Small changes can make a big difference. One of the primary components required to form ground-level ozone is Nitrogen Oxides – and those are found in car exhaust. When cars sit in one place and idle, those exhaust fumes can become concentrated very quickly.
Ask yourself – “Where do I frequently find myself sitting in my car with the engine idling?”
If you’re a parent, the answer is “At school!” It’s that time of year; the kids are headed back to school. When a large number of vehicles (busses, staff, parents) arrive at the school in the morning and afternoon, traffic can get backed up quickly – meaning those vehicle emissions could become concentrated and contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone.
What can you do?
Shutting your engine off is one option, but maybe not the best in this Texas heat. Try stopping farther away, before you get caught in traffic. You could let your child walk a little ways to the front door, as appropriate for their age level, of course. Perhaps the kids could ride their bikes to school, or walk from home. We know that not all schools and neighborhoods are well-connected with sidewalks, but maybe you have that option. You never know until you look around and examine the choices available to you.