It will be our first Clean Air Action Day of 2020 on Thursday, June 18th, for Allegan, Berrien, Cass, Kent, Muskegon, Oceana, Ottawa, Mason, and Van Buren counties.

With the weather forecast calling for temperatures in the upper 80s, meteorologists expect air pollution levels to be high enough that sensitive groups -- like children, the elderly, and those with heart or lung disease, and those who are active outdoors -- might start to experience health issues.

What can you do to keep our air clean? Here are a few suggestions from the West Michigan Clean Air Coalition...

At Work:

  • Telecommute, use conference calls, or flextime in order to eliminate or stagger commuting trips.
  • Conserve energy at the office. Set the thermostat a little higher in the summer.
  • Brown bag your lunch, or walk, instead of driving to a restaurant.

At Home:

  • Use non-gasoline powered yard maintenance equipment, or purchase 4-stroke engine models that release fewer emissions.
  • Use household and garden chemicals wisely.
  • Use a gas or electric grill instead of charcoal and lighter fluid when barbecuing.
  • Keep your air conditioner set at 78° in the summer. Also consider unplugging unused appliances to conserve electricity.
  • Refrain from burning trash or yard waste, as this also contributes to particulate matter pollution. Consider recycling or composting instead.
  • If you use a gas lawnmower, reschedule your mowing to non-Clean Air Action Days, or wait until evening hours -- after 6 pm.

In past years, a Clean Air Action Day also meant free bus rides on The Rapids and Max Transit. Those free rides have been suspended currently because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on the West Michigan Clean Air Coalition or Clean Air Action Days, check out their website at www.wmcac.org.

You can also sign up for Clean Air Action Day e-mail notifications or call their Clean Air Action hotline (800) 656-0663 for up-to-date information on air quality forecasts.