Reducing air pollution is a big job and significant progress is being made through the efforts of Nova Scotians across the province. “The expression ‘many hands make light work’ applies very well to reducing air pollution,” said Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash. “When we all burn less fuel in our cars and homes, and use less electricity, we succeed in lowering emissions.” Individual Nova Scotians, like Diana Saunders, are helping reduce air pollution. She is a co-ordinator with the Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation based in Mahone Bay. The group started an education and awareness program to encourage people not to leave their vehicles idling. “Letting a vehicle idle for 10 seconds uses more fuel than turning the vehicle off and restarting the engine,” said Ms. Saunders. “Avoiding idling not only reduces emissions, but it also wastes less fuel and saves drivers money.” The group posted signs and established eight idle-free zones in parking lots of schools, a day care, the town hall and other businesses and organizations. “We’ve had a great response from citizens with very positive feedback,” said Ms. Saunders. “I think people realize that reducing idling is good for the health of our community.” In Pictou County, Steve Harder is working to reduce emissions from lawn mowers. As co-ordinator of the Pictou Airshed Management Project, he helped organize a lawnmower exchange from May 14 to 28. Area residents were invited to turn in their old mowers to be recycled and get newer models. “Operating an old gas lawnmower for an hour can result in the same emissions as running 40 new cars for the same length of time,” said Mr. Harder. “Using a more energy-efficient mower can reduce emissions significantly, and push mowers produce no emissions at all — and very little noise.” Nova Scotians can make many choices in their daily lives to reduce air pollution: walk, bike, car pool or use public transit when possible choose a fuel-efficient vehicle if one is required maintain vehicles properly to reduce fuel consumption by up to 10 per cent. Coal-fired electricity generation is the largest source of air emissions in the province. Mr. Harder noted that all Nova Scotians can help reduce emissions by using less electricity. “The less power we use, the less emissions there are,” he said. To use less power, Nova Scotians can: The province is doing its part, too. The Department of Environment and Labour put new air quality regulations in place this year to cut sulphur dioxide emissions in half by 2010. The department is also adding more air monitoring equipment around the province. The department aims to practice what it preaches. Staff car pool anytime they travel by car. The department owns a bicycle that metro employees can use to go to meetings. Staff can also buy Metro Transit tickets in the Halifax office and park bicycles on a rack in the building’s garage. Another bicycle rack is outside for visitors. These and other successes are reasons to celebrate during Environment Week from June 5 to 11, and on Clean Air Day, Wednesday, June 8. For more information on keeping Nova Scotia’s environment clean, visit www.gov.ns.ca/enla/envirowk . -30- use compact flourescent light bulbs let dishes air dry in the dishwasher air dry laundry when possible choose energy efficient appliances keep heating and cooling systems in good working order turn off lights and electronics when not in use seal windows, doors, and baseboards with caulking or weather-stripping.