The hot and humid NJ summer weather is here! Days with weather like today (and probably through Thursday) are ideal for creating Air Quality Action Days.
Air Quality Action Days are declared when the ozone and/or particulate matter in the air reaches levels that are Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (Code Orange) or higher. A Code Orange means that people with lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk from exposure to ozone and the presence of particles in the air.
So what can you do?
Most people are not adversely affected by the conditions, but it is good to be cautious and make sure children playing outdoors are not having trouble breathing and that seniors have a place to go where there is air conditioning. And you can do more!
Every time you get in your vehicle you create air pollution that is causing the Action Day. The less you drive and the cleaner and more efficient vehicle you drive, the less air pollution you create. So, on Air Quality Action Days consider taking the bus, train, or catching a ride. Also put off any errands that don’t need to be done or combine your trips so you drive fewer miles.
In addition to driving less, a great option is a more fuel efficient vehicle. Not only do you save money on gas with a high mile per gallon vehicle, you also decrease air pollution released. Greater Mercer TMA’s RideProvide service is currently using a Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid for the MPG Challenge. We are getting great MPGs (sorry, I can’t tell you the exact MPGs – we wouldn’t want to give our competitors any advantage) and are doing our part to decrease air pollution while transporting seniors to doctor’s appointments. So if you are in the market for a new car be sure to look into fuel efficient electric vehicles. You never know, they may be right for you!
One last thing you can do is sign up here, for Air Quality Action Day Alerts to be emailed to you. Or follow us on twitter @gmtma.