1. Check daily air pollution forecasts in your area.
The color-coded forecasts can let you know when the air is unhealthy in your community. Sources include local radio and TV weather reports, newspapers and online at airnow.gov.
2. Avoid exercising outdoors when pollution levels are high.
When the air is bad, walk indoors in a shopping mall or gym or use an exercise machine. Limit the amount of time your child spends playing outdoors if the air quality is unhealthy to protect yourself from unhealthy air.
3. Always avoid exercising near high-traffic areas.
Even when air quality forecasts are green, the vehicles on busy highways can create high pollution levels up to one-third a mile away.
4. Use less energy in your home. Generating electricity and other sources of energy creates air pollution. By reducing energy use, you can help improve air quality, curb greenhouse gas emissions, encourage energy independence and save money! Check out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s easy tips for conserving energy at home.
5. Encourage your child’s school to reduce exposure to school bus emissions.
To keep exhaust levels down, schools should not allow school buses to idle outside of their buildings. Many school systems are using the U.S. EPA’s Clean School Bus Campaign to clean up these dirty emissions.
6. Walk, bike or carpool.
Combine trips. Use buses, subways, light rail systems, commuter trains or other alternatives to driving your car.
7. Don’t burn wood or trash.
Protect Yourself from Unhealthy Air: Burning firewood and trash are among the major sources of particle pollution (soot) in many parts of the country.
8. Use hand-powered or electric lawn care equipment rather than gasoline-powered.
Old two-stroke engines like lawnmowers and leaf or snow blowers often have no pollution control devices. They can pollute the air even more than cars, though engines sold since 2011 are cleaner.