As kids all around the state head back into the classroom, it’s a good reminder of how our choices at the pump affect the air we breathe, especially for little lungs hopping on the school bus.
Whether you live in rural Minnesota or in the heart of Minneapolis, air quality affects us all. As we talked about in a previous blog post, Minnesota proudly ranks in at #3 for a healthy natural environment, which accounts for air quality, drinking water quality and industrial toxins. Motorized vehicles are the #1 source of air pollution in our state, which include both on and off-road vehicles. So, it’s important to find ways to reduce the air pollutants we emit.
Biofuels such as E85 and other ethanol blends offer so many benefits, not only to our local economy, but also to our air quality. Ethanol is cleaner burning and produces significantly less greenhouse gas emissions compared to regular gasoline, which is why it is recognized as a Clean Air Choice® by the American Lung Association in Minnesota.
What Comes Out of Tailpipes?
According to the American Lung Association, tailpipe emissions include particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and carbon dioxide (CO2), all of which can cause major health concerns. Children are at higher risk of health issues due to air pollution because of their developing lungs, especially children with asthma or those who play outside for long periods of time near high traffic areas.
What Can You Do?
Choosing E85 for your flex fuel vehicle is an easy and effective way to reduce air pollution. If you don’t have a flex fuel vehicle, 88 octane gasoline is a great ethanol blend that can be used in vehicles 2001 and newer. Minnesota has more than 400 stations that offer E85 and over 300 offering 88 octane.
Another easy and money saving tip is to not idle your vehicle when picking up and dropping off your kids at school. This is a great rule of thumb for driving in general. Idling puts extra wear and tear on your engine, increases fuel consumption, and most importantly, puts individuals at risk of health issues who are nearby.
So, whether you’re at the pump or running errands, do what you can to help all the little learners breathe easy this school year.