What is in our Air, Orange County?
Let’s take a second to chat about air. It is all around us, all the time, but have you ever thought about what makes up the air we breathe?
Air is more than just gas. Air can have dust, pollen, salt from sea spray, volcanic ash and smoke. Highly populated areas can have higher rates of air pollution, which can cause health problems.
What are greenhouse gases? Think of these gases as a big blanket that covers the Earth. They allow sunlight to come in but prevent the sunlight’s heat from leaving the atmosphere. Without these gases, the Earth would be covered in ice. However, when too many of these gases get released into the atmosphere, they cause harm.
Our greenhouse gases have increased since the Industrial Revolution. This increase has happened both naturally and because of human activities such as driving, energy consumption and waste. So, why have some places become colder if our greenhouse gases have increased? When you increase greenhouse gases, this causes changes in our climate, including all types of weather events, not just heat.
Orange County measures air pollution 365 days a year. Each day, a team of county scientists analyzes data and sends it to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. That data is then used to create the Air Quality Index. Orange County uses this data to ensure residents have clean and healthy air to breathe.
In 2021, Central Florida’s air quality was in the “good” range more than 80 percent of the year and in the “moderate” range on the remaining days.
How can you help reduce air pollution?
- Protect trees and green space
- Plant more trees and vegetation
- Carpool, bike, or use public transit
- Do not burn trash
- Save energy to burn fewer fossil fuels
- Minimize food waste
- Talk to your friends and family about the importance of clean air