Clean Air Tips

There’s a direct link between our community’s air quality and its health, especially for children and adults with breathing problems. Individual choices can help improve Kentuckiana’s air quality.

Car Care Maintenance

Experts have found that poor automobile maintenance is a major source of our current air problems. Fortunately, the steps taken to save gas and money help the air. Here’s how easy it can be to help with your car:

1. Handle the pressure. Keep your vehicle’s tires properly inflated.
2. Care for your car. Regular maintenance and tune-ups can improve gas mileage, extend your car’s life and increase its resale value.
3. Stay on schedule. Save gas and protect the air by changing your vehicle’s oil and air filter regularly.
4. Put out the light. Your vehicle’s “Check Engine” light lets you know about a possible mechanical problem. A proper diagnosis and repair can help the air and save you money in the long run.
5. Refuel when it’s cool. Refuel during the evenings or early in the morning when the air is cool.
6. Stop at the “click.” Topping off your tank releases gas fumes into the air and cancels the benefits of the pump’s anti-pollution devices.
7. Lock it down. Tighten your gas cap until it clicks to keep gas from evaporating. Replace gas caps that don’t seal properly.

Driving Habits

1. Know before you go. Get traffic updates before you leave home and you won’t get stuck in a jam. Drive less by combining and/or planning your errands.
2. Avoid unnecessary idling.  Use the 10 Second Rule.  If you're stopped for more than 10 seconds, and you're not in traffic, you can safely turn off your engine.  For more on idling, click here.
3. Take it easy. Driving smoothly to eliminate “jack rabbit” starts and reducing unnecessary loads in your vehicle will save gas and the air.

Driving Alternatives

1. Telecommute. Working from home saves gas, vehicle upkeep and parking costs.
2. Teleconference. Why drive to a meeting? Why search for parking? Teleconferences save time and money.
3. Brown-bag it. Instead of driving to a restaurant for lunch, bring your lunch, organize an office potluck or order one lunch delivery for a group.
4. Share a ride by carpooling or riding the bus.
5. Get a tax break. When employers provide amenities and incentives for alternative commuting options, employers and employees can save money on their taxes. Click here for more information.
6. Drive alternative fuel vehicles. Hybrids that combine gas and electric power are becoming more popular. There are also vehicles that can run on ethanol, a cleaner fuel to burn.
7. Get exercise. Walking or riding a bike on short trips will save gas and the air.

Lawn Care

1. Don't use gas-powered lawnmowers and lawn equipment on Air Quality Alert Days. Consider switching to electric lawn equipment. Click here to learn more.
2. Low-Maintenance Landscaping. Landscape your yard to reduce the use of gas-powered lawn equipment. Minimize grass while planting shrubs, native plants, wildflowers, ground covers, and more that need little maintenance, pesticides, and herbicides.  
3. Use a gas or electric grill instead of charcoal. Lighter fluid is harmful to the air. Maintain your propane tanks according to specifications.

Consumer Products

1. Paint safely. Apply paint with rollers and brushes instead of sprays; it cuts down on fumes. Use water-based paints and solvents.
2. Conserve energy. Turn off lights, appliances and computers when not in use. Set your airconditioning thermostat at the highest temperature that is comfortable. Buy Energy Star equipment. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent ones.