What you can do to improve air quality
There are many simple actions you can take to reduce air pollution in your community, and help make the air cleaner and healthier for everyone. By working together, through your school or a community organization, you can make these actions even more effective.
Three key actions to improve air quality
1. Carpool, ride your bike, take the bus or walk more often
- Motor vehicles are a major contributor to smog, especially in large urban areas where traffic is heavy.
- Traffic can contribute to smog year-round, even in the winter.
2. In the winter, ask yourself “Do I really need to use my woodstove or fireplace today?”
- Burning wood for home heating is a leading cause of smog in the wintertime.
- In Canada, much of the home heating is produced by fossil fuels (coal, gas and oil). Using less energy for home heating and reducing your use of electricity will help clean the air.
- Support renewable energy where you can.
More tips on taking action
On the road:
- Take the bus, walk, ride your bike or carpool and leave the car at home
- When you do drive, improve your fuel efficiency. Tips from Transport Canada
- Buy a fuel-efficient vehicle. Purchasing advice from Transport Canada
Your woodstove or fireplace
- Use your wood heating appliance only when necessary
- Keep alert for warnings of winter smog in your area and follow the advice on wood heating
- Tips on wood-burning:
- Make a small hot fire
- Burn dry, clean wood
- If you have to heat with wood, upgrade to a new EPA certified stove. Look for a wood stove exchange program in your area:
- Québec - Programme de retrait et de remplacement des vieux appareils de chauffage au bois (in French only)
- British Columbia - wood stove exchange program
- More tips from:
Saving energy at home
- Buy energy efficient products. Tips from Natural Resources Canada
- Make your home more energy efficient. More tips from Natural Resources Canada
- Reduce the use of your gas lawnmower, particularly during air quality advisories in the summer - try a push mower, or a newer more efficient gas mower.
- Visit Summerhill Impact, a Canadian not-for-profit organization
- Improve the use of energy in your home. Tips from the Clean Air Partnership, a non-government organization
- Improve your commute - carpool, walk, take the bus or ride your bike to work
- Get your workplace involved:
- take part in the annual National Commuter Challenge organized by Commuter Challenge, a non-government organization.
- Also check for “bike to work day” events in your community
- Walk, cycle, carpool or take the bus to school. Visit Active and Safe Routes to School, a non-government organization
- Launch an anti-idling awareness campaign to reduce vehicle idling at your school. Visit Natural Resources Canada’s for ideas
- Save energy: turn off lights, computer equipment and other electrical items when not in use.
- Join Natural Resources Canada’s Kids club for energy conservation
- Celebrate Canadian Environment Week and Clean Air Day
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