What can the individual homeowner do to help improve air quality?
Many emissions are created by our own lifestyle choices, such as driving a poorly maintained vehicle or using an old smoky wood stove. Here are some tips on how you can reduce sources of PM10 and PM2.5 and other pollutants in Quesnel.
- Carpool, better yet, walk or ride a bike. Leaving the car at home will also mean less road dust kicked up into the air from motorists. Make sure your car is well tuned and does not burn oil. When purchasing a vehicle, look for fuel efficiency and low emissions.
- If you burn wood for heating your home or business buy an efficient, CSA certified wood stove that is installed and operated correctly. New wood stoves can reduce smoke emissions by 90%. Also, overloading your stove, starving the fire of air or burning wet or green wood can cause lots of extra smoke. Use only dry, seasoned, split firewood that is properly stored. Convert your wood burning fireplaces to natural gas. Traditional fireplaces do not have any emission control devices to protect the air.
- Be conscious of daily air quality. If there is a temperature inversion or calm winds, don’t contribute to a possible air quality episode by burning or unnecessary driving.
- Instead of burning your leaves, dead grass or clippings, start a backyard compost. Also, don’t burn your garbage in burn barrels as this releases hazardous pollutants into the air.
- Shut off your engine rather than letting it idle.