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new jersey department of environmental protection  
Air Quality Awareness Week, May 15-19
What is in the are you are breathing?
What can you do to improve the air you breathe?
  1. Do not top off your gas tank. (In New Jersey, ask the gas attendant to not top off your gas tank.)
  2. Carpool or take public transportation more frequently to reduce air pollution, especially in the summer.
  3. Do not idle your car (excessive is greater than 3 minutes…this is a NJ regulation!).
  4. Avoid using drive-thrus.
  5. Bike or walk to work, if possible.
  6. Do errands when there is less traffic (i.e., at night) and combine errands into one trip.
  7. Make informed purchases on cars:,
  8. Walk to church; walk to get groceries (substitute for using your car when possible).
  9. Tips to Save Gas, Improve Gas Mileage, and Save Money
    • Avoid high speeds - “55 Saves Lives.”
    • Avoid carrying unneeded items in the trunk.
    • Go easy on the brakes and gas pedal.
    • Drive your car wisely and maintain it properly.
    • Use your air conditioning only when necessary
    • Use overdrive.
    • Get regular engine tune-ups and car maintenance checks.
    • Keep your tires properly inflated.
  10. Ask your employer about rideshare programs, transit incentives for alternate modes of commuting to work, or an adjusted work schedule.
  11. Consider living in transit villages:


  1. Do not paint or use high VOC (volatile organic carbon) products on high ozone action days (hot summer days). You will know the VOC content by looking at the label on the product.
  2. Use cleaning products that contain fewer chemicals:
  3. Replace your wood stove or fireplace with an EPA certified one or purchase fireplace inserts
  4. Use a broom, rake, or electric-powered lawn care equipment rather than gas-powered equipment.
  5. In the winter, lower your thermostat a few degrees and use blankets or extra clothing to keep warm. In the summer, raise your thermostat and use fans to keep cool.
  6. Turn off lights when you leave a room.
  7. Weatherproof your home - use plastic, weather stripping, and/or seasonal curtains on windows, doors, and air conditioning units.
  8. If you are going to build a new home in New Jersey, build an Energy Star home:
  9. Use and buy only Energy Star products.
    More energy conservation tips can be found on the following web pages:


  1. Teach kids about air pollution:
  2. Teaching energy conservation in the classroom:
  3. Free educational materials on air pollution:
  4. "What can I do to protect the ozone layer?"
  5. Inform yourself on air quality in your area:
  6. Listen to Radio Public Service Announcements:
    • The Department of Energy released three radio public service announcements in English
      and Spanish that provide easy tips for saving energy. These public services
      announcements will be distributed to nearly 4,500 radio stations across the country by
      the Alliance to Save Energy. (Part of the National "Easy Ways to Save Energy"
  7. Learn through fun activities:

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2006
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Modified: April 8, 2009

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