The widespread use of automobiles has significantly contributed to the growing problem of air pollution in the United State and around the world. While the use of public transportation systems and alternate sources of fuel will have the most profound impact on this problem, there are small, simple ways to reduce your environmental impact every day while driving.
There seems to be a general understanding that many of our daily activities negatively affect the environment and air around us. However, many people don’t have a grasp on the far reaching consequences of polluted air.Acid rain occurs when pollutants released combine with water in the air and disrupt the pH balance of rain water. This acidification not only is detrimental to plants and animals but it can lead to the decay of building materials and contributes to human health problems such as asthma. Air pollution also contributes to the “heat island effect,” which is a term coined to describe the warmer temperatures found within a city. The more concentrated pollutants in urban areas not only increase the temperature but result in poor air and water quality. Another serious problem occurring as a result of air pollution is the destruction of good ozone and creation of bad ozone. (more…)
When you’re outside seeing the smog covering a city or the dirty exhaust coming out of a tailpipe, there is no hiding the fact that the air you are breathing is unclean. Conversely, when inside a building or your home, we seem to have an expectation that the air is clean and we are safe from the harmful pollutants gathering outside. Unfortunately, this is hardly the truth.One common indoor pollutant that is extremely dangerous and even deadly is carbon monoxide. Without proper ventilation, such home items as a fireplace or heater can leak carbon monoxide into your home. Because you are in a closed space, this poisonous gas can easily enter your blood stream, causing serious harm. (more…)
In an effort to combat the effects of air pollution produced by standard gasoline and diesel fuel, the state of Tennessee offers a number of incentives to encourage the use and production of alternate fuel sources. Tennessee supports the federal ’25 by ’25 initiative, which outlines that 25 percent of US energy consumption will be produced by American agriculture by the year 2025, by enacting a number of programs to facilitate this production.Biodiesel is one of the many hopes for a cleaner future. Either crude or waste vegetable oil can be collected and undergo a chemical reaction creating a form of diesel fuel. This fuel can either be used alone or mixed with traditional petroleum diesel to fuel automobiles. It burns cleaner and is made from a renewable resource making it a much more sustainable source of fuel. (more…)
One of the largest contributors of air pollution is automobiles. The most significant and harmful pollutants produced by vehicles are hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide and other particulates, all of which are reducing the quality of our air and water and contributing to global climate change. Americans began a love affair with cars with Henry Ford‘s assembly line that mass produced mainstream automobiles for regular citizens. Since then we have seen the emergence of the multi-car household. Now, it is common practice for teenagers to get a car when they get their driver’s license, which is the first step to habitual car use and ownership for the rest of your life. Though this practice has created a sense of luxury and convenience in this country, it has also had extremely detrimental effects on our environment. Now that the consequences of this mass car ownership are starting to be realized, a push towards more sustainable commuting practices is underway. (more…)