SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Wednesday marks the 5th Annual California Clean Air Day, where Californians are encouraged to do at least one thing to help clear the air, such as taking public transit.
This comes as seven out of the 10 most ozone-polluted cities are located in the Golden State.
"Honestly, I just really enjoy taking the ferry, there's a lot of great views," said Anna Close, a passenger on the San Francisco Bay Ferry.
The San Francisco Bay Ferry is offering free ferry rides all day Wednesday, among several other public transit agencies, for Clean Air Day.
With soaring gas prices and heavy traffic, Close made the choice to trade her car for a ferry ride into the city.
"It's awesome. Commuting can be hard so having that incentive is really nice," she said.
Clean Air Day, put together by the Coalition for Clean Air, is built on the idea that shared experiences unite people to action to improve our community health, and the goal is to create new habits to clear the air in every community.
"We can always do more, taking public transportation, riding our bicycles, walking to places, and so there is a lot more that we could still be doing," said Lorena Castillo, co-executive director of Groundwork Richmond.
In Richmond, that starts with going green.
"We just know that here in Richmond, there's a lack of tree canopy and trees are so beneficial for your health and for your well-being, so we're just trying to plant as many trees as possible in Richmond," Castillo said.
Environmental justice non-profit, Groundwork Richmond, set up shop outside of Richmond City Hall on Wednesday by handing out free seeds for magnolia trees, signing people up for their Adopt-a-Tree program and encouraging everyone to help plant 74 trees at JFK Park on Oct. 15.
"One tree can make a really huge difference in lowering the carbon footprint," Castillo said.
That's why the Coalition for Clean Air is asking everyone to take the 'Clean Air Pledge', either as an individual or organization to do at least one of three things to clear the air:
- Reducing vehicle emissions by leaving your car at home and taking public transit.
- Go green by planting something or starting to compost your food.
- Switching things out like your air filter or gas-powered yard tools.
For background, the Coalition for Clean Air is the same group that came up with the original idea for the state's Smog Check program on gas-powered cars back in the 1980's and more recently, they also helped pass legislation to put one million electric cars on the road by 2025.
You can take the 'Clean Air Pledge' by clicking here.
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