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Posts tagged ‘clear the air challenge’

Ride the Bus, Clear the Air, Take the Survey!

The Clear the Air Challenge is a little more than halfway over. This month, we