Keeping it Clean on Labor Day
Have any fun plans for Labor Day weekend? Perhaps you are going out of town or spending time at home with family and loved ones. On this three-day weekend, make sure to follow these tips to keep our air clean while celebrating.
Yard Waste You are expecting guests and preparing your backyard to look party ready. You may have plenty of yard waste left over; however, think twice before burning it! Burning yard waste releases particulate matter and toxins such as carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which form harmful ozone and are released into the atmosphere. These emissions are dangerous for human health, especially for small children, seniors, and people with respiratory issues such as asthma. Throughout the summer, several counties in Texas have enacted burn bans, as higher outdoor temperatures increase the risk of wildfires. So, burning yard waste could be prohibited in your area. If your local collection service does not accept yard waste, you can leave it on the lawn or re-use your yard waste by composting or mulching it. These two strategies can save you time and money for future backyard maintenance. Click here to learn more yard waste management tips.
Grill Options This Labor Day, choose to follow more environmentally friendly grilling practices for your backyard party. If your home is powered by renewable energy, using an electric grill will produce the least emissions while keeping your neighborhood’s air cleaner. If this option isn’t available for you, using a natural gas grill is more energy efficient and produces less air pollution than using a charcoal grill. If you own a charcoal grill, avoid using charcoal lighter fluid. The lighter fluid’s chemicals release photochemical smog as well as leave a bad taste on your food. Instead, opt for safer and cleaner alternatives such as a chimney starter, a natural fire starter, or an electric charcoal grill fire starter.
Air Quality Levels Before starting your outdoor party, make sure to check the Air Quality Index (AQI) to see if the air quality is safe for your guests. Sign up here to receive alerts and stay informed about your community’s air quality levels.
Thinking about celebrating outside of your home? Traveling locally gives you the opportunity to explore local gems while keeping your travel costs and emissions low. Cars are one of the largest pollution sources of ground-level ozone. Limiting your travel within the region can help you reduce your carbon footprint and improve our area’s air quality. For a fun fieldtrip idea, you can bike to your local park for a picnic with friends and family. With over 775 miles of bike trails available in North Central Texas, there are so many natural areas and landmarks to explore in the region! Learn more about trails in our region through the DFW Trails and Videos page and check out the available bike trails and on-street bikeways in your area in the regional Interactive Map of Trails and On-Street Bikeways.
Labor Day weekend is close to the end of summer, but that should not stop you from enjoying some water fun! Plan a fun outing swimming or kayaking at the lake, visiting your community pool, or going on a trip to a water park.
If you are planning on driving on Labor Day weekend, make sure to keep your vehicle properly maintained and refueled. Refueling in the evening or early morning when there is less sunlight reduces ozone emissions from gas vapors. Before you head out on the road make sure your tires are properly inflated to ensure better gas mileage during your trip, saving you money while keeping our air cleaner.
These tips will help us keep our air clean and healthy for all the celebrations this weekend. Kick back, relax, and enjoy your Labor Day!