October 7th is California Clean Air Day


“Everyone has a right to breathe clean air,” said Dr. Joseph K. Lyou, President & CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air. “By raising awareness and actively working to reduce air pollution, every Californian can help to ensure that every breath you take is a breath of clean air.”

October 7th is California Clean Air Day, where individuals, youth, and organizations throughout the state commit to take action to reduce air pollution in homes, schools, businesses, and local governments.

Take the pledge for clean air

Last year, Californians pledged to do over 1.2 million actions to create clean air in their community. For 2020, the Coalition for Clean Air, the statewide organization that organizes California Clean Air Day, lists three general ways that we can help. Selecting one or more of these actions is your pledge to clean air, but be creative, there are plenty of other ways to help clean the air if you can’t participate in the actions below:

San Diego County clean air family jumping
  • Switch it Out. Replacing your home or car air filter protects you and your family from inhaling dust particles or other pollutants. Buying products locally such as fruits, vegetables, baked goods lowers the emissions from transporting those goods from faraway places.
  • Plant Something. Starting a vegetable garden or adding native plants to your home garden is a great way to not only beautify your surroundings but also help to clean the air. Plants can add shade to cool your house, conserves water and prevent soil erosion all of which reduces your energy and water use, adding greater benefits.
  • Reduce Vehicle Emissions. As covered in this month’s article on transportation emissions, driving accounts for up to 39% of state and 45% of unincorporated county greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Walk or bike to the nearby park, school, or shop. Bring your lunch to work or walk to lunch. Kids can tell their parents to turn the car off when idling.

There are also fun activities for children to try! See our article on Sustainable Summer Activities for Kids for ideas.

When you’ve decided on the actions you want to take to create clean air, you can sign the California Clean Air Day pledge online and share with your family and friends!

Leading by example

This month, the Coalition for Clean Air will honor outstanding government leaders, businesses, and organizations who are leading the way in reducing air pollution.

One example is California Senator Connie Leyva, a strong environmental advocate, who has authored important bills aimed at improving air quality in low-income and marginalized communities. Another is the United Parcel Service (UPS), which delivers packages with vehicles that run on alternative fuels such as renewable natural gas. The company has committed to reducing GHG emissions by 12% by 2025.

To read other inspiring stories, check out the 2020 California Air Quality Awards which will occur virtually throughout the month of September.

Clean air in the San Diego region

San Diego County clean air

The San Diego Air Pollution Control District (SDAPCD) protects our local air quality by ensuring that air pollutants are below thresholds that protect our health and the environment. By visiting the SDAPCD website, you can see the current air quality in your community. The Air District leads the Community Air Monitoring Program to reduce air pollution in vulnerable communities, and the SDAPCD website includes information for how you can participate at upcoming meetings for the Program.

SDAPCD also provides a fact sheet on ways you can keep the air clean on the road, at work, and at home (see here for Spanish).

We can each contribute to incredible action such as creating clean air if we commit to it. Take some time this month to commit to your own action to clean our air!