Health Matters: Ditch the Keys

Health Matters

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Several organizations are bringing awareness to the air quality and are asking you to ditch the keys!

Daniel Holland lives a few blocks away from work. Instead of driving, he walks. So getting on board with Ozone Action Days was a stroll in the park.

“Not only can I walk and commute to work, I’m downtown, so I can walk pretty much anywhere I want,” Holland says.

The goal of Ozone Action Days is to let people know about potentially harmful ground-level ozone, particularly during the summer months. Breathing this type of ozone can cause a number of health problems, like chest pain, coughing, throat irritation and congestion.

“You don’t really think about it, but when you kind of start to research it, you have to start thinking about how it’s affecting your health,” says Holland.

Because the air quality isn’t on a lot of our minds, Metroplan in downtown Little Rock has partnered with ADEQ, the Health Department and the Department of Transportation for a public awareness campaign called “Ditch the Keys”.

Metroplan Executive Director Tab Townsell explains ways to help alleviate bad air quality.

“Not moving in the afternoon, late afternoon, filling your car up in the late afternoon, using certain kinds of organic chemicals around the house,” Townsell explains.

Other recommendations include conserving electricity by setting your AC at a higher temperature, sharing a ride to work or using public transportation.

“We take small victories at the point, and anything you can do individually, it helps,” says Townsell.

Even if that means ditching the keys for a day.

“This is actually a really good thing to support and be a part of,” says Holland.

Step by step, Arkansas can make a difference.

This is a summer-long initiative from May through September.

To learn more about Ozone Action Days, click here.

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