by Melanie Stewart
Last week we were treated to hazy skies and smoky air courtesy of wildfires in Saskatchewan. It’s a little mind boggling to fathom the size of that fire to know that we could actually smell the smoke thousands of miles away.
It’s also a reminder of how interconnected we all are and how our actions can have a direct impact beyond our immediate area.
You may be familiar with the Little Steps Big Impact program designed to reduce ground level ozone levels in Omaha. Ozone is a harmful gas pollutant when it is at ground level which can have many adverse health effects, especially for people with existing breathing problems (like asthma and emphysema), and is harmful to pets and plants. It creates a hazy appearance across the city, not unlike smog, and contains harmful nitrous oxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Ground level ozone is more prevalent in the summer, when more pollution is produced by small gas engines (mowers, toys, etc.) and the sun “cooks” the air.
Fortunately, there are a few easy things that you can do to prevent ground level ozone, creating cleaner air, a less polluted environment, and an overall healthier place to live.
To do your part:
These little steps will have a big impact, making Omaha and the surrounding area a cleaner and healthier place to live and work.