In addition to being National Wildfire Awareness Month, May is also Clean Air Month. The two go hand in hand, with longer and more severe wildfire seasons impacting air quality across Idaho. As we enter summer, many of us will start to keep an eye on the Air Quality Index (AQI) in our weather forecast. While spending time recreating outdoors is all many Idahoans want to do this time of year, wildfires across the state and beyond can make air quality unsafe, especially for those who are most vulnerable.

Along with practicing wildfire prevention, there are other ways that individuals can help improve air quality in our communities. Transportation pollution is Idaho’s leading air quality and climate issue. Earlier this month, we recognized National Bike to Work Week and encouraged commuters to bike or use alternative modes of transportation to reduce their carbon footprint. This is a great way to be mindful of our impact on air quality year-round. If you’re unable to walk, bike, or use public transportation to get to where you’re going, try carpooling to reduce vehicle emissions.

Looking to make an investment in healthier air quality? Consider making the switch to an electric vehicle! Accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles and powering them with clean energy produced right here in Idaho will significantly reduce air pollution in our communities. 

Don’t need a new car, but support EVs? Reach out to your elected leaders and ask them to support EVs in Idaho by providing financial incentives for EV ownership, updating building codes so new construction is EV ready, or investing in more EV chargers. Idaho leaders know we must all work together to find solutions, and they need to hear from supporters like you.

Idahoans value healthy air for our families and future generations. If you’re looking for more ways to recognize Clean Air Month, consider some of these ways to care for our air:

  • Eliminate tobacco smoke
  • Reduce your use of wood stoves and fireplaces
  • Don’t burn candles, leaves, garbage, plastic or rubber

Keeping Idaho’s air clean is an integral part of ensuring that Idaho stays safe for the people and wildlife who call it home. Sign up for our climate campaign updates to be the first to know when action is needed to protect Idaho’s air.