Simple Ways To Change Up Your Commute And Improve Air Quality

Article courtesy of the Clean Air Partnership

When we head out the door for work, school, or to enjoy a night on the town, most of us don’t think twice about jumping into our cars and the negative impact solo-commuting has on our air quality. More cars on our roads means more emissions in our air and an increased risk for poor air quality. Fortunately, there are many ways we can change our commutes and reduce time spent sitting behind the wheel in single-occupancy vehicles.
MetroLink and MetroBus are great alternatives to solo-commuting that individuals can use to get to work, their favorite entertainment destinations and venues around town.

Since public transit moves people more efficiently and produces significantly less air pollution to move one passenger one mile than a car does, transit use is vital in keeping our air clean. Transit is also a cost-effective transportation option that helps alleviate the stress of driving alone during peak commute times when traffic congestion is at its worst.

Choosing to share the ride to work, school or to get around town can also go a long way towards improving the region’s air quality. According to RideFinders, the regional rideshare agency, carpools remove nearly 4,500 vehicles, 2 million pounds of air pollution and 150,000 driving miles from area roadways each day. Like transit, carpooling can also save commuters money and reduce the stress of driving alone.

In addition to using transit and ridesharing, area residents can help improve air quality – and get some much-needed exercise – by walking and biking to get around town when weather and air quality conditions are favorable. Telecommuting and/or adjusting work hours to stay off the road at peak commute times can also help to keep emissions out of our air.

“The way we commute has a profound impact on our air quality, especially on hot summer days when poor air quality conditions are predicted” said Susannah Fuchs, Director, Clean Air, for the American Lung Association in Missouri and spokesperson for the Clean Air Partnership. “Our goal is to educate commuters and business owners about alternative transportation options and how these emissions-reducing options positively affect air quality and public health.”

Area residents are encouraged to visit the Clean Air Partnership’s newly updated website at www.cleanair-stlouis.com, which features air quality information and tips to help area residents do their share for cleaner air. Visitors can also sign up there to receive the daily air quality forecast via email. In addition, individuals can find additional air quality information and the daily forecast on the Clean Air Partnership’s Facebook page or on Twitter @gatewaycleanair.