Help Clear the Air! Sign up for the February Challenge
Transportation emissions are responsible for nearly 50% of the pollutants that make up our poor air quality. These pollutants become a serious concern during the winter months when normal atmospheric conditions (cool air above, warm air below) become inverted. This allows the air quality in the valley to become filled with particles that can quickly become unhealthy.
While there is much work being done to reduce those emissions (better transit, cleaner vehicles, more active transportation), the fact is– we can and should all help. We can each be a #CleanAirChampion.
There are many ways to participate! They all help the air and give you points in the Challenge:
- Ride the bus or train
- Bike or walk to work
- Link your errands together when you are driving (aka “trip chain”)
- Skip the trip by working from home or saving that errand for later
It all adds up!
The Utah Division of Air Quality estimates that if every driver along the Wasatch Front were to give up driving for just one day per week, it would keep 6,500 tons of emissions (or 85 times the weight of the International Space Station) out of our airshed.
So how can we get drivers to drive less? A friendly competition! That’s where The Clear The Air Challenge comes into play. If you haven’t heard about it before, the Clear the Air Challenge is Utah’s largest, organized statewide effort to reduce vehicle emissions. The month-long competition, which started in 2009 (view the previous year’s results), gives you the chance to reduce your vehicle emissions.
You can create a team at your workplace to inspire friendly competition. Or sign up as an individual and join a pre-existing team (there are community radio stations, non-profits, and other affinity groups looking for team members!)
This year the Challenge will take place during the month of February, one of the worst months for air quality, so there is extra incentive to reduce your driving!
SLCgreen will be posting tips and strategies for businesses and individuals from now through February to help.
How Do I start?
Go to www.cleartheairchallenge.org to register and get your account set up.
How do I create a new team/network?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to create a new team. Include the team administrator’s name and email address. The team administrator must already be registered.
How do I join a team if I’m already registered for the challenge?
- Log into your Tracker.
- Select the Edit Profile button on the left-hand side.
- Select My Networks.
- Use the drop-down menu to find your team/network or email email@example.com create a new team.
Be Part of the Solution at Work!
- Send an email to your employees or coworkers. Let them know about the company team and rally them to participate and motivate them throughout the Challenge.
- Feature the Clear the Air Challenge blurb on your intranet or in your internal newsletter. Add it to your external site as well!
- Add the Challenge to your organization’s shared or community calendar.
- Place a Clear the Air Challenge web banner on your website. Various sizes are available in the Challenge Startup Toolkit.
- Send an email to your email distribution lists.
- Affirm your support for the Clear the Air Challenge and encourage others to do the same!
- Post Clear the Air Challenge posters and rack cards in prominent areas for both employees and clients to see.
- For hard copies of posters and rack cards, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Electronic versions of Challenge materials are in the Challenge Start-up Toolkit.
Let’s do this!
Though voluntary actions are inexpensive, are they effective? Have you any data that attributes significant emission reductions to voluntary actions?
Thanks for your comment, Ronald. Voluntary actions are an important part of the puzzle, but certainly not the only ones. It’s not an either/or dilemma, in our opinion. We need more mass transit, more state regulation, more electric vehicles, more biking and walking AND everyone’s help with voluntary measures. Every time we can leave the car at home, or consolidate trips, or carpool, we save particulate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The Clear The Air tracker shows results from all the years of the Challenge, based on what participants enter, if you’re curious. I hope you’ll participate with us this year! 🙂 http://cleartheairchallenge.org/results/