Scooter stay warm

Chapter 2: Scooter’s options for staying warm without burning wood

Hi Friends!

In the previous blog, we learned why Check Before You Burn is important and where you can check to see if it’s okay for you to burn. This month I’m going to share with you some easy ways you can stay warm, and warm up your house, WITHOUT burning wood.

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 from your ceiling back down toward your floor, making you feel warmer!

Use draft guards. Roll up a towel or blanket and place one at the bottom of each door that leads outside. This will help keep cold air from sneaking into your home. If you don’t want to use a blanket, there are plenty of fun draft guards available in the shapes of dogs, cats and even snowmen.

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

Wear a blanket. I think we all know this one, but there really isn’t a better way to stay warm than wrapping yourself up in a big cozy blanket!

It’s important to remember that the reason we don’t burn wood on NO BURN days isn’t just to protect the environment, but our health as well. According to Families for Clean Air, wood smoke contains many of the same harmful substances as cigarettes. It can make us sick with illnesses that make us cough or hurt our throats and lungs.

If you use any of these helpful tips this winter, post a picture on my Facebook page of you and your family ‘in action” and you’ll have a chance to win a FREE family winter 12-pack of Cinemark movie tickets!

Be sure to check back next month to find out what you should do when you see other people burning wood on NO BURN days.

Your pal,

-Scooter

Scooter No Burn

Why Scooter can’t burn wood in his fireplace

As you know, I love being outside enjoying nature and the fresh, clean air. That being said, between the months of November and February, when it gets really cold, I love to bundle up inside where it’s nice and warm! Sometimes I like to build a cozy fire in my fireplace, but did you know that if you live in Sacramento County you must Check Before You Burn? It’s the law in Sacramento County, including the cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento.

Wood burning during the winter causes over 50 percent of our area’s air pollution. The purpose of Check Before You Burn is to help protect us from the harmful smoke that is created when burning wood and for our area to stay in compliance with federal air quality laws.

Smoke that comes from burning firewood is bad for our health, especially for you kids because your lungs aren’t fully grown yet. Wood smoke contains many of the same chemicals that are in cigarettes and none of them are good for us. It can cause us to get sick with illnesses that make us cough or hurt our throats and lungs.

Check Before You Burn
Scooter No Burn

To find out if we can light a fire in our fireplace or wood stove:

  • Download the FREE Sacramento Region Air Quality app, available in all three app stores
  • Call 1-877-NO-BURN-5 (1-877-662-8765)
  • Follow the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District on Twitter @AQMD
  • Visit AirQuality.org
  • Read The Sacramento Bee’s weather page

Be sure to check back next month to find out my favorite ways to stay warm WITHOUT burning wood!

Your pal,

-Scooter

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.

STA_Blog_Dec_12-16-01

What is CBYB and Who Does it Affect?

Hi friends,

Now that we’ve turned our calendars to December, we can officially get excited because the holiday season is here! Did you know that we’re also in one of my other favorite seasons? That season is called “Check Before You Burn” or “CBYB” for short.

Check Before You Burn is a law created by the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District to help protect you, your family and your friends from the harmful air pollution that is caused from burning wood. The law restricts or prohibits wood burning between the months of November and February, if you live in Sacramento County or the cities of Citrus Heights, Elk Grove, Folsom, Galt, Isleton, Rancho Cordova or Sacramento. It’s important for your parents to check to see if it’s legal to burn wood before starting a fire in your fireplace or outdoor fire pit.

Check Before You Burn is important for all of us, including me, because the smoke caused by burning wood is extremely bad for our health!

What_is_CBYB_12-16

There are a few things you can do this Check Before You Burn season that will not only help you and your family, but make me very proud of you as well!

  1. If your parents are planning on having a fire in your fireplace or outdoor fire pit, ask them if they checked first to see if they can burn. Three easy ways they can do that are by visiting AirQuality.org, following @AQMD on Twitter, or downloading the FREE Sacramento Region Air Quality app for their smart phone.
  2. Never burn garbage or wrapping paper in your fireplace. It’s against the law. While it might make for an easy start to your fire, the smoke from garbage and wrapping paper is extremely bad for you.
  3. Don’t leave a fire burning if you are going to bed. This includes candles! Even if the fire is almost out, it’s still extremely dangerous. Always play it safe by making sure your fire is completely out.

This is a very exciting time of year. I want to make sure you that you and your family have the best winter ever, so I hope that you will follow my tips and make sure your parents ALWAYS check before they burn. If you have any questions about wood smoke or staying warm in the winter, you can email me at sparetheairscooter@gmail.com!

Your pal,

-Scooter

Scooter_CBYB

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

STA_Blog_November_11-16-01

Scooter welcomes Fall and introduces PM2.5

Hi friends!

I love fall and winter, but the one thing I don’t love about the colder months is a type of pollution called Particulate Matter 2.5 or PM2.5. This air pollution is most often caused by smoke from burning wood.

