Clean Air Day
In 1992, the Government of British Columbia proclaimed the first Wednesday in June, every year, as Clean Air Day, which takes place during Environment Week. The purpose was to raise awareness about air quality issues, and to encourage British Columbians to make clean air choices.
The federal government proclaimed National Clean Air Day in 1999, on the same date as BC Clean Air Day. Since then, other provinces have joined the Clean Air Day celebration with activities such as commuter challenges, information events about wood-burning-stove emissions, vehicle-emissions testing, children’s programs, sustainability fairs and more.
One of the main ways everyone can participate in helping Clean Air every Day, is via their transportation. Choosing to walk, bike to work, take transit or carpool all contribute the reducing the air pollution. If you do drive BC’s New Car Dealers have identified Top 10 Tips to help drivers celebrate sustainability, improve air quality and even save some money:
1. Consider a cleaner vehicle. With vehicle prices and interest rates on new vehicles hitting record lows, there’s never been a better time to reduce your emissions by upgrading to a new, more fuel efficient vehicle.
2. Participate in the BC SCRAP-IT program and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by getting older vehicles off the road. Retire your 1995 or older vehicle and choose from a long list of incentives. Replacing a 1990 sedan with a 2009 hybrid can result in a reduction of up to 67% in greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Avoid unnecessary idling. It wastes fuel, money, stresses your engine and adds unnecessary pollution to the air.
4. Get regular tune-ups. Vehicles that are properly serviced run more efficiently, waste less fuel and produce less air pollution.
5. Take advantage of the Clean Energy Vehicle for BC incentive program. Receive up to $5000 off the pre-tax price of a Clean Energy Vehicle, including new electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and more. Filling up on clean electricity in BC can save the average driver up to $1200 per year in fuel.
6. Make sure tires are properly inflated. Chronic under-inflation can reduce the service life of a tire by as much as 15,000 km. Canadian motorists will waste an estimated 533 million litres of fuel due to under-inflated tires this year alone. This needless fuel consumption will also release an additional 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
7. Recycle your scrap tires. Returning your old tires to a participating retailer to help keep scrap tires out of landfill and create useful recycled rubber products such as athletic tracks and playground cover.
8. Watch the lead foot. How you drive can impact how much fuel your vehicle uses, and in turn, the level of emissions. Slow down, maintain steady speeds and avoid jackrabbit starts and hard braking to use less fuel.
9. Watch your weight. Clean out the trunk, cargo areas and passenger compartments. Less weight means better mileage. Keeping an extra 100 pounds of weight in a car will reduce its fuel economy by approximately two per cent.
10. Get sleeker. Remove roof racks when not in use to reduce wind resistance, improving aerodynamics and fuel economy by as much as five per cent.