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'Clean Air Day' Asks Californians To Make Small Changes For Big Environmental Impact

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – From turning off the lights to leaving the car at home, California's first Clean Air Day is calling for the state's nearly 40 million residents to pitch in to improve air quality.

The first-ever Clean Air Day is being held Wednesday and is organized by the Coalition for Clean Air.

People across the Golden State, as well as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, have pledged to take small measures to cut down on pollution. Mayor Garcetti is promoting taking the Metro to reduce vehicle emissions.

Other ways people can pledge include:

  • Not idling your engine while sitting at a drive-through, school pick-up line or car wash
  • Using natural, all-purpose cleaners to decrease indoor air pollutants
  • Calling 1-800-CUT-SMOG to report polluting vehicles
  • Planting a tree
  • Not lighting a fire or BBQ
  • Changing your home and/or vehicle air filter
  • Choosing the carpool option when using rideshare services

Poor air quality remains an issue in Los Angeles. For almost three straight months, air in the City of Angels violated federal smog standards.

Coinciding with Clean Air Day, Uber will offer free rides on its JUMP e-bikes and scooters in Santa Monica. From Oct. 3 to Oct. 7, riders can use an e-bike or scooter for up to 30 minutes five times a day.

Air Quality Management District officials say they are more concerned with how high the unsafe levels are than how many days in a row we have bad air.

"Last year was our worst year in some time. This year was a little better," a spokesperson said.

This comes after several years of improved air quality – and doctors said it's a cause for concern.

"Each time the air quality gets worse, we increased levels of, or exacerbations of, patients with asthma or COPD," said Dr. Daryl Banda. "For some people, the hot air can cause bronchial constriction of the airwaves which makes it harder to breathe."

Click here to find out more about Clean Air Day.

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