World Ozone Day is Sept. 16, established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994 to raise public awareness of the depletion of the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere and encourage solutions to preserve it. Since the ozone layer is stripped away by pollutants in the air (such as auto exhaust and gasoline vapors) that also create harmful ground level ozone on hot, sunny days, Air North Texas (a division of the North Central Texas Council of Governments) offers advice at its website on how individual drivers can reduce emissions, including:
- Plan your commute around traffic, to avoid increased driving time. A free app called 511 DFW allows users to access real-time traffic and construction reports in the DFW area. (To learn more, click here.)
- Check out Air North Texas’ “Try Parking It” rewards program, which offers resources and rewards for people who use options such as carpooling, public transportation and even telecommuting as alternatives to driving to work (www.tryparkingit.com).
- Reduce idling, i.e. keeping your vehicle engine running when it’s not moving. It is a myth that restarting your car uses more fuel than keeping it idling!
For more information, visit www.airnorthtexas.org.