Go car free to reduce emissions

Stylized graphic showing man throwing car into garbage can for Car Free Day.

Did you know you can help reduce the health hazards of ozone exposure in our community? You can help keep our region’s air cleaner by going car free. Even one less day of driving can help.

Last month we celebrated Car Free Day, and all summer long businesses have supported No Drive Days. You can carry that into the fall. Instead of driving, you can choose more sustainable ways to commute, such as using bicycles, buses, the streetcar, carpools and vanpools. Using more sustainable ways to get around helps reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion.

The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality issued several high pollution advisories for ground-level ozone air pollution this past summer. The main cause of ozone is emissions from motor vehicles. Negative impacts from ozone can reach all who live in our community, and include a variety of health problems, especially in children, the elderly and people who have respiratory diseases such as asthma and other health issues.

While a number of emissions contribute to the creation of ground-level ozone, motor vehicle exhaust and gasoline vapors are two that No Drive Days can help mitigate.

Actions to reduce the production of ground-level ozone:

  • Reduce driving – combine errands into one trip.
  • Ride the bus, walk, bike, or share a ride with friends and family.
  • Avoid idling your vehicle’s engine.
  • Re-fuel your car after 6 p.m.
  • While re-fueling, always stop at the click.
  • Make sure your gas cap is tightly sealed after re-fueling.
  • Check your tire pressure monthly to reduce gasoline use and associated pollution.