Highline Park

Five spots for Fresh Air in Big Cities!

One of my favorite things to do on a sunny summer afternoon is to go to the park. There is nothing better than feeling the sun on your face as you hang out in nature and recharge your batteries after a particularly taxing week. Not only are these spots relaxing, the fresh air will be a nice change from poor air quality that normally plague’s big cities. For moms with kids out of school for the summer, going to the park can be the very thing that saves our sanity! Some of America’s big cities have created the most enchanting and creative outdoor public spaces you can imagine. If you are in the vicinity, check out these great American parks:

The High Line in New York City – The High line is an abandoned rail line that was transformed into a public space! The Park runs around Manhattan’s West side and is open to the public from 7 AM to 11 PM. Not only is this a great free space to relax after a hard day at the office, you can’t beat the sweet treats that are offered up and down the rail line by street venders.

Highline Park

Highline Park

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USA-Soccer-blog

Air Quality Issues Impacting the World Cup

World Cup excitement continues to grow as the time grows closer and closer to the first game kickoff. I have been preparing my best “GOALLLLL!!!!!!” yell and have hung up my lucky jersey to root on team USA in one of my favorite events this summer.

Hosted in Brazil, this year’s World Cup is bound to be full of surprises. Hosting the World Cup comes with a price though; arguably one of the biggest price tags is not monetary but health related.

Poor air quality claims more lives in Sao Paulo Brazil than traffic fatalities, breast cancer and AIDS combined according to the a study conducted by the Institute of Health and Sustainability.

A study of the pollutants in Sao Paulo’s air determined that it has more than twice the amount of pollutants than is deemed safe by the World Health Organization. With such horrible air quality already plaguing Brazil, some people are asking how it will affect the big event—for fans and players

Here are some additional things to consider: 

  • With all of the international fans flocking the Brazil to cheer on their team, international flying will be at an all time high for Sao Paulo.
  • Travel between different stadiums during the event could double the carbon emissions of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
  • Not only will this increase the risk for Brazilian citizens to die from emission related illnesses, travelers and players exposed are at greater risk for heart disease.

To keep the smog from being a downer, FIFA and The Local Organizing Committee are trying to offset the carbon footprint visitors will create by implementing a series of low carbon development projects.Air plane/Air quality

FIFA hopes to maximize the fans’ enjoyment AND safety during the World Cup. FIFA is also encouraging travelers to offset their own carbon footprint as they enjoy the games.

  • If you have tickets to the World Cup, register your tickets on FIFA’s website and they’ll neutralize your carbon footprint for FREE! And by doing this you’ll be entered to win 2 tickets to the championship game. It doesn’t get any better than that!
  • Plane emissions are the biggest contribution to the carbon footprint! If you have to fly it is best to fly direct. Airplanes use large amounts of fuel taking-off and landing.
  • If you’re driving during the games, consider walking or biking instead. Also, use car air conditioning sparingly as it increases fuel consumption.

However World Cup organizers and fans choose to help keep air quality within safe levels, you can bet the level of noise in the air from the screaming fans will be tough to control! Go Team USA!

Ever been to Brazil? Shed some light on what the players and fans are in for by posting to our Facebook or Twitter page!

air

Simple Ways to Get Involved with Air Quality Awareness Week

trafficNo matter how hard we try, we all contribute to air pollution. Air Quality Awareness Week highlights a few ways we can all help make our air cleaner–and recognize how air quality affects our overall health.

The EPA offers a few simple ways to get involved, and most involve reducing smog—one of the main ways we contribute to air pollution.

Give one or two of their suggestions a try–you may even start doing them regularly. Continue reading…

airplane

Don’t Let Allergies (or Airplane Air Quality) Ruin Your Holiday Travel Plans

This is one of the busiest travel weeks of the year, and millions of Americans are flying to visit friends and family. In addition to Thanksgiving, a growing number of people are vacationing over the holiday weekend. Between the close quarters, air quality issues, and peanuts being tossed around, airplanes have long been a concern for people with all types of allergies.

The Issues

People believe air quality on planes is an issue because the air is recirculated and windows can’t be opened for ventilation. Stagnant air only gets worse when air circulators are turned off as passengers board or when planes sit for long periods of time. This reused, dry air can cause problems for passengers.

General illness can easily be spread on planes because of a lack of air circulation and confined space. Airplane toilets, soap dispensers, and tray tables can also harbor infectious germs.

Peanut and other food allergies are a concern since reactions can be as extreme as death (although it’s rare). Allergic reactions to food can be triggered by touch, so the close quarters make airplanes a worry for some travelers. Continue reading…

An Expert’s Take On Air Quality and Pollution Risks

Smoke Stacks

I’m an environmental consultant that specializes in air quality, so people are always surprised to hear I live in one of the United States’ major centers for oil refining. It’s known as one of the most air quality-challenged regions of our country, and needless to say, I get a lot of questions around town about air quality and the risks associated with where I live.

Here’s what I know:

Exxon Mobil’s largest North American petrochemical complex is in the middle of my town. This is where plastic ingredients and the specialty chemicals for foods and personal products come from. In fact, most of the other big oil and chemical companies are also within a half hour drive.

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