Living With Red Air Quality Days

January 22, 2013
Shawn, Store Green Team Captian

Shawn, Store Green Team Captain

Did you know that Harmons has dietitians in some of our stores?  Our Bangerter Crossing, City Creek, and Station Park Stores employ dietitians who provide many amazing services to our customers.  The dietitian team also provides a lot of great services to Harmons Associates.  For a little over a year they have been writing “Harmons Great Health Tips of the Day.”  Recently, they took the opportunity to remind Harmons Associates about Red Air Quality and I wanted to share some of the information with you.

As most of you are aware, every winter the Wasatch Front experiences long periods of smog.  The smog is caused by particulate matter in the air.  These small particles are too small to be seen, but they can have a huge effect on our health and quality of living.  Those with respiratory illnesses like asthma are often advised to stay indoors during yellow and red air quality days.  The very young and the elderly are also advised to stay indoors for their health.

In addition to the negative health effects, no one, healthy or not, wants to breath in dirty air.  Our temperatures in the valley become colder than they would be without the smog because the warmth from the sun cannot get through the air to warm the ground.  Our beautiful views of the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains are ruined.  People who are active outdoors are advised to stay inside and they find it difficult to maintain their active lifestyle they, and so many in our state, love.

The bad air in the valley affects all of us and it will take all of us to solve this problem.  If you have a wood burning stove, avoid using it on bad air quality days.  If it’s a red air quality day, it’s actually prohibited to burn wood unless it is your only way to heat your home.

Carpooling and taking public transportation is highly encouraged all year long, but especially on bad air quality days.  Make sure when you do go out to run errands, you do it in a smart and effective way.  Try to avoid doubling back and driving all over the valley, try to use your car as little as possible.  Also, don’t idle your car.  If you have to wait in a drive-through at a bank or restaurant, turn your car off for the few moments that you are waiting.

It’s a good idea to be aware of the quality of air.  You can watch or listen to the news or you can visit http://www.airquality.utah.gov/aqp/slc.html.  This way you will know exactly what you can and cannot do.  But remember, even on green air quality days, it’s still a good idea to take action to minimize pollutants from going into the air and our environments.  If we take the right actions every day, good air or bad, we can lower the number of bad air quality days we’ll have.