One Trip A Week
Helping to clean our air and improve our well-being doesn’t have to mean turning your life upside down. It can be as simple as avoiding one short car trip – or even leaving the car at home – just one day a week.
Leaving your car at home one full day a week saves gas money and stress and prevents 55 pounds of lung-damaging air pollution a year. If just a tenth of our region’s approximately 2 million residents chip in, it means saving 5,500 tons of pollution a year. If half of our region’s residents chip in, it saves 27,000 tons a year.
It can also save your family money. Calculate the true costs of driving.
It’s not as hard as you may think to drive less. According to a 2006 study by Regional Transit and the Federal Transit Administration:
- “Compulsory” activities such as driving to work, school or to work-related business make up just a fourth of our total car trips
- A third of car trips are for leisure activities
- Roughly a quarter of car trips are a mile or less. More than a third are less than 2 miles.
- Call “511” or visit www.sacregion511.org for tips on transit, carpool networks, bike routes and walking opportunities
- Some other things you can do to help us breathe easier:
- Don’t drive on Spare the Air days. Sign up for Air Alerts
- Help launch and support clean-air programs at your work or business
- When you drive, keep your car well-tuned and your tires inflated to proper pressures. Refuel in the evening and never top off
- Replace gas-powered lawn mowers, trimmers and leaf blowers – all big polluters – with electric models
- Avoid burning wood in the fireplace or stove solely for aesthetic reasons. Sacramento has some of the nation’s worst soot pollution on a daily basis – and as much as 40% of winter particles come from woodburning. Take advantage of financial incentives for clean-burning EPA stoves
- Avoid household sprays, paints, pesticides and chemicals that release smog-forming vapors
- Pay attention to bad air days and use activity charts published by health experts to guide your decisions about exercise and activities
- Support smart-growth policies and principles that help move jobs, homes and services closer together for easy access by foot, bike or transit. Support the Sacramento region’s Regional Blueprint smart-growth plan and tell your elected officials that implementing it is a big priority
- Retire your older vehicle. Purchase a low- or zero-emission vehicle powered on electricity, compressed natural gas (CNG), liquid natural gas or propane, biodiesel or 85% ethanol
- Tell your elected officials that air quality is a priority
- Teach your children about air quality with interactive tools like the free Planet Polluto software and fun, educational air quality games