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Clean Air Starts at Home

Routine activities at home, such as mowing your lawn or turning on your air conditioner, create air pollution. Here are some Facts about air pollution and what you can do to help.Photo of gas can with auto shut-off spout.

Fuel Storage Facts:

  • Fact: Each year, fuel is spilled while refueling lawn and garden equipment.
  • Solution: Be careful when refueling! Use a funnel to help prevent spills and don't overfill.
  • Fact: Vapor escaping from old gas cans creates 10 tons of air pollution per day.
  • Solution: Using new gas cans with auto shut-off spouts and no vents prevent these smog forming gases from escaping.

Burning Facts:

  • A picture of a campfireFact: Air pollution from burning inappropriate items, like wet wood, or illegal items, like household trash, in an outdoor wood boiler (wood fueled furnace), can result in adverse health effects for your family and neighbors.
  • Solution: Burning ONLY clean, dry, untreated wood reduces the amount of harmful air pollutants in the neighborhood.
  • Fact: Open burning can cause wild fires and pollute our air.
  • Solution: Never leave your campfire unattended and never burn your household trash or leaves.
  • Fact: Pound for pound, household trash burned in a burn barrel emits twice as many furans, 17 times as much dioxin, and creates 40 times as much ash as a permitted incinerator.
  • Solution: The safest way to dispose of your household trash is to hire a sanitation service or take it to your local sanitary landfill.

Vehicle Facts:

  • Fact: Small off-road engines cannot support as complex emissions controls as those found in light-duty vehicles. Consequently, their emissions for a given amount of fuel burned are higher.
  • Solution: Use hand tools or electric equipment for lawn and garden work rather than gasoline powered equipment (mowers, trimmers, leaf blowers, etc.), when appropriate.
  • Fact: About 50% of cars on the road today have under-inflated tires. All of these under inflated tires waste 2 billion gallons of gasoline and adds up to 40 billion pounds of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year.
  • Solution: Check your tire pressure regularly to increase the fuel economy of your vehicle.

Teaching Children About Air Pollution:

Parents and teachers have opportunities to lead children to a cleaner environment. See Important Links for information on teaching children about air pollution.

Additional Tips:

See Important Links to learn more about how to keep our air clean at your home and across New York State.

More about Clean Air Starts at Home:

  • Leaf Blowers - Affordable and in many households, leaf blowers may have an environmental impact in your neighborhood.
  • Portable Fuel Containers (PFCs) - Helpful tips for using portable gas cans safely for you and the environment.
  • Fuel Economy Tips - Year round and seasonal tips to increase vehicle fuel economy and save money at the pump.
  • Don't Trash Our Air - What happens when you burn household garbage and trash in a backyard burn barrel?