Q: WHO IS SCOOTER, THE SPARE THE AIR MASCOT?
A: Scooter is a big, fluffy dog that loves to visit community events, wag his tail and teach people how to help Spare The Air! He is six years old and loves dancing and making new friends. Scooter was named by then 10-year-old Kennedy Kell of Sacramento. Kennedy explained that she chose the name Scooter “because riding a scooter uses less gas than driving a car.”
Make sure to follow Scooter on Facebook at facebook.com/scooterthesparetheairdog and on Instagram (@SacramentoAQMD) to keep in contact with your furry pal!
Q: WHAT IS SPARE THE AIR?
A: Spare The Air is a public outreach program to help improve the Sacramento region’s air quality by educating people about how they can help reduce air pollution. The Sacramento region’s Spare The Air program was started in 1995 by the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, in partnership with the air districts of the Sacramento region, to encourage people to reduce their driving on smoggy days. Spare The Air runs during the summer ozone season, which goes from May 1 to October 31. For more information about Spare The Air, please visit: SpareTheAir.com
Q: WHAT IS A SPARE THE AIR DAY?
A: A Spare The Air day is declared when the Air Quality Index (AQI) is forecast to reach 126 or above, which is in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups category. Everyone, especially children under 14 years old, senior citizens, pregnant women and those with breathing problems and illnesses, should consider limiting their outdoor activities during the afternoon on a Spare The Air day. Everyone should take action to improve air quality on Spare The Air days. The best thing to do is reduce the number of car trips you take. Each time you start the engine is a “trip” so cut back where you can. For more Spare The Air day tips, please visit: http://sparetheair.com/takeAction/index.cfm
Q: WHAT TIME OF DAY IS SUMMER AIR POLLUTION AT ITS WORST?
A: Air pollution levels are the highest in the afternoon and early evening hours. During the ozone season, it’s best to exercise and play outdoors in the early morning or after sunset. If you and your family have outdoor activities planned, check the daily air quality forecast so you can plan ahead, rescheduling your activity if needed.
Q: WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS ARE CAUSED BY GROUND-LEVEL OZONE?
A: A range of health problems can occur including:
- Respiratory illness
- Watery eyes
- Chest pain
- Reduced resistance to infection
- Unusual fatigue
- Heart attack
Q: HOW CAN I TELL WHEN THE AIR QUALITY IS POOR?
A: There are several ways to find out when the air quality is poor in the Sacramento region: download the free Sacramento Region Air Quality app on your smartphone or tablet, call the daily air quality forecast line at 279-207-1122 or sign up for Air Alert, a free email service that sends you the daily air quality forecast and other air pollution conditions, by visiting http://sparetheair.com/airalert.cfm.