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  • DEQ encourages residents to drive less in 2017 for healthier air

    Jan 04, 2017 | Read More News
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    If you are still looking for a New Year’s resolution, here is one that will save you money and help keep the air you breathe healthier!

    The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Air Program suggests you try to busdrive a little less each week to save money on gas, reduce wear and tear on your vehicle and tires, and improve air quality.
    “A great deal of the air pollution throughout Pima County is caused by using our motor vehicles, so whenever we can skip a trip or share a ride, it will benefit the air we breathe,” said Beth Gorman, Senior Program Manager with PDEQ.

    According to information from Pima Association of Governments, every 1.1 miles driven creates 1 pound of air pollution.

    “When we say ‘drive less’ we aren’t saying to put your car up for sale. It’s more to get into the mindset of asking yourself if you really need to make the trip alone in your car or are there other transportation options that will work just as well,” said Gorman.

    Options could include walking if the trip is short, combining the trip with another one that needs to happen, riding a bike, seeing if there is anyone interested in carpooling with you, or checking out transit to see if Sun Tran or the Sun Link streetcar might be an option.
    Your vehicle doesn’t have to be driven to pollute the air -- idling vehicles also create air pollution and they do so in a concentrated area. Research by Argonne National Laboratory indicates that idling your vehicle’s engine for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and emits more carbon dioxide than turning the engine off and restarting it. In addition, vehicles warm up faster when driving than when idling.

    Therefore, if you choose to use your vehicle, reduce idling by avoiding drive thru lanes and warm up the engine while driving instead of sitting in the driveway. These are effective ways to reduce engine wear, gasoline use, and air pollution so we all can breathe healthier air.

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