Smoke that comes from burning firewood is bad for my health—and it’s bad for you, too, especially if you’re a kid. Your lungs aren’t fully grown yet, and neither are you. So, because of your smaller size, you actually breathe more air than adults – and that means you breathe in more air pollution. Wood smoke contains many of the same chemicals that are in cigarettes and none of them are good for our health. It can cause us to get sick with illnesses that make us cough or hurt our throats and lungs.

Here are some of my favorite tips about how to reduce wood smoke pollution and protect your family’s health:

  1. Tell your parents how important it is to get the chimney cleaned.
  2. Try not to inhale any smoke – if you are sitting around a campfire and the smoke is blowing toward you, move to a different spot.
  3. If you have a wood burning fireplace in your home, ask your parents to consider switching to an electric or gas fireplace.
  4. Never burn garbage or wrapping paper.
  5. Do not leave a fire burning when you and your family go to bed.

If your family lives in Sacramento County, there’s a law called Check Before You Burn that helps protect all of us from breathing bad air in the winter. From November through February, you may not be able to burn wood in your fireplace or use your family’s backyard fire pit on certain days. It’s the law, so ask your mom or dad to check before lighting a fire. (If you have a gas fireplace, you can use it whenever you’d like!) You can see if it’s okay to burn by visiting www.AirQuality.org or asking your parents to download the free Sacramento Region Air Quality app.

Do you have questions about wood smoke or staying warm in the winter? Email me at sparetheairscooter@gmail.com.
-Scooter

Coloring Sheet Blog

New Scooter Coloring Pages

Hi friends! If you’re looking for something to do over winter break, download my new Check Before You Burn coloring pages. Not only are they lots of fun to color, but they have information about wintertime air pollution! Please have your mom or dad help you print some of these awesome pages, color them and then share them with me on my Facebook page— https://www.facebook.com/scooterthesparetheairdog. I’m so excited to see the colorful masterpieces that all of my friends create.

CBYB_Coloring_Sheets

Holiday Scooter Blog Help Reduce air pollution

Holiday Season Tips

Hi friends! I love this time of year and the holidays because I get to spend extra time with my family. I also keep making choices that help reduce air pollution.

Use these five tips this holiday season to help reduce waste and air pollution this winter:

  1. Give the gift of clean air by encouraging your friends and family to drive less. If you’re all going to a holiday party, suggest sharing a ride there!
  2. Make it a “green” holiday season by giving plants as gifts. They are a thoughtful present and they help improve our air quality.
  3. Never burn wrapping paper; it causes unhealthy air and is illegal, too!
  4. Purchase a real Christmas tree from a local farm. A real tree can be collected by your local municipality to be fully recycled. If you have a fake tree, be sure to reuse it year after year!
  5. Shop for gently used items as gifts or create something homemade using recycled materials. You will be giving a unique gift from the heart and helping to reduce air pollution.

And remember: 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, 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 by visiting www.AirQuality.org or asking your parent to download the free Sacramento Region Air Quality app.

Have any questions about wood smoke or staying warm in the winter? Email me at sparetheairscooter@gmail.com!

-Scooter

No Burn Blog

FAQ of the Month: Can my family burn wood in our fireplace?

Hi friends! It’s finally December and that means cold weather is on its way. I love this time of year because I love to sit in front of my gas fireplace. By using a gas fireplace and not burning wood, my doghouse is warm and cozy and I don’t breathe bad air!

Smoke that comes from burning firewood is bad for my health—and it can be bad for you, too, especially if you’re a kid. Your lungs aren’t fully grown yet so you breathe in more air than adults and that means you breathe in more air pollution. Wood smoke contains many of the same chemicals that are in cigarettes and none of them are good for our health. It can cause us to get sick with illnesses that make us cough or hurt our throats and lungs.

There are some safe ways we can stay warm while protecting our health. Blankets, sweatshirts and yummy warm drinks like hot chocolate or apple cider are just a few options! If your family is like mine and loves to use a fireplace, see if you can switch to a gas fireplace instead of using a wood burning fireplace. That way you will still get to enjoy the fire without all that yucky smoke! The Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District has a program that gives you money to change out a wood burning fireplace to something cleaner. Visit www.AirQuality.org/woodstove to find out about it.

If your family lives in Sacramento County, there’s a law called Check Before You Burn that helps protect all of us from breathing bad air in the winter. From November through February, you may not be able to burn wood in your fireplace or use your family’s backyard fire pit on certain days, so ask your mom or dad to check before lighting a fire. (If you have a gas fireplace, you can use it whenever you’d like!) You can see if it’s okay to burn by visiting www.AirQuality.org or asking your parent to download the free Sacramento Region Air Quality app.

Have any questions about wood smoke or staying warm in the winter? Email me at sparetheairscooter@gmail.com!

-Scooter