Scooter Hot Dog Day

National Hot Dog Day (July 19th)

Hi Friends,

Did you know that Americans buy more than 837 million packages of hot dogs a year? That’s a lot of hot dogs! If there was ever a day to contribute to that number, it’s today – because it’s National Hot Dog Day! If you are planning to join in on today’s festivities, here are a few tips I’d like you to remember:

Walk, ride the bus or carpool to the store. If you don’t have hot dogs at home and need to go buy some, try to get there using public transportation or sharing a ride with a friend. The less we drive, the less we pollute the air!

Use a gas barbecue instead of a charcoal one. Nothing beats barbecued hot dogs, but it’s important we barbecue in a way that doesn’t pollute our air. Avoid using charcoal when barbecuing because it creates a lot of air pollution. Make sure to ask your mom or dad to use a gas grill instead!

Buy hot dog toppings that are locally grown. Tomatoes, onions, pickles … hot dog toppings are endless! If you like more than just ketchup on your hot dog, try to buy toppings that are locally grown. When we buy local products, we help reduce air pollution because fewer trucks have to deliver food to our area from far away.

For more air quality information, browse my website, and don’t forget to ask your parents to download the FREE Sacramento Region Air Quality app. You can use the app to check the air quality index to determine if it’s safe to barbecue!

If you want to hang out with me when I’m out and about, check my calendar to see where I will be visiting next!

Until next time!

Your pal,

-Scooter

AQMD_Scooter_Blog_July_7-17-01

Scooter’s 4th of July Tips

Hi Friends,

It’s the 4th of July, also known as America’s birthday. If you’re like me, you’ll be celebrating today with a BBQ, lots of swimming and fireworks. While today is certainly going to be fun, let’s go over a few tips to make sure we still do our part to reduce air pollution – because, after all, it’s our country’s birthday!

Barbecue smart. Don’t use charcoal lighter fluid. It sends a lot of yucky pollutants into the sky. Ask your parents to use an electric or chimney briquette starter or better yet, use a propane grill.

Use liquid sunscreen. Sunscreens that come in lotion form are way better for the air than sprays because they don’t have the chemicals that come out of the bottle when you spray it on. This is true for most spray products. In fact, whenever you have a choice between lotions and sprays for any product, always choose the lotion.

Recycle. Always, always, ALWAYS recycle when you can. Recycling is the number one way we can help protect our planet. When you’re finished with your drink, make sure to recycle it if it’s a bottle or can.

For more air quality information, browse my website, and don’t forget to ask your parents to download the FREE Sacramento Region Air Quality app. For help downloading the app, check out my tutorial videos. You can also check my calendar to see where I’ll be visiting next.

Until next time!

Your pal,

-Scooter

STA Scooter Summer 2017

Spare The Air tips for Summer Vacation

Hi Friends,

School is out and I couldn’t be more excited for you! Summer vacation is the best time of year. You get to have so much fun, see all of your friends and hopefully get to go on a vacation, too!

Despite all of the fun we’re going to have this summer, it’s important to remember we still need to pay attention to air pollution and the Air Quality Index (AQI). The AQI is a chart that tells us if we can enjoy the outdoors as usual or if we should consider staying inside because pollution levels could be harmful to our health.

We also want to make sure that when we go on vacation, we are respectful of the air there too, and still practice all of the different ways we can help reduce air pollution. Here are some Spare The Air tips for your summer:

  • Plan indoor activities. Whether you’re hanging out at home, or headed out of town for vacation, it’s always a good idea to plan fun, indoor activities to stay healthy and happy when the AQI is forecast to be unhealthy. The possibilities are endless with indoor activities! If you’re on vacation, you could go to a museum, movie or if you’re lucky, even a science center!

  • Use public transportation. Some cities, like New York, Boston and Washington D.C., have awesome subways you can ride to your destinations. Other cities have other fun ways to get around, like cable cars, light rail or double-decker buses. You can also walk, or rent a bike! If you’re going on a vacation this summer, ask your parents if there are any fun ways besides driving to get around the area when you want to explore!

  • Use reusable water bottles. Reusable water bottles are a great way to help the environment. You can fill up your bottle for FREE from the faucet or at a water fountain, so there’s no reason to go buy one at the store.
  • Pack light. Did you know that the more a plane weighs, the more air pollution it produces? While you might think a pair of shoes and a few extra shirts don’t weigh much, if everyone on the plane packed a little less, it would make a huge difference. Let’s make sure to do our part and only pack what we need when we travel this summer vacation!
  • Turn off the lights. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean we can forget some of the most basic ways to Spare The Air. Even if you’re at a big hotel, turn off the lights and electronics when you aren’t using them. When we go on vacation, we still want to be respectful of those who call our vacation destination “home.”

For more air quality information, check out my website, and don’t forget to ask your parents to download the FREE Sacramento Region Air Quality app. They can use the app to check the daily air quality forecast and get current conditions at the air monitoring sites in our region: http://www.aqmdscooter.com/index.php/videos/%E2%80%8E.
You can also check my calendar to see where I will be visiting next.

