Wednesday, June 8, was Clean Air Day across the Central Okanagan.
To mark that event, the regional district air quality program is launching an initiative to encourage motorists to join the effort to reduce vehicle idling and unnecessary pollution.
Even a slight change to avoid idling can help keep our air clean.
Central Okanagan organizations and businesses that would like to support the no-idling endeavor can request some free signs through the Regional Air Quality Program.
The 12-by-18 inch metal signs display an image of a vehicle with exhaust emissions and $$$ icons inside the internationally recognized red circle with a line through it and the words: “BC is Idle Free—Turn Engine Off—Idling gets you nowhere.”
The signs were funded through a provincial grant by the Okanagan Similkameen Airshed Coalition committee which works cooperatively on initiatives to improve outdoor air quality.
Kate Bergen, the Central Okanagan air quality program coordinator, says, “Anti-idling policies have been adopted by the Regional District, City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country and District of Peachland as a practical way to help reduce vehicle emissions from their fleets.
“Central Okanagan motorists can also play a major role in improving our air quality.
“By simply avoiding idling for just three minutes every day, residents would reduce greenhouse gas wmissions by more than 6,000 tonnes every year.”
Kate Bergen add that recent emissions data shows that vehicle emissions are responsible for the greatest proportion of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and volatile organic compounds emitted in the Central Okanagan, as well as a large proportion of other air pollutants.
“These air pollutants can seriously affect human health, and have negative effects on our local environment and the economy,” Bergen said.
“The anti-idling signs are available without cost to community groups and businesses that have adopted an anti-idling policy.
“If any business is interested in adopting a policy, they can contact me and I’ll provide more information to help them get started.”
Requests can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 250-469-8408.
For more information on regional air quality program initiatives in the Central Okanagan visit regionaldistrict.com/airquality.