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Monday, August 12, 2013

'Little Steps. Big Impact.' Ozone Awareness Days Ends This Week

A MAPA bus.
My husband and I committed to live a greener lifestyle a longtime ago. Given this fact, The Brown's recycle in our ever day lives; whether it's recycling paper, cans and glass. Also, to decrease our carbon footprint even more we carpool and at times take public transit. No joke, read about our past carpooling and bus riding efforts at Metro Commuter Challenge and Ride the Bus to Work Day. Like most, it took baby steps to get us to where we are now. That is why when I learned of this “Little Steps. Big Impact.” initiative taking place in the Omaha metropolitan area this week I had to share it with our population-we™ readers.

The birth of this campaign came about because of the growing concerns for Omaha's air quality or "ozone." Ozone season is from the months of April to October. For more information, read "What is Ozone." To educate residents and especially commuters on how to decrease their ozone impact, the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) teamed up with the Douglas County Health Department. With ozone emissions at the forefront of concern for this campaign the main driving point for the Ozone Awareness Days would be to get commuters to ride a MAPA bus. In this case, the price definitely makes it right--it is just a 50-cent bus fare on each Ozone Awareness Day this week: Monday through Thursday, Aug. 12-15.

Besides reduced bus fares the “Little Steps. Big Impact” campaign website offers resources for Omaha commuters to learn more about ozone impact. The campaign also provides tips for everyday ozone reductions such as: taking the public transit, carpooling and avoiding outdoor activity. The website defines the peak hours of outdoor activity between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. However, don't be alarmed Nebraska usually lands way below the national average. On the day I wrote this post, Omaha ranked at 41, which is classified as "good" by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air quality standards called the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). But due diligence needs to be met to keep it that way! So, Omaha's MAPA and the Douglas County Health Department want to make commuters aware of the number of trips we take in our vehicles, too.

So, if you live in the Omaha metropolitan area, please consider participating in MAPA's and Douglas County Health Department's "Little Steps. Big Impact." Let's take yet another step to transform our carbon footprint to just a little; because together we can make a lasting difference to reduce our impact.

-population-we™ blog post by Becky Bohan Brown
© 2013 population-we, LLC 
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