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What Can I Do While on the Road?


  • Trip chain more often. Combine your errands into one trip to help you get things done more efficiently, and help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution at the same time. When you first start a car after it has been sitting for more than an hour, it pollutes up to five times more than when the engine's warm.
  • Take public transportation, share a ride, or carpool. Even if you do it just once or twice a week, it will reduce traffic congestion, pollution, and save you money! The average driver spends approximately 44 cents per mile for ownership and maintenance of their vehicle. (See these resources for alternatives to driving.)
  • Ride your bike or walk (or even in-line skate) instead of driving . It's a great way to travel, and while helping the air quality, you can be improving your personal health. Vehicles on the road create more than 25% of all air pollution nationwide.
  • Care for your car. Regular maintenance and tune-ups, changing the oil, and checking tire inflation can improve gas mileage (saving you money), extend your car's life, and increase its resale value.
    • Replacing a clogged air filter can improve a vehicle's gas mileage by as much as 10%. Over the course of a year, this can result in a savings of 55 gallons, or at least 3 trips to the gas station.
    • Keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure can improve your vehicle's gas mileage by about 3%. Over the course of a year, this can result in a savings of 18 gallons, or at least one trip to the gas station.
    • Additionally, according to research done for FHWA, a well-maintained vehicle produces up to 20% less ozone-related emissions over a 10-year period than a vehicle that is not well-maintained.
  • Consider replacing your gas cap if it is worn and remember to tighten fully. A defective or incorrectly sealed gas cap releases the fumes that combine to form pollution.
  • Avoid idling. Idling is unnecessary and it wastes gas and emits the chemicals that directly contribute to the formation of air pollution.
  • During the spring and summer, get fuel after 6 p.m. when it is cooler. Refueling in the evening can prevent gas fumes from heating up and creating ozone.
  • Never top off the tank or spill gas. It releases gas fumes into the air and cancels the benefits of the pump's anti-pollution devices.
  • Telecommute instead of driving to work, if possible, on Clean Air Action Days.

What Can I Do? | Workplace | Home | On the Road


The West Michigan Clean Air Coalition is a partnership of businesses, academic institutions, government agencies, industry, and non-profit organizations in Kent, Ottawa, Muskegon, and Kalamazoo counties working together to achieve cleaner air in the region through the education and promotion of voluntary emission reduction activities.

©2006 West Michigan Clean Air Coalition. All Rights Reserved. | E-Mail the Webmaster | Page last updated Wednesday, April 19, 2017.