Until next time!

Your pal,

-Scooter

Scooter AQI

The AQI Chart

Now that Spare The Air season is underway, I want to help you understand our most important tool for determining when air pollution can have an effect on you, and whether it’s safe for us to exercise outside. This tool is called the Air Quality Index or AQI for short.

The AQI has six categories:

  1. Hazardous is 301 to 500: The entire population is more likely to experience serious health effects and should avoid all outdoor exertion. When the AQI is 301 to 500, it means air pollution is at its worst and we want to avoid being outdoors.
  1. Very Unhealthy is 201 to 300: Everyone may experience more serious health effects and should avoid all outdoor exertion. When the AQI is 201 to 300, it means air pollution is very bad and we don’t want to do anything outside that will make us breathe heavy.
  1. Unhealthy is 151 to 200: Everyone may begin to experience some harmful health effects and should limit prolonged outdoor exertion, especially members of the sensitive groups. When the AQI is 151 to 200, it means air pollution is bad and we should try not to do anything outside that requires a lot of running or will make us really tired.
  1. Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups is 101 to 150: People with heart and lung disease, older adults and children are at a greater risk and should make sure they don’t exercise too much outside. When the AQI is 101 to 150, it means air pollution is a problem particularly for kids like us, our grandparents and our moms or friends’ moms who are pregnant. In addition, when the AQI is 126 or higher, you will hear a Spare The Air On a Spare The Air day, it’s up to us to remind our parents of ways to help reduce air pollution, such as reducing their driving (or not driving at all), carpooling or taking public transit.
  1. Moderate is 51 to 100: People who have a unique sensitivity to air pollution should consider limiting outdoor exertion. When the AQI is 51 to 100 those of us with asthma or heart or lung disease should avoid any outdoor activity that will make you tired.
  1. Good is 0 to 50: No health impacts are expected when air quality is in this range. When the AQI is 0 to 50, it means it’s time to smile because we can play outside all day without having to worry about air pollution. My favorite days are when the AQI is in the Good range!

For more air quality information, browse my website http://www.aqmdscooter.com/.

And, don’t forget to ask your parents to download the FREE Sacramento Region Air Quality app. They can use the app to check the daily air quality forecast and get current conditions at the air monitoring sites in our region: http://www.aqmdscooter.com/index.php/videos/%E2%80%8E.

You can also check my calendar to see where I will be visiting next.

Until next time!

Your pal,

-Scooter

AMQD_STA_ScooterBlog_May1-01

STA Season is Here!

Hi Friends,

The 23rd Spare The Air season is here!

Spare The Air is a way of life that helps keep our air clean. So between now and Halloween, we all need to pitch in to help reduce air pollution, also known as smog. You can help by doing little things that will help keep the air clean for all of us to breathe.

Air pollution affects everyone, but it’s even worse for kids! You’re my friends and I want to help keep you safe. Because you’re growing, your lungs are still developing and that makes it important for you to avoid air pollution.

When air pollution is going to be bad, a Spare The Air alert will be issued. A Spare The Air alert lets us know that our air quality is going to be yucky, so we can plan ahead. If you hear a Spare The Air alert, try to avoid outdoor activities that require a lot of running or those that make you really tired.

Here are some of my favorite ways to help reduce air pollution this Spare The Air season:

  • Carpool with a friend to school

  • Plant a tree

  • Have your parents download the FREE Sacramento Region Air Quality. They can use the app to check the daily air quality forecast, get current conditions and know when there’s a Spare The Air alert.

  • Ask your family to buy local fruits and veggies

  • Encourage your family to use public transportation

For more air quality information, browse my website: AQMDscooter.com. You can also check my event calendar to see where I’ll be visiting next.

Until next time!

Your pal,

-Scooter

Earth Day Scooter

Earth Day

Hi Friends!

Earth Day is special because we get to celebrate our beautiful planet. We also get to learn new ways to do all the things we love to do, but in ways that help reduce air pollution. I often talk about going green and how we can accomplish that. Today, I’m sharing my five “Rs” that will help you make “green” choices too:

1. Reduce: You can help reduce air pollution by carpooling to school. Or, bike or walk. Not only will you help reduce air pollution, but biking or walking to school is a great way to get some exercise!

2. Re-use: If you’re done with a toy, don’t throw it away. Instead, donate it or pass it along to a friend or sibling. When we share, we help reduce air pollution because fewer things need to be made and delivered. You can also re-use things like water bottles and lunch boxes, so that you don’t have to throw away as much garbage.

3. Repair: If you can, try to fix something instead of buying a new one in its place. You’ll save money and help Spare The Air because you won’t have to drive a car to go buy the new item.

4. Re-purpose: When we re-purpose items, we save our money plus we get to do something fun, creative and new with things we’d otherwise throw away. For example, you can turn an old paper plate into an animal mask or an old book into a shelf on your wall.

5. Recycle: Always, always, ALWAYS recycle when you can. Recycling is the number one way we can help protect our planet.

I hope you all have a wonderful and “green” Earth Day. Until next time!

