Tom Smart, Deseret News/KSL Chopper Five
Smog and fog gather in the valley with the University of Utah campus in the foreground during the inversion Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, in Salt Lake City.

There are a number of actions individuals can take to promote cleaner air. The Deseret News has compiled a list of actions from a variety of air quality sources that can be utilized any time of the year but that are especially helpful during high-pollution days.

1. Carpool. Designate one person in your group to be the driver, and have them pick up riders from each individual home. It lessens the impact rather than having everyone driving to a mutual location.

2. Walk or ride a bicycle.

3. Telecommute or ride transit.

4. Shop by phone or mail.

5. Avoid "jack rabbit starts" — fast or quick starts — and instead accelerate gradually when driving.

6. Don't top off at the gas pumps, to prevent spilling of gas and fumes.

7. Replace your car's filter and keep tires properly inflated.

8. Don't idle your car.

9. Purchase and drive a vehicle with a high smog rating. Go to to find the "smog score" of your vehicle.

10. Don’t burn wood or coal. It is one of the worst things you can do for the air, and it’s illegal for much of the winter, with some exceptions. Report those who burn on bad air days by calling 385-468-3837 in Salt Lake County, or 801-536-4000 anywhere else.

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11. Combine errands into one trip. Most car pollution comes from warming a cold engine, so once the vehicle is running and warm get as much done as you can. When you come out of the store and restart your car, it pollutes a lot less than during that first cold start. The first mile is the worst mile.

12. Be an energy saver. When you burn fossil fuel, you pollute. Use less gasoline, natural gas and electricity.

13. Check daily air quality forecasts at

14. Select products that are water-based or have low amounts of volatile organic compounds.

15. Turn your thermostat down and weatherproof your home. Your furnace is part of the problem.


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