Action Tips: Combat Smog


Most states, but not all, require cars to get a smog emissions test. And there are plenty that aren't nearly strict enough, allowing generous exceptions. Take matters into your own hands and work to reduce smog. Wage a local campaign against emissions.

Be an expert

Do some library research or chat with local mechanics to learn how people can reduce or eliminate smog. Grab interesting facts like:


  • In some states if you've spent $250 on your car and it still doesn't meet emissions standards, you're given a free pass to keep driving it.
  • Taking good care of your car in general can mean a huge reduction in gas use. For example, properly inflated tires make a huge difference in gas mileage.
  • For most modern cars, it takes less gas to turn your engine off and on again than to idle for 30 seconds.


Inform people

People need to know what a smog test is and how many cars pass it. Then, convince them of how important it is to meet standards (like how smog damages the environment and human health). Let them know how easy it is to take care of their car and exceed standards. Hang posters with bold facts about smog and emissions wherever people in your community drive:

  • drug stores
  • gas stations
  • grocery stores
  • movie theaters
  • drive-thrus

Create a partnership

Urge local car repair shops to have customers to invest in emission reduction. See if you can work out a little deal with them: a discount on emission reduction work for people who were referred to that mechanic by your poster! More business for the mechanic, less expense for the driver, and less smog in the air.

Make the rules

If you're dissatisfied with how strict your state is about emissions standards, maybe you can convince your county to do a better job. Get in touch with an elected official, and start a dialogue about emissions standards.


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