Your pal,

-Scooter

STA Scooter where is he

Where in the community is Scooter?

Hi friends!

As you know, I like to keep extremely busy by traveling all around the counties of Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo-Solano sharing my tips on how you can protect yourself and the ones you love from air pollution. Below are some of my most favorite photos taken of me and some of my buddies at super fun events over the past year. If you think you know where I am, email me your answers at ScooterTheSpareTheAirDog@gmail.com. The first perfect score will receive a 4-pack of Cinemark movie tickets. The next 99 perfect scores will win a 2-pack of Cinemark movie tickets.

P.S. You get bonus points if you know the name of the event, not just the location!

Number 1:

Number 2:

Number 3:

Number 4:

Number 5:

Number 6:

PROOF_STA_Blog_Feb_stages_2-17-01

CBYB season recap: What we learned about CBYB

Hi friends,

Now that Check Before You Burn season is almost over, I thought this would be a good time to recap all of the important things we learned about CBYB, PM2.5 and ways we can protect ourselves from wood smoke.

  • Check Before You Burn is the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District’s wood burning law, and it’s in effect every year between November and February.
  • Check Before You Burn rules affect you and your family if you live in Sacramento County and the cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento.
  • Wood burning causes more than half of winter air pollution in our area, not cars, which actually cause most of the summer air pollution.
  • Wood smoke contains invisible particles and gases that can have serious health effects.
  • Children (that’s you!) are the most likely to get sick from breathing wood smoke, because your lungs are still developing.
  • Smoke from your fireplace can get back into your house and your neighbor’s house even when doors and windows are closed.
  • “No Burn” days are called when the weather causes wood smoke to get trapped close to the ground. To protect your health and your family, it is illegal to use your fireplace on a “No Burn” day.

A big thanks to all of you for your help reducing wood smoke this winter! If you have any questions about Check Before You Burn you can email me at sparetheairscooter@gmail.com!

Your pal,

-Scooter

PROOF_STA_Blog_Feb_Valentine_2-17-01

Do you want to be Scooter’s Valentine?

Hi friends,

Will you be my Valentine? I could really use a Valentine (or a bunch) this year!

If you’d like to be my Valentine, here’s what you can do to make me feel extra special:

  1. From now through the end of February, make sure your parents check before they burn.
  2. Tell your parents to make sure your chimney gets cleaned.
  3. Try not to inhale any smoke – if you are sitting around a fire pit and the smoke is blowing toward you, move to a different spot.
  4. If you have a wood burning fireplace in your home, ask your parents to consider switching to an electric or gas fireplace. Here’s how to do it: http://www.sparetheair.com/publications/AQMDWoodStoveIncentiveProgramFlyer2016.pdf.
  5. Never burn garbage or wrapping paper in your fireplace.
  6. Do not leave a fire burning if you are going to bed – not even a candle.

You are all doing such a wonderful job helping me to reduce wood smoke pollution this winter! If you have any questions about Check Before You Burn you can email me at sparetheairscooter@gmail.com!

Your pal,

-Scooter

STA_Blog_Jan_1-17-01

Scooter’s tips for staying warm while going “green” this winter

Hi friends,

I’m proud of all of you for doing such a good job checking before you burn this season! We still have a little less than two months to go, so keep up the good work.

If you’re like me, you’ve probably noticed it’s been super cold outside, which can make it cold in your house as well and that’s no fun. Here are some of my favorite tips for staying warm without burning wood this winter:

1. Bundle up! This might seem obvious, but it’s an easy way to stay warm without turning on the heat or burning wood. Plus, it will save your parents money, and keep the air in your house healthier, too!

Scooter_Santa

2. Use your window curtains. During the day, make sure all your window curtains or blinds are open to let in the sun! At night, make sure you close your window curtains or blinds to keep the cold air out.

3. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Your fan usually moves in a counter-clockwise direction which creates cool air. However, switching your ceiling fans to a clockwise direction pushes the warm air that’s risen to your ceiling back down, making you feel warmer!

Ceiling_Fan

4. Use draft guards. Roll up a towel or blanket and place one at the bottom of each door that leads outside to keep cold air from sneaking in.

5. Consume warm foods/drinks. Drink hot chocolate or apple cider, and eat lots of soup to warm up your body!

Hot_Chocolate

If your family does want to burn wood this winter for warmth, always remind your mom or dad to check the daily burn status before they burn wood in your fireplace, fire pit or wood stove. If your family lives in Sacramento County, or the cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova or Sacramento, you always have to Check Before You Burn. This helps protect all of us from breathing bad air during the winter. You can see if it’s okay to burn wood by visiting www.AirQuality.org or asking your parents to download the free Sacramento Region Air Quality app. Have any questions about wood smoke or staying warm this winter? Email me at sparetheairscooter@gmail.com!

Your pal,

-Scooter

Scooter_CBYB

 

 

 

 

*Parents: For more information regarding Check Before You Burn, contact the AQMD at
1-800-880-9025; or visit www.AirQuality.org or www.SpareTheAir.com.