Since 1997, the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States has recognized that ongoing moderate exposures to ozone can cause an irreversible change to a person’s lungs. This makes it a high priority to minimize ground level ozone. In the past, the solutions to ground level ozone reduction have involved local control strategies.
Today is different. There is a global effort to reduce ground level ozone and many of the solutions involve our own personal daily living activities. How many of these solutions could you implement right now?
1. Conserve energy.
Doing something as simple as turning off a light when you’re not in a room can reduce air pollution. If you can do this at work and everywhere else you go, then you’re doing a small, but important part to reduce ground level ozone.
2. Choose a cleaner way to commute.
By sharing a ride to work, you’re taking one vehicle off of the road. Using public transportation accomplishes this as well.
3. Walk instead of drive.
If you have errands to run and it is possible to walk there, then consider doing so. If you must drive, look for ways that you can combine multiple stops into one trip so that you can reduce your driving time.
4. Turn off your car.
Idling your vehicle can encourage local levels of ground level ozone to grow quickly. If you are going to be parked for several minutes, shut the engine off on your vehicle if you can. Avoid pre-warming your vehicle through idling as well.
5. Avoid burning wood for heat or power.
If you can use natural gas for heat and power, then that’s a better solution than burning wood. Should you have no choice about your heat source and wood must be burned, pay attention to red flag warnings so that particle levels remain at low levels.
6. Mulch yard waste instead of burning it.
Trash, leaves, and other materials are often burned as a way to get rid of them. In many instances, these items could be mulched or composted to produce better environmental results.
7. Transition to electrical lawn equipment.
Instead of using a gas-powered lawn mower, consider using one that operates on a direct electrical connection or through battery power. Doing the same with your other lawn and garden tools will provide an immediate solution to ground level ozone.
8. Perform your refueling chores in the evening.
When you are refueling a vehicle, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to promote improve vapor recovery. Work to reduce spills and make sure the cap is securely fastened. Use portable gasoline containers that are spill-proof whenever possible. It also reduces ozone levels to perform your refueling chores in the evening.
9. Keep your vehicle engines properly tuned.
When an engine is running efficiently, then it will not excessively contribute air pollution. This applies to all engines you use, including vehicles, boats, and tractors.
With these solutions to ground level ozone, we can all do our part to promote cleaner air and a healthier planet.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.