It’s Air Quality Awareness Week in New Jersey and the state Department of Environment Protection is stressing the importance of a combined effort by government and the public to improve air quality.

“This is a priority issue for the Christie Administration which has moved forward on major initiatives to battle air pollution in our state and coming from neighboring states, while championing policies that promote the widespread development of renewable and clean energy — green, solar, wind energy — and greater use of cleaner natural gas,’’ said Commissioner Bob Martin.

“But we also need individuals to join the battle, to be mindful of how basic changes in their everyday routines can greatly improve air quality for everyone across our state, and improve public health and welfare in New Jersey,’’ added Martin.

Some tips on reducing air pollutants include:

  • Keep your vehicle maintenance up-to-date.
  • Obey state law by not idling your vehicle for more than three minutes
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room
  • Turn off the air conditioner when you leave the house. It not only reduces pollution, but saves you money.
  • Buy clothing that doesn’t require dry cleaning.
  • Avoid cleaners, paints or pesticides that are reliant on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gases that can persist in the air long after they are applied.

Check your local forecast using the Air Quality Index (AQI). If it is an orange or red day, avoid using products with VOCs or mowing your lawn.

Burn only dry, well-seasoned hardwood, and avoid wood burning on bad air days.

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