Our air in California is the worst in the United States, because of the amounts of our smog levels, ground ozone levels (the combination of the two chemicals, nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds), particle pollution (which is a mixture of solids and liquid droplets floating in the air), and green house gas emissions (Any of the atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation produced by solar warming of the Earth’s surface. They include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (NO2), and water vapor.)
These levels are so high because the car exhaust from our congested freeways and roads, the smog is then intensified by the sunlight and the heat especially during the summer. Our neighboring county, Los Angeles, has the worst air quality in the United States and when San Diego was tested we earned a F in air quality levels. Our particle pollution levels were at a 10.6 and our particle pollution days are at 3.5. Our unhealthy ozone days are at 28.
More than 90% of Californians live in hazardous air quality levels, which poses threats of rising premature death rates, aggravated asthma, difficulty breathing, and rising amounts cardiovascular disease in people. Almost 166 million Americans live in 418 counties with unhealthy levels of ozone and particle pollution.
Approximately 85% of the air pollution problem is due to transportation. By reducing the growth in vehicle miles of travel, easing congestion and supporting more efficient land use patterns, public transportation can reduce harmful CO2 emissions by 37 million metric tons annually. This means that if just one person switches to a 20 mile round trip using public transportation they would end up releasing less carbon annually. Which would be approximately 4,800 pounds of CO2. Americans living in areas served by public transportation save 865 million hours in travel time and 450 million gallons of fuel annually in congestion reduction alone.
Now a days, there are so many public transportations available to use such as:
- Trolleys and light rail
- Commuter trains
- Cable cars
- Van pool services
- Paratransit services for Senior citizens and people with disabilities
- Ferries and water taxis
- Monorails and tramways
So, if you are like me and want to make a difference in you community join me in using public transportation instead of personal vehicles for the next 30 days like they did in Memphis, with the 30 day public transit challenge. You will not only help the planet, but you will save money too.