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Protecting the Air We Breathe: Air Quality Awareness Week

April 29, 2013
Cars lined up in traffic during rush hour.

Today, April 29, Air Quality Awareness Week kicks off to educate Georgians about the health effects of air pollution and the meaningful actions they can take to improve outdoor air quality. Air Quality Awareness Week (April 29 - May 3) is a reminder that there are simple, voluntary actions we can take to make an immediate, positive impact on the air we all breathe.

In many areas of Georgia, half of smog-forming emission comes from vehicle tailpipes so it’s up to us to do our part to reduce poor air quality across the state. A lot of us are already doing our part: commuters participating in Georgia Commute Options programs have collectively eliminated 1.1 million vehicle miles of travel and saved a combined $500,000 on commute costs. For every mile we take off the road, one pound of pollution in our air is reduced.

Here are a few easy ways to do your part:

  • Sign up for Smog Alerts. To protect public health, The Clean Air Campaign distributes Smog Alerts via email when the next day’s air quality is projected by EPD to be unhealthy.
  • Commit to carpooling, vanpooling or riding transit to your job. Ask your boss for permission to telework to avoid traffic altogether. Ride your bike when you are able. You can even receive free assistance in finding a carpool or vanpool partner.
  • Take your lunch to work so you don’t have to leave in your car to grab a bite. Avoid the lunchtime congestion and save a few bucks at the same time.
  • If you have errands to run in your car, avoid unnecessary idling. Skip the drive-thru lanes and stay out of the stop-and-go traffic.
  • Schools can get involved, too! If you have school aged children, contact their school about incorporating activities on air quality and types of air pollution.

For more information on how to improve air quality, visit CleanAirCampaign.org. You can also find The Clean Air Campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

About the Author

Jenny Schultz is Communications Specialist with The Clean Air Campaign, one of several organizations in the Atlanta region that deliver Georgia Commute Options programs and services in partnership with the Georgia Department of Transportation.