It's been a HOT summer here in West Michigan, and while we've gotten a bit of a break from the heat, we know that it will be back.

It's important to keep our environment healthy during the heat, and the West Michigan Clean Air Coalition has some tips that will help.

Take it easy on the lawn care. Sure, it's been so dry lately, that a lot of us don't necessarily have to worry about mowing, but if your lawn is in need of some TLC, consider waiting until after 6 p.m. to take care of it.

Consider "trip chaining". You have a lot of things to do and a lot of errands to run, but you can help out by combining your errands into one trip. Sure, it'll save you time, but it will also help keep the air clean. When you first start a car that's been sitting for over an hour, it pollutes up to five times more than when the engine's warm.

Carpool or use public transportation. Carpooling is a great way to save money AND help keep our air clean. You can always take the Rapid or The MAX (in Holland) on Clean Air Action Days. (The Rapid is offering FREE rides on all fixed route buses on Clean Air Action Days this summer while funding is available. And, the MAX is also offering free rides on Clean Air Action Days on fixed-route buses between April 1 and October 31.)