Individual Air Quality

Individuals can help prevent air pollution and formation of ground-level ozone by practicing common methods. Some of the methods may include:

  • Buy fuel when it's cool: Refueling during cooler periods of the day or in the evening can prevent gas fumes from heating up and creating ozone.
  • Care for your car: Regular maintenance and tune-ups, changing the oil, and checking tire inflation can improve gas mileage, extend your car's life, and increase its resale value. They can also reduce traffic congestion due to preventable breakdowns and could reduce your car's emissions by more than half.
  • Combine trips in the car: It's easy, chances are you're already doing it - combining your errands into one trip. It helps you get things done, and it helps reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. When you first start a car after it has been sitting for more than an hour, it pollutes up to five times more than it does when the engine is warm.
  • Don't top off the tank: It releases gas fumes into the air which cancels the benefits of the pump's anti-pollution devices. Stopping short of a full tank keeps gasoline off of you, is safer and reduces pollution.
  • Have fun - ride your bike: It's a great way to travel, and it can help you and the air get into condition. Vehicles on the road create more than 25% of all air pollution nationwide.
  • Practice low-impact lawn care: Operating a typical gasoline-powered lawn mower for one hour produces the same amount of ground-level ozone forming pollution as driving an average car almost 200 miles. To learn more, download the Yard and Clean Air fact sheet (PDF) or visit the Show-Me Yards and Neighborhoods Program.
  • Spread the word: If everyone took just a few of these simple steps, it could make a big difference.
  • Take things in stride: Walk or skate instead of driving. They are easy ways to get exercise, and they are easy on the air.
  • Take transit, share a ride or carpool: Even if you do it just once or twice a week, you'll reduce traffic congestion and pollution and save money. The average driver spends about 56 cents per mile including ownership and maintenance.
  • Telecommute: Work at home sometimes, you will save time and money while reducing emissions and traffic congestion.