What is air pollution?
Pollution is any material introduced into the air that can cause negative effects for the environment and human health. Pollutants can come from natural sources such as wildfires, but most air pollution comes from human activities such as energy production. These activities can emit greenhouse gases, leading to warming temperatures and climate change.
Why does it matter?
Poor air quality is bad for our health and the environment. When we breathe in dirty air, we breathe in small particles of pollution that can get into our lungs and bloodstream, causing health problems for everyone, especially those in high-risk groups.
What can I do?
The best way to prevent air pollution is to drive less. Gas-powered transportation is one of the biggest sources of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. To reduce these pollutants you can walk, bike, take public transportation, drive an electric car, or carpool to your destination.
Resources and Links
AirNow reports air quality using the official US AQI, a color-coded index designed to communicate whether air quality is healthy or unhealthy for you. When you know the AQI in your area, you can take steps to protect your health.
Purple Air is another source for AQI data using indoor and outdoor sensors in your neighborhood.
Spare The Air was created in 1991 by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to alert residents when air quality is forecast to be unhealthy and to share information on ways to reduce air pollution.
Bay Area SunShares provides discounts on residential solar systems and electric vehicles. Registration open from September - November.
Home Energy and Water Savings Toolkit is available to check out at the Half Moon Bay Library. The Check-It-Out Home Energy and Water Saving Toolkit program provides free resources to help San Mateo County residents perform a basic assessment of the efficiency of their home energy and water use and to improve it where possible. This program is not only designed to help residents save money on their utility bills, but to also increase the comfort of their home and act as an educational resource.
BayREN (The Bay Area Regional Energy Network) is a collaboration of the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area. Led by the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), BayREN provides regional-scale energy efficiency programs, services, and resources.
Ohm Connect helps you save energy and get paid. OhmConnect is a free service that rewards you for saving electricity when it matters most to the grid and the environment. Sign up and receive email or SMS notifications to see your OhmHour for the week and your forecasted energy savings goal. Each time you meet or exceed that goal, you earn points that you can then cash out directly. Less dirty energy, more money in your pocket.