Driving is one aspect of our lives that we all depend on, but it is also one of most polluting acts a person commits. There are various ways we as individuals can reduce our impacts and help contribute to cleaner air.
Unnecessary idling wastes fuel and money. Sitting for more than ten seconds with the engine running uses more gas than restarting the vehicle. A person idling for ten minutes a day will use more than 27 gallons of fuel in a year! By eliminating unnecessary idling, you help improve the air we breathe while saving in fuel and vehicle maintenance costs. See our Go-Idle-Free flyer for more information on idle reduction.
To combat vehicle pollution, a local program covering the St. Louis region called RideFinders, aims to cut down on vehicle pollution by promoting the benefits of carpooling. It is a free ridematching service enabling commuters to find a ride to work or college. In addition, this program also offers a free SchoolPool program for K-12 schools which helps their parents form carpools to take students to and from school.
Public transportation is a great alternative to driving! Taking public transit can save you money in fuel and vehicle maintenance, while improving air quality by alleviating traffic congestion. St. Louis Metro Transit and Madison County Transit provide safe and reliable transportation while contributing to cleaner air. Metro Transit has removed 45,000 cars off the roads daily and Madison County Transit has eliminated approximately 3,403,500 pounds of vehicle pollution.
Helpful tips to reduce harmful vehicle emissions:
- Bike, walk, carpool, or use public transit
- Limit vehicle idling.
- Plan driving activities so that several trips can be linked together.
- Purchase a more fuel efficient vehicle if possible.
- Maintain your engine. A properly maintained engine uses less fuel than one that is not up-to-date on maintenance.
- Carpooling is a great way to lower fuel expenses and reducing emissions.
- Refuel your car properly; prevent gas spillage by not topping off the gas tank.
- Inflate tires properly. Cars with low tire pressure uses up to 5% more energy.
- Skip the drive-thru and order from the inside
- Avoid high speeds. As your speed increases, your aerodynamic drag increases in an exponential fashion. Driving 62 mph vs 75 mph will reduce fuel consumption by about 15%.
Metro East Community Air Project
1 Regency Plaza
Collinsville, IL 62234