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HOW TO:
REDUCE AIR OUTDOOR POLLUTION

Learn about outdoor air pollution, why non-fossil fuel transportation and products are important to reduce outdoor air pollution, and find actionable outdoor air quality and money-saving tips to reduce your eco and carbon footprints.

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What is Outdoor Air Pollution and Its Alternative?

When there is a mode of transportation or a product that relies on burning fossil fuels (petroleum, coal, natural gas), it emits dangerous greenhouse gases (GHGs) – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide – into our atmosphere producing dangerous air pollution.

Unfortunately, the most popular form of transportation is a fossil-fuel burning product:  the combustion engine vehicle.  In 2018, there were over 250 million registered vehicles in the U.S. alone.  Vehicles of which the majority are undoubtedly running on fossil fuels that produce car pollution that negatively impacts our environment and health.

Sustainable transportation is any type of transportation (land, water, air) that does not negatively impact our environment, society or economy. 

Therefore, sustainable transportation is a clean alternative to fossil-fuel transportation able to promote a healthy environment into the future. Examples of alternative transportation that is sustainable is walking, biking, or transportation that uses clean, renewable energy sources. Likewise, electronic products, like electric weed trimmers and lawnmowers, are a clean alternative to fossil fuel-based lawn equipment.

Why is it Important to Reduce Outdoor Air Pollution?

We have based our most popular forms of transportation on fossil fuel reliance. As we know, scientist have confirmed the burning of fossil fuels and the subsequent release of greenhouse gases cause global warming. Unfortunately, terrible human health and climate change side effects are also becoming increasingly familiar.

Human health impacts are seen in the forms of cancer or increased asthma cases, to name a couple. 

Climate change alone produces increased hurricane and flooding occurrences, melting ice glaciers, sea level rise, coral reef depletion, and drought, to only name a few.

The increase in human health issues cause higher medical and insurance costs, not to mention the stress and distress of taking care of failing loved ones. 

The side effects from climate change also have financial, emotional and psychological impacts to humans, such as home loss, human migrations, increased dependency on bottled water, increased insurance rates, loss of businesses and income, home rebuilding costs, etc.

To recap, greenhouse gases negatively affect our environment, thereby negatively impacting our society and economy. It’s a viscous cycle that will not end until we reduce, and eventually end, our use of fossil fuels and change our current modes of transportation (and other product use) to cleaner, renewable forms of energy. 

In that vein, it’s beneficial to take a look at what sectors produce the most greenhouse gases.  The EPA chart below shows that the Transportation Sector accounted for 29% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2017.

EPA US Greenhouse Gases by Sector graph showing transportation Pollution percentage
Source: EPA, US Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector

How to Reduce Outdoor Air Pollution

Many benefits exist to reducing the amount of fossil fuels used, especially in the Transportation sector. The good news is that there are ways you can help now. You can individually implement methods of reducing your toxic product usage through your daily actions and through products you use.

Little to big methods of change implemented individually can culminate to major, positive results towards reducing negative impacts on our environment.

Outdoor Air Quality - Conscious Consumerism

CORR Concepts is doing the home work for you to take the guesswork out of alternative transportation options and other outdoor air quality products.  Click the button below to be taken to the outdoor air quality third-party certifier list and ever-growing list of alternative transportation options and outdoor air quality products you can use to lower your eco and carbon footprints and save money.

Outdoor Air Pollution Reduction - Behavior Changes

Changing your transportation habits is the other component to reducing outdoor air pollution. These habit changes can be done in different levels. 

Below is a list of outdoor air pollution reduction tips – from the easiest “low hanging fruit” methods (lighter-colored boxes), to more complex or up-front-cost methods (darker-colored boxes below) – that may have long-term environmental, health and financial savings. I encourage you to review these tips, pick some to use, and take the Outdoor Air Pollution Reduction Challenge below. 

If you want more tips and ideas, check out the Outdoor Air Quality blog posts that are continually added for your convenience.

Outdoor Air Quality Tips - How and Why

Download Your Outdoor Air Quality Tips!

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    Walk

    Ditch the car and walk to work or on your weekly errands.

    Benefits:

    Walking not only takes your car off the road, reducing the GHGs, but it is also great exercise that saves you gas, car insurance and car maintenance money. A triple win!
    Read More >

    Bike

    Ditch the car and bike to work or on your weekly errands.

    Benefits:

    Like walking, biking does not produce GHGs and is also great exercise that saves you gas, car insurance and car maintenance money. Another triple win!
    Read More >

    Not using it? Turn it off!

