It’s cold, but still, Spare the Air!
Life is slowly starting to feel normal for me again after transitioning to commuting from San Jose to my new job in San Francisco, and that means that I am catching up on email. And today I was surprised to find a Spare the Air notification for tonight!
I thought it was just a summer thing, but even when it is cold, there are still particulate matter pollution problems here in the Bay Area. Here’s what’s going on:
In the wintertime, as cooler temperatures and reduced sunlight diminish ozone problems, particulate matter (PM), becomes the pollutant with the greatest impact on air quality. The two major sources of PM in the Bay Area are wood burning in fireplaces and wood stoves, and motor vehicles.
So tonight, try to resist the temptation to light your fireplace, and if you can, take public transportation home. I have to say that I was feeling pretty smug (as us Metbloggers tend to be) because this was the first day that I took lightrail instead of my car to Caltrain, so my car will stay tucked in its garage all day.
Checking out the Spare the Air Web site, I also discovered that, for us South Bay-ers, there is a $300 rebate if we switch out our wood stoves for gas. And, there is nifty color-coded chart that tells you the air quality forecast for different parts of the Bay Area. Not surprising, Santa Clara County has the worst air.