Various kinds of air pollution can aggravate your allergies. Much of the pollution in the air comes from industrial sources and cars, but there are lots of things you can do on your own to help decrease air pollution. Small changes can make a big difference over time!
Get your family involved! Here are some ideas for reducing air pollution at home:
- Use energy-efficient lights and appliances. Look for the Energy Star label to find the most efficient products.
- Recycle paper, plastic, glass, aluminum, and cardboard.
- Reuse materials — like plastic and paper bags or plastic containers — whenever possible.
- Properly dispose of hazardous materials like paint, pesticide, and cleaning products.
- Keep wood stoves and fireplaces cleaned and maintained.
- Paint with a brush, not with a sprayer, to keep paint particles out of the air.
- Insulate your home to keep heating and cooling costs down.
- Repair leaking air conditioning and refrigerator systems immediately.
- Clean and replace filters in air conditioners and heating systems to help them work more efficiently.
Broaden your efforts! Help reduce air pollution in the community:
- Plant trees! Place deciduous trees near buildings for shade in the summer but increased light in the winter.
- Choose gas-efficient, low-polluting vehicles.
- Walk or bike when you can to reduce traffic and exhaust pollution. Use public transportation or carpool if you can.
- Start or support the recycling effort at work.
- Shop by phone, mail, or internet rather than driving everywhere.
- Combine your errands into one trip to reduce vehicle emissions.
- Keep up on car maintenance and engine tune ups.
- Fill your car up with gas in the evening, when the tank is cooler — this will reduce evaporation.
- Spread the word about air pollution and good health!
- Keep an eye on the Air Quality Index and help friends, family members, and neighbors manage their allergies and other respiratory problems.
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