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How to Have Cleaner Air This Winter

Successful activism relies on a simple logic: lots of small actions add up to a big impact. Straightforward as it sounds, it’s often easier said than done.

Improving the air we breathe is rarely glamorous, and progress is hard to see; even polluted air is transparent. Additionally, many factors affect how significant your impact is—geography, time of day, time of year, etc.

So, to make it less overwhelming, we’ve broken down an entire year’s worth of ways you can help make Central Indiana’s air cleaner, starting with these cold winter months—just in time for your New Year’s resolution (wink).

Many of us think of the hot summer months when we think of air pollution. Summer is when ozone levels peak and when people tend to spend the most time outside. Winter, though, brings its own set of challenges for protecting the air we breathe.

Cold weather and shorter daylight hours require more energy for heating and indoor activities. As long as we rely on burning fossil fuels for that energy—Indiana does—it means we’re producing more air-harming emissions that could put our health and our environment at risk.

Temperature inversion is a natural wintertime phenomenon that causes warm air to trap colder, stagnant air close to the ground, along with high levels of pollutants like PM2.5.

The good news is there are many things you can do to improve air quality in the cold months and throughout the rest of the year. Opting for an active commute—such as walking or biking—is a great place to start. Check out the infographic for other ways to keep Central Indiana’s air cozy and comfortable this winter season.