Out with Ozone Season, in with the Holidays
Did you know? While we were all still munching on Thanksgiving treats, ozone season finally came to an end for 2021. While ozone season may have ended, we’re still responsible for the environment we live in, so here are some tips to help improve our air quality in December.
If you plan on traveling this December, check traffic ahead of time to save yourself a headache. Traffic jams are terrible for air quality and the fewer cars on the road, the better. If you missed Black Friday, and still need to shop, try and make all of your outings in one trip to decrease the amount of time you’re on the road. Less drive time will reduce the emissions you contribute. Check traffic on the 511DFW app on iOS and Android or the website before you head out to avoid getting caught in the holiday rush.
Consider Public Transportation
If you’re planning on taking a trip to see family in the region this December, consider public transportation options like DART, Trinity Metro, or DCTA when you’re planning your holiday travel. Public transit use helps reduce traffic and emissions contributed by holiday travel. Carpooling is also a great way to help improve our air quality if public transportation isn’t an option for you.
No Meat, No Problem
Trying to figure out whether to fry, smoke, grill, or bake a turkey this year? Try a meat substitute like Tofurkey or veggie options. Meat waste is a significant contributor of greenhouse gases, and the methods by which we cook them can be even worse. Whether it’s this incredible mushroom and sweet potato pot pie or Tofurkey filled with your favorite stuffing, North Texans will benefit from better long-term air quality as a result of your choice.
And don’t forget to compost what you can if you don’t plan on using your leftovers.
See What Nature Has to Offer
Artificial Christmas trees take a lot to get from manufacturer to storefront, so consider a live tree this year instead. Live trees offer multiple uses if taken care of properly, however, you can also dispose of it responsibly should you be unable to replant it. You can find out where to recycle your tree here.
If you do choose to recycle your tree, here are some things you should know:
Don’t burn your tree whether it’s live or artificial, this releases emissions that can harm both you and those around you.
Don’t just throw it in the trash, artificial trees do not break down over time and take up unnecessary space in landfills.
If you have an artificial tree, disassemble it before you drop it off to be recycled. Make sure that your tree is free of flocking, glitter, tinsel, and other decorative materials when you do so.
If you have a live tree, consider using it for small lumber depending on the size if you can’t replant it.
Before you send your tree off for recycling, consider attempting to reuse the pliable branches to make a new wreath or holiday decoration.
Find Your Favorite Flannel
It’s finally starting to feel like winter but think twice before you crank up the heat. Keeping your thermostat as close to the outdoor temperature as possible will save you money by reducing your heating costs. If you feel you need to turn it up, don’t hesitate, but a comfy blanket, your favorite flannel, and a cup of hot cocoa can go a long way. Reducing natural gas use from fireplaces is also a good way to help improve the air quality in our region.
Secondary tips to keep your home warm include keeping blinds and curtains closed at night and reversing your ceiling fan direction so that it pushes warm air down. Don’t forget to make sure your weather stripping isn’t in need of replacement either, as drafty doors and/or windows can contribute to a cold home.
Turn Down the Lights
Christmas lights are fun, but they’re also energy hogs that add to your bill and the amount of energy you consume. Energy conservation can be made easier by using more efficient lights like LEDs instead of fluorescents or incandescent bulbs. Making this choice can help reduce the emissions you contribute and keeps you from spending more on electricity used by lights. By choosing to conserve energy this holiday season, you’re helping to give the gift of air quality to all North Texans.
We hope these tips help you on your way to a happy and sustainable holiday season. Happy Holidays from your friends at Air North Texas!