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Air Quality Tips

Do Your Part

Below is a list of readily achievable ways to help you do your part to reduce ozone and fine particles and can help save money.


  • Limit driving. Defer errands, share a ride (carpool), or use public transit. For short trips, walk, ride a bike, or rollerblade
  • If you must drive, avoid excessive idling or jackrabbit starts. Idling for just 30 seconds uses more fuel than stopping and starting your engine. Turn off your car when stopped for trains or long waits
  • Avoid refueling your car on Air Quality Action Days. If you must refuel, do so only after 7 PM when sunlight is not as strong
  • Avoid drive-thru windows and congested areas to save fuel and time
  • Get regular engine tune-ups and keep the right amount of air in the tires. Well-maintained vehicles create less pollution
  • Delay using gas-powered vehicles or tools, including recreational vehicles and lawn mowers. Small engines are a significant source of air pollution
  • Take your lunch to work to reduce lunchtime trips, and if you cannot defer errands, combine them to reduce miles driven
  • When you barbeque, use a charcoal chimney or electric starter instead of charcoal lighter fluid
  • Avoid using oil-based paints, solvents, cleaners, varnishes, or other household and personal products that cause fumes
  • Conserve energy in your home and buy energy efficient appliances, which improves air quality by reducing energy needs from powerplants
  • Do not burn leaves and other yard waste
  • Recycle


  • Create and designate a workplace coordinator for the Air Quality Action Day program
  • Notify employees of upcoming Air Quality Action Days through e-mail memos, banners, intercom announcements, etc. Also, have your contact person ensure that managers remind their employees
  • Allow your staff to work at home, if possible, through telecommuting
  • Use teleconferencing instead of driving to meetings
  • Promote alternatives to drive alone commuting
  • Obtain and promote transit maps and schedules for nearby routes to your employees
  • Start an in-office rideshare program for employees
  • If available, subsidize and sell employee transit passes at the office
  • Offer employees incentives and recognition for not driving
  • Buy a bike rack for your employees, and encourage them to use it, or allow employees to keep their bicycles safely indoors
  • Encourage brown bag lunches on Air Quality Action Days. Provide free sodas, or coffee and donuts, to employees who make an extra effort
  • Organize deliveries from popular local restaurants
  • Create a special lunch discount in the cafeteria to encourage lunch on site
  • Encourage flextime including condensed work weeks or staggered work hours to reduce peak hour roadway congestion
  • Take stairs instead of elevator
  • Promote and offer recycling

Fleet Maintenance Activities

  • Delay refueling vehicles and equipment until late afternoon
  • Schedule deliveries from your site together to eliminate multiple trips
  • Turn off vehicles when loading or unloading for more than 30 seconds
  • Adopt a green fleet policy

Industrial Activities

  • Defer cleaning with volatile solvents until late in the day. When possible, use alternative cleaners that are nonvolatile, non-hazardous, which are often cheaper
  • Schedule structural painting during cooler months
  • Defer high emission or batch production activities until evening shifts
  • Make water-based latex paints, stains, and sealers your first choice. If using oil-based coatings, ask for low-solvent versions
  • Implement money saving pollution prevention actions in such areas as waste separation, solvent recycling, or the use of high efficiency electric motors

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