    If your vehicle is parked, turn off your engine. Texting and phone conversations do not require producing greenhouse gases. If need be, keep your battery on, but turn your engine off.

    Benefits:

    It's like turning off the lights when you're not using them. Turning off your vehicle's engine saves tons of greenhouse gases produced every year, saves our health, and also saves money. It's a no brainer.
    Read More >

    Carpool / Rideshare

    Carpooling and using services like RideSolutions.agilemile.com to find a local carpool takes cars off the road.

    Benefits:

    Carpooling takes cars off the road, which reduces traffic congestions, stress, gas and infrastructure taxpayer dollars, greenhouse gases, air pollution, and your carbon footprint!
    Read More >

    Take public transportation

    Like carpooling, using public transportation takes cars off the road.

    Benefits:

    Public transportation takes cars off the road, which reduces traffic congestions, stress, gas and infrastructure taxpayer dollars, greenhouse gases, air pollution, and your carbon footprint!
    Read More >

    Contact your legislators

    Contact your local and state government representatives to demand better alternative transportation and infrastructure policies and regulations and better building codes.

    Benefits:

    When government provides policies, regulations and programs to the public, we all win in more choices for sustainability transportation methods and reduce our impact on climate change.
    Read More >

    Quit the drive-thru

    Car engines running while stopped produce needless greenhouse gases

    Benefits:

    Leaving your car running to save gas is a myth. Drive-thru's save time is also a myth. Save gas, money, time, the environment and your health by going into the restaurant or store.
    Read More >

    Ask for alternative transportation benefits

    Employers who provide alternative transportation benefits to employees promotes environmental work transportation options.

    Benefits:

    Employee compensation for walking, biking or taking public transportation to work allows employees more options to be environmentally friendly on their work commute and save money.
    Read More >

    Work from home!

    Telecommuting removes cars off the road every week day.

    Benefits:

    Employees save time, money and reduce their carbon footprint by not having to commute to work. Employers can save money on parking and other business overhead costs. Who doesn't love that?
    Read More >

    Purchase carbon offsets for airline travel

    Carbon offsets can be purchased through your airline or through a third party.

    Benefits:

    Organizations like MyClimate.org, Carbonfund.org, and terrapass.com sell carbon emission certificates which in turn contribute to global community projects across to reduce GHG emissions.
    Read More >

    Present ballot measures

    Don't think your local or state regulations are enough for protecting our environment? Present your ballot measure!

    Benefits:

    Worth the time, your own ballot measure could promote sustainable business and transportation practices and increased alternative transportation methods in your next election benefiting all for a long time to come.
    Read More >

    Ask for smart driving infrastructure

    Petition your municipality and state leaders to install roundabouts instead of signal lights for safety, cost and environmental benefits.

    Benefits:

    Cars no longer stopped at signal lights and signs reduces drive time, gas consumption and costs, city electrical usage and costs, and vehicle carbon emissions produced.
    Read More >

    Replace your car with a hybrid or electric car

    Keep the convenience of car-ownership with a vehicle that reduces your carbon footprint.

    Benefits:

    Hybrid, electric and hydrogen vehicles produce less or no carbon emissions, improve air quality, and reduce gas and maintenance bills and climate change effects. Federal and state tax credits provide extra savings!
    Read More >

    Relocate

    Move closer to your work or where pedestrian and bike paths and public transportation are more plentiful.

    Benefits:

    Reducing any daily commute not only saves time and stress, but can also save on money, air pollution and more! If you no longer need a car think of how more more you could save!
    Read More >

    Sell Your Car

    Think of how much money you’ll save on monthly gas, maintenance and insurance payments.

    Benefits:

    You also save on parking fees while not contributing to air pollution.
    Read More >

    Take the Outdoor Air Pollution Reduction Challenge!

    Take the CORR Concepts “Outdoor Air Pollution Reduction Challenge” by doing:

    1. For those of you who drive a combustion engine vehicle (let’s face it – that’s most of us), take the pledge to turn off your engine when your car is parked (e.g., while texting or talking on the phone).  Get others to take this pledge as well!

    2. Pick at least one more of the Outdoor Air Pollution Reduction  Initiatives and implement them into your everyday life. Periodically, go back to remeasure your Ecological and/or Carbon Footprint to see if you’ve lowered your score. Keep adding more Outdoor Air Pollution Reduction  Initiatives to your daily life to keep reducing your footprint(s)!

    3. Share this webpage with at least one person so that the sustainability message will spread and enrich and benefit us all.

    What are you waiting for?

    Measure your Eco Footprint

    Measure your Carbon Footprint

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