smoking.  There are numerous effects of cigarettes and the environment, including air pollution.  In 2004, a small Italian study lead by Giovanni Invernizzi from the Tobacco Control Unit of Italy's National Cancer Institute in Milan found that air pollution that comes from cigarettes is 10 times greater than diesel car exhaust.

- Plant a tree!  

 In addition to those household and lifestyle tips, write to your lawmakers asking them to support clean air initiatives.