autumn mountainside

What You Can Do

While there are many threats to clean air, there are many things individuals can do to help keep air clean. The list that follows offers some clean air tips.

On the Road...

  • Bike or walk.
  • Use public transportation as an alternative to driving - Bus, Train, or Ferry.
  • Carpool or Rideshare.
  • If you must use your car...
    • Try to plan activities so that several trips can be linked together.
    • Limit vehicle idling. Idling causes unnecessary air pollution and decreases the fuel economy of your vehicle.
    • Properly maintain your vehicle.  When an engine is not running as efficiently as possible, performance is lost, fuel is wasted, and air pollutants increase. By paying attention to your vehicle's check engine light, this allows your vehicle to be properly serviced before emissions become a problem.
    • Inflate tires properly. Cars with soft tires take up to 5% more energy to operate.
    • Prevent gas spillage; don't top off your tank.
    • Purchasing an electric vehicle or a more fuel efficient vehicle also conserves energy and saves you money. To compare electric vehicle models available in Vermont, visit Drive Electric Vermont's website.  To compare vehicle efficiencies, visit the U.S. Department of Energy's and Environmental Protection Agency's fuel economy website.

At Home...

  • Conserve energy...
    • Use compact fluorescent bulbs or LEDs. They give off light similar to traditional light bulbs, but use less energy and last much longer.
    • When buying appliances, look for the yellow Energy Guide label that indicates energy efficiency. Choosing high-efficiency (ENERGY STAR) appliances cuts down on your bills, utility plant emissions, and ultimately smog.
    • To get started conserving energy and thereby reducing your emissions, visit Efficiency Vermont's website.
    • Consider renewable energy. Check the renewable energy potential of your property using the Renewable Energy Atlas.
  • Use products that pollute less...
    • Use citrus-based solvents. In most cases, these solvents are safe and effective.
    • Use natural briquettes for your barbecue and avoid using lighter fluid. For example, use a charcoal chimney starter. 
    • Choose water-based latex paints for your home painting. Oil-based paints and varnishes contain solvents that pollute the air and harm your health.
    • Buy goods made from recycled materials.
  • Other steps you can take...
    • Do not burn your trash. Burning trash is harmful to your health, the environment and is illegal in Vermont.
    • When selecting small engine products (e.g., outboard engines, lawn & garden equipment, snowmobiles, etc), choose a product with a  4-stroke engine or electric motor rather than a 2-stroke.
    • Purchase no-spill gasoline cans. According to the Alliance for Proper Gasoline Handling, a consortium of oil industry, small engine manufacturers and government entities, each year Americans spill over 9 million gallons of gasoline. This is the equivalent of a super tanker.