Welcome to September where Fall allergies are in full swing! Many of us are affected by seasonal allergies and they and are made worse when there are pollutants in our air. Want to learn the cause of those pollutants and how you can work towards cleaner air? We laid it all out for you below. Bonus – you’ll save money too!
What Contributes to Poor Air Quality?
Pollution plus heat and sunlight are the cause for high-ozone smog. This can increase the frequency of asthma attacks and health care needs for people with asthma or respiratory problems. If you’ve ever had an asthma attack, you know what I’m talking about all too well. Poor air quality can lead to health effects like coughing, chest tightening, throat irritation, pain, burning or discomfort when taking deep breaths and shortness of breath.
Our partners at Air North Texas have tons of great research on air quality and its effects. According to their research, on-road vehicle activities account for nearly half of the nitrogen oxides (NOx) inventory, which helps form ground-level ozone along with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). You can track and learn more about the current ozone activity and air quality index here.
So how do you take steps towards cleaner air in your region? We listed out a few ideas you can incorporate to your daily routine for cleaner air and a greener world and you will even save money while doing so!
Ride Public Transit
Riding public transit, joining a carpool, cycling or walking can efficiently get you where you need to go while producing significantly less air pollution and saving money. According to our friends at the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the average household spends 16 cents of every dollar on transportation, and 93 percent of this goes to buying, maintaining and operating cars, the largest expenditure after housing.
Think of all the money you could save cutting down your driving and replacing it with public transportation! We offer all types of passes to fit your needs — from local to regional passes, year passes to 10-day passes and even daily passes. Along with different fare types, we also have discount programs that provide advantages to groups buying in bulk, nonprofit organizations, students and employers.
Join a Carpool
We also have a commuter vanpool service giving you a comfortable, cost-effective and convenient way to get to work, help the environment and save you money. A vanpool is a group of six to 15 people who commute together on a regular basis in a roomy, comfortable van. One person volunteers to be the driver/coordinator of the vanpool and is able to ride free. The riders share the cost of operating the vanpool. The vanpool group determines their daily schedule and route including one or more designated pickup locations, such as A-train stations or shopping centers.
If choosing to carpool, whether through DCTA’s vanpool program or independently, make sure you follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for carpooling during COVID-19. Wear masks when in the carpool and wash your hands frequently. Read our blog to learn more about using vanpool services and ride share during COVID-19.
Walk or Bike When You Can
Our A-train Rail Trail is a great resource for biking, walking, running and other exercise activities with beautiful scenic views. Our 19-mile trail connects existing transit facilities with key destinations within DTCA’s member cities – Denton, Lewisville and Highland Village– and surrounding areas. Taking greener trips and modifying your mode of transportation to a “greener” option can help not only help the environment but also your wallet!
Go Green & Earn Rewards
You can “Go Green & Earn Rewards” by recording your green trips through the Try Parking It program by our partner at North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG.) Create a FREE account and track the miles and money you save, the emissions you prevent and earn reward points that you can redeem at local restaurants, stores and more. Learn more in the blog from our archives below!
Engage in a Green Lifestyle
While there is evidence that the reduced number of cars on the road has significantly decreased during quarantine, other sources of pollution might rise because of the increased use of basic domestic resources like water and electricity. By doing small things like powering down electronic devices when not in use, turning off the water while you’re brushing your teeth and dialing down the AC, you can help you save both energy and money and do your part and save the environment at the same time!
Now that you’ve read our blog and have some ideas on how to create a greener world around you, take our quiz to test your clean air knowledge and learn even more ways to support clean air in your region.
What other steps are you taking to stay green and save money? Let us know in the comment section below – we would love to hear more ideas!