When sweat drips with ice cream cones it’s time to Spare the Air. When you’re hot, and the air quality is not, it’s time to Spare the Air. On warm days in the city, air pollution becomes a problem. Fear not city dwellers! Today, San Francisco issued an alert for an unhealthy air quality day, asking folks to be mindful of excess exhaust in hopes to reduce smog.

The Spare the Air program breathed life in 1991. It was started to reduce air pollution and give advance notice when the air quality is forecasted to be unhealthy. It’s meant to educate and involve the public in a proactive way, promoting clean-air lifestyles.  The Spare the Air season starts in May and ends in mid-October—a time when clear skies, light winds, hot temperatures, and temperature inversions create smoggy conditions.

Today is the fourth alert so far this summer. To help reduce the smog, people are encouraged to bike ride instead of drive, carpool or take public transit. (In the past, public transit has lifted fare fees on Spare the Air days, but today that won’t happen).  In addition to commuting, people are asked to avoid using gas-powered appliances like leaf blowers or lawn mowers. At home, be mindful of your energy consumption. It’s just one day of clean-air consciousness– there isn’t an alert in effect for tomorrow, Thursday September 8.

For additional information, go to sparetheair.org.

Photo Credit: sparetheair.org