New Mexico
Environment Department

Contact Information:
(505) 827-2855 MAIN // 1-800-219-6157 (toll free)
Environmental Emergencies:
505-827-9329 (24 hrs)

Air Quality Bureau

Just for Kids!

Welcome kids!

We’re glad you’re here.

On this page, you’ll find an interactive adventure (Whispurr and Muttley, Air Detectives) which follows a couple of our furry friends as they learn about ozone and ozone issues in New Mexico. The book includes opportunities for internet research and other activities. In addition, we’ve included some puzzles, games and other fun stuff for you to explore. We also hope you’ll take the Kids’ Air Quality Challenge and let us know what you and your friends are doing to help reduce air pollution in New Mexico.

Whispurr and Muttley, Air Detectives

Whispurr and Muttley don’t take clean air for granted. So, when they learn that New Mexico has some problems with ozone, they go to work finding out all they can. Are you as smart as Whispurr and Muttley? Read the book and do the activities to find out!

For a printed copy of the book, call the Air Quality Bureau at (505) 476-4300.

Exercise your brain!

Try these puzzles after reading Whispurr and Muttley, Air Detectives.

Pollution Maze

Pollution Maze – Easy Solution – Pollution Maze – Easy
Pollution Maze – Not As Easy Solution – Pollution Maze – Not As Easy
Pollution Maze – Challenge 1 Solution – Pollution Maze – Challenge 1
Pollution Maze – Challenge 2 Solution – Pollution Maze – Challenge 2

Double Puzzle – Whispurr’s Secret Message

Secret Message 1 – With Hints  
Secret Message 1 – No Hints Solution – Secret Message 1
Secret Message 2 Solution – Secret Message 2

Super Sleuth Q and A

Super Sleuth – With Hints  
Super Sleuth – No Hints Solution – Super Sleuth Q and A

Word Search

Air Quality Word Search 1 Solution – Air Quality Word Search 1
Air Quality Word Search 2 Solution – Air Quality Word Search 2
Air Quality Word Search 3 Solution – Air Quality Word Search 3


Mad Lib fun!

We’ve created  a couple of Mad Libs for you to have fun with. Note that clicking on the titles (at the left) will take you to an outside site. To get back here, just close the tab (if it opens in a separate tab) or click the back button. Don’t peek at the original stories until you’ve made up your own!

Create your own Mad Lib at Project Labyrinth, then send us the link and your original story. If we love it, we’ll post it here!

What can people do to reduce ozone pollution in New Mexico?

Even kids can make a difference, but it takes all of us working together. Tell your friends and family members that small changes can make a big difference. Send photos, or drawings to to illustrate the ozone pollution reducing choices below. If you’re a writer, write a story, an article or a poem instead. Your writing, photo or drawing may be posted, along with your name – here and on the Kids’ Air Quality Challenge page!

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Reduce your use of products with a lot of volatile organic compounds (VOC).

  • Use less spray-can paint and oil-based paint.
  • Use only low-VOC paints.
  • Use acetone-free products.
  • Avoid “stinky” chemicals (like nail polish) and aerosols (like hair spray).
  • Use plant-based cleaners when possible.

Change your driving habits. (Well, maybe your parents!)

  • Combine errands into one trip when possible.
  • Carpool.
  • Try not to travel during rush hour.
  • Avoid excessive idling. If you’re stopped longer than 30 seconds, turn the car off.
  • Reduce drag on the car or truck:
    1. Carry cargo on the inside instead of a car rack.
    2. Open the pickup truck tailgate. (Or take it off.)
    3. Don’t load the car or truck down if you don’t have to.
    4. Make sure tires are inflated properly.

Conserve energy.

  • Turn lights off as you leave the room.
  • Unplug cable boxes and chargers when not in use.
  • Use a clothesline instead of a dryer.
  • Turn off electrical devices (including computers, televisions and stereos) when your not using them.
  • Use energy-saving light bulbs – LEDs are best, but CFLs are a good choice too.
  • Set the air conditioner at a higher temperature. Two degrees can make a huge difference in how much electricity is used. 
  • Turn off the air conditioner when you’re not at home … or set it no lower than 80 degrees.
  • Set the thermostat for your heating at a lower temperature and put on a sweater.
  • Set the heat even lower when you’re not at home.
  • Charge phones and other devices only as long as necessary.

Change some common habits.

  • For barbecuing, forget the lighter fluid. Use a charcoal “chimney starter” instead.
  • Mow only when necessary and never in the heat of the day.
  • Use gas-powered engines (chain saws, weed whackers, etc.) less – and also not in the heat of the day.
  • Sacrifice your love of joy-riding on hot, sunny days. ATVs, motorcycles and boat motors are big polluters.
  • Gas up the tank of your vehicle in the evening, not when the sun is shining brightly.
  • Avoid excessive packaging (bottled water, individually-wrapped food items, fast food, plastic cups and bags, etc.). A lot of packaging is made from petroleum products. Get reusable items … then carry them with you and use them!
  • Reuse what you can; recycle what you can’t reuse. Aim for zero waste!

Get out of the car.

  • Take public transportation, like the bus or train, instead of driving.
  • Ride a bike.
  • Walk.
  • Don’t use the drive-through windows if not absolutely necessary.

Avoid spills.

  • Don’t “top off” the tank when refueling.
  • When filling mowers and other engines, be cautious: use a funnel and pour carefully.
  • Seal all containers (fuels, paints, cleaners, cosmetics, and other chemicals).

Buy wise. (Tell your parents!)

  • Buy “Energy Star” appliances.
  • Buy cars and trucks with gas mileage in mind.
  • Buy products that use fewer toxic ingredients, are water-based and easy to clean, and that emit little or no odor. Learn what all the labels really mean here.
  • Don’t buy more than you need.

Let us know what you and your friends or family are doing. Take the Kids’ Air Quality Challenge now … become an air quality champion!

More cool stuff!

Find games, quizzes and more for kids at EPA’s student page.

Learn more about recycling with these fun activities.

Read “Why is Coco Orange?

Play games, sing songs, read stories and do other fun activities on the NIH Kids’ page.