Clean Air Choices - On the Road
Even though vehicles are much cleaner than they used to be, they are driven many more miles. Because of this, vehicles are still the largest contributor to air pollution. To help keep Spokane's skies clean and healthful, consider making a few adjustments to your daily, weekly or even monthly routine. Here are some ideas.
Drive sensibly; speeding and rapid acceleration and braking wastes fuel.
Idling your vehicle gets you nowhere fast. If you're idling for more than 30-seconds, please turn off the engine.
- Idling consumes 1/2 to 1 gallon of gas per hour.
- Excessive idling causes your engine's components, including cylinders and spark plugs, to wear prematurely.
- Children's asthma symptoms increase as a result of car exhaust.
- If you are a parent or volunteer at a school, talk to the school administrators about joining the free, easy and award-winning No Idle Zone program!
Plan ahead and combine errands into efficient trips. A little planning goes a long way to save time, money and our air! Take a shopping list to avoid repeat trips, and call the store ahead of time to make sure they have your item(s) in-stock. When running kids to activities, coordinate with other parents to share driving duties.
Keep your car running smoothly
A well-maintained vehicle runs more efficiently, resulting in better gas mileage and reduced tailpipe emissions.
- Schedule regular oil changes and tune-ups.
- Check tire pressure monthly to increase miles per gallon and decrease wear.
- Replace dirty air filters.
- Check engine fluid levels twice a month.
- Inspect fan belts and hoses monthly for wear, and replace as needed.
Park the car, even just once a week
If you ride the bus, carpool, bike or walk to work one out of five days, you will reduce your commute-related gas consumption by 20%. That saves you money and helps reduce traffic and pollution. If you'd like support from your employer, there are employer incentives for those participating in Spokane County's Commute Trip Reduction program.
Protect your health
Reduce your exposure to harmful gasoline vapors. When refueling your vehicle:
- Step back from the nozzle to avoid breathing toxic gasoline vapors. Avoid fumes altogether by refueling at stations that have vapor recovery nozzles.
- Avoid overfilling the gas tank - stop at the first click. Overfilling wastes gasoline and causes spills.
If you are looking for a new or used vehicle, shop smart. Visit the Green Vehicle Guide website and www.fueleconomy.gov to compare fuel efficiencies among various makes and models. Do your research and if it's right for you, consider vehicles that use alternative fuels.