Tips For the Holiday Season
Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving? As we approach the end of Daylight Savings Time and begin experiencing cooler temperatures, it’s important to focus on how darker commutes and the approaching winter will affect North Texans. Paying attention on the road and at home can help keep North Texans happy and healthy, so check out these tips for a more sustainable start to the holiday season.
Check Your Vehicle
The holiday season is always a busy time for travelers and making sure your vehicle is ready for extended travel is important. To prevent any unnecessary air pollution, make sure your car is up to date on maintenance and check traffic and travel times before you leave. Avoiding the stress of holiday traffic will save time and gas, as well as decrease the emissions you contribute to our atmosphere. Use the 511DFW app for iOS or Android as well as the website to check roads so that you can plan ahead!
Daylight Savings Time ends November 7, and that means a darker commute to and from work. With darker commutes it’s important to pay more attention to roads and keep a close eye out for fellow North Texas pedestrians.
Make sure your headlights are functioning properly as a part of your maintenance checks as well, as most pedestrian incidents occur in low-light conditions.
Consider Public Transportation and Active Transportation
Planning a holiday trip to meet up with friends and family can be a hassle, so consider using public transportation options like DART, Trinity Metro, or DCTA to make the trip. Make sure to check CDC guidelines on using public transportation before you head out. Making your commute using public transportation will keep roads clear, reducing vehicle emissions and helping North Texans breathe easy.
Biking and walking to destinations are also a great way to help reduce emissions especially now that it’s starting to cool down. Now that the sweltering summer heat is gone and winter is nearly here, you can finally enjoy the outdoors sweat free.
Compost, Compost, Compost
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what to do with the leftovers you don’t want, consider composting them or reusing them for new entrees. Food waste is a major contributor of methane emissions. By composting leftovers, you’ll be reducing food waste and the emissions caused by it, improving our air quality in the process. This is also something you can do year-round, so start reading up today!
Grab Some Blankets
As temperatures drop, it might seem like a good idea to crank the heat up or turn on the fireplace but take a moment and check the outside temperature. Keeping your thermostat as close to the outdoor temperature as possible will save you money by reducing your heating costs over time. If you feel you need to turn it up, don’t hesitate, but a comfy blanket 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.
Holiday shopping choices can have a big impact on the environment, so consider some friendlier options this year. Shopping locally when you are able will help reduce emissions from delivery vehicles and buying experiences from sites like Groupon are a great option for alternative gifts. Gifting sustainably takes practice and research, but by doing so you’ll be helping improve regional air quality and the environment.
Don’t forget to switch over to reusable grocery bags as well for when you make your weekly trip to the store. Also, if you’re considering buying a gift card, consider digital rather than plastic. Reducing plastic waste will go a long way toward helping the environment the more people participate.
Taking these tips with you as you head into the holiday season will help North Texans breathe easy, so get started today!
For more information on air quality in the region and air quality alerts, sign up at airnorthtexas.org.