Chill Out and Breathe Easy

Wait till evening to fire up that gas-powered lawn mower. Drink a cool one in the meantime. Stop at the click and don’t over fill your gas tank. Park your car and walk if possible. Or take the bus or light rail if you can. Chill out and breathe easy. Let’s take care of our summer air.

When an Ozone Action Alert is in effect, it means in the face of hot, still weather you need to take special precautions. Just chill. Keep the car in the garage if you can. And avoid unnecessary idling when you’re waiting in the parking lot. Roll down the window and turn off that engine.

And why mow your lawn or paint your house in the hot, hot sun? Kick back and watch the grass grow — it can wait until evening. Avoid painting and staining decks in the heat of the day. Chill. Relax in the shade instead.

Reduce your emissions. Let’s take care of our summer air.

In your yard
Delay mowing until evening — don’t mow, let it grow.

Use a new earth-friendly lawn mower — an electric- or battery-powered mower, a non-motorized push mower, or a new gasoline-powered mower.

Maintain your mower to help it run cleaner — change the air filter, oil and spark plugs at least once each season. Keep the underside of the mower free of grass build-up.

Avoid using two-stroke gasoline-powered yard equipment, such as weed trimmers, since they emit a disproportionate share of air pollution.

Use a funnel to refuel equipment — avoid even small spills and drips.

Reduce lawn watering and fertilizing to discourage excessive lawn growth.

Xeriscape to reduce lawn area, or change to native western grasses to reduce the need for irrigation and mowing.

Choose an alternative to charcoal grilling.

Don’t use petroleum distillate charcoal lighter fluids, which emit a lot of harmful vapors. Use an electric starter or charcoal chimney instead.

Around the house
Avoid solvent-based products, which have pollution causing vapors (VOCs). Use water-based paint, stain and sealants.

If you must use a solvent-based product, avoid using it on ozone action alert days or use it in the evening.

Avoid spray paints, most of which are solvent based. Very fine spray also can become airborne. Use paint brushes and rollers instead.

Tightly cap all solvents (gasoline, paint thinners, strippers, degreasers) and store in a cool place to avoid evaporation.

Plan major painting, stripping and refinishing projects for spring and fall to avoid summer heat and sun which react with vapors to create ozone pollution.

Avoid use of flammable household products, such as some floor wax, furniture polish, fabric cleaners and insect foggers, all of which tend to have solvents.

On the road
Keep your car tuned up and tires well inflated to increase mileage and reduce the need for refueling.

Refuel in the evening, so fuel vapors will not have a chance to “cook” into ozone.

When refueling your car, stop at the click — when the nozzle clicks off. Don’t overfill or drip fuel. Fuel creates ozone-causing vapors as it evaporates.

Avoid idling your car unnecessarily while waiting in parking lots or service lines. Turn off the engine.

Reduce your driving by delaying trips, combining errands into one trip, carpooling, walking or biking, or using public transportation.

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