Air pollution is generated by a variety of sources.  Vehicle and industry emissions, dust particles, gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment and outdoor burning all contribute to air pollution.  Everyone contributes to air pollution in some way or another, but everyone can also be a part of the solution. Here are some simple, effective tips for protecting you and your family from the dangers of air pollution. For more information, visit DHEC's Bureau of Air Quality.
  • Check daily air pollution forecasts in your area, such as EnviroFlash, which comes to you through a partnership between the US EPA and DHEC Bureau of Air Quality. It notifies you about air quality so you don't have to go searching for it!
  • For information in air quality trends, check the EPA's Air Trends website.
  • Avoid exercising outdoors when pollution levels are high. When the air is bad, walk indoors in a shopping mall or gym or use an exercise machine. Limit the amount of time your child spends playing outdoors if the air quality is unhealthy.
  • Always avoid exercising near high-traffic areas. Even when air quality forecasts are green, the vehicles on busy highways can create high pollution levels up to one-third mile away.
  • Use less energy in your home. Generating electricity and other sources of energy creates air pollution. By reducing energy use, you can help improve air quality, curb greenhouse gas emissions, encourage energy independence and save money! Check out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's easy tips for conserving energy at home.
  • Encourage your child's school to reduce school bus emissions. To keep exhaust levels down, schools should not allow school buses to idle outside of their buildings. 
  • Walk, bike or carpool. Combine trips. Use buses, subways, light rail systems, commuter trains or other alternatives to driving your car.
  • Don't burn wood or trash. Burning firewood and trash are among the major sources of particle pollution (soot) in many parts of the country.
  • Use hand-powered or electric lawn care equipment rather than gasoline-powered.
  • Don't allow anyone to smoke indoors and support measures to make all public places tobacco free.

    Because it is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, transportation is a prime target for reducing air pollution and obtaining sustainable environment. This leads to Green Transportation, which means any kind of transportation practice or vehicle that is eco-friendly and does not have any negative impact on the immediate environment.This includes driving in an environmentally friendly fashion, driving alternative fuel vehicles and/or taking alternative forms of transportation.

    Transportation Resources and Links
    Blue Bike SC Bike Share
    Columbia Area Transportation Study (COATS)
    The Comet
    Green Driving Tips
    Transportation and Fuel Efficiency Resources from SCDHEC
    Walk Bike Columbia Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plans

    Office Hours:
    8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
    2910 Colonial Drive
    Columbia, South Carolina 29203

The City of Columbia is an active member of Clean Air Midlands, a coalition of public, private, education, health care, faith and citizen stakeholders who promote regional cooperation for air quality in the Midlands of South Carolina.

Office Hours
8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
2910 Colonial Drive
Columbia, South Carolina 29203
Mary Pat Baldauf, Sustainability Facilitator
(803) 545-2722 (CPAC)
[email protected]