Improving Our Front-Range Summer Air Quality, by Craig Hebrink
As we head into another summer in Broomfield, I know we are all looking forward to taking advantage of the great outdoor activities available to us in our city and the Denver Metro area. And this year will provide us with a chance to visit some of the local stores and restaurants we may have missed out on in 2020. Unfortunately, along with the beautiful scenery and vast recreational
opportunities we enjoy, the Front Range has some of the worst air quality in the country related to ground-level ozone. Ozone causes a chemical reaction which attacks the tissue in our lungs. It thrives in the heat and sunlight, and unlike wildfire smoke, is invisible, so on many of those great summer days we’re actually exposed to a sea of unhealthy air.
The good news is there are some simple steps we all can take to make a positive impact on our air quality. Data from the Regional Air Quality Council shows that nearly a third of ozone-causing emissions come from things we use in our daily lives, including gas-powered vehicles and lawn and gardening equipment. By cutting back on the use of these sources, we can make a difference. Riding our bikes or even walking instead of taking the car when running errands or going out to a local restaurant can eliminate a couple car trips per week. And for those errands where a car is necessary, plan to do them all in one trip during the week.
Along with more systemic changes that are also needed, these simple steps for better air can make a real difference this summer.
Climate Reality Leader
Vice President, Sustainable Broomfield