Teslas and tire pressure: What's new in air quality in Minnesota?

Contact: Pam McCurdy, 651-757-2559

St. Paul, Minn. — Discover how day-to-day actions can improve the air we breathe at this year’s Eco Experience at the 2014 Minnesota State Fair.

Get plugged in

In Minnesota, more than half of all air pollution comes from vehicles. Low-emission vehicles such as those that run on electricity or compressed natural gas release no tail pipe emissions to cut back on pollution. Come see a Tesla Model S, ranked best overall car by Consumer Reports, as well as a Nissan Leaf and a Mitsubishi i-MiEV at the Eco Experience building.

Electric vehicle owners will be on hand to answer real life questions about what it is really like to own an electric vehicle in Minnesota. Learn about using solar electricity to power electric vehicles and where public charging stations are located. 

Hop on the bus, Gus

Stepping out of your vehicle and onto public transportation is a simple way to cut pollution and improve air quality. Visit the #KickGas area of the Eco Experience, sponsored by Metro Transit and the Minnesota Department of Transportation, to find resources on walking, biking, public transportation and other great ways to keep air cleaner. The average commuter produces several tons of emissions each year. There will also be an Enterprise vanpool van and a Car2Go Smart car. Before leaving the area, be sure to take a ride on the new Imagine Your Life on a Bike simulator for a fun photo-op.

Pump it up

Maintaining tire pressure can also improve our air quality. At our hands-on exhibit, we will be handing out free tire gauges and window clings to remind you to pay attention to your tire health. About 40 percent of the cars on Minnesota roads have underinflated tires, which mean those cars are spewing out up to 306,000 extra tons of carbon dioxide per year. Stop by the exhibit to find out more about how you could win a $100 gas card, donated by Holiday, by simply taking a photo of yourself checking your tire pressure.

Campfire etiquette

Want to have a backyard wood fire for a party or relaxation? Be aware that wood smoke may be impacting your family and others around you. Learn about what to consider, including toxins found in smoke, before you light up in an urban location.

Fairgoers can also sign up online for the MPCA’s Air Quality alerts.

About the Eco Experience: A partnership between the Minnesota State Fair, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and more than 150 organizations and businesses across the state, the Eco Experience has become the second most visited exhibit at the fair. The Eco Experience is the largest environmental event of its kind, nationally, in the last two decades. In 2013 the Eco Experience won the People’s Choice Award voted on by the fair goers at the Minnesota State Fair.

Since 2006, more than 3 million visitors have attended the 25,000-square-foot exhibit to learn more about clean air and water, saving energy, climate change, recycling, healthy local food, gardening, transportation, green building and remodeling, and other ways to lead more eco-friendly lives.

All schedules, story ideas and press releases will be posted on the www.ecoexperience.org website under media tab or email questions to Pamela.McCurdy@state.mn.us phone 651-757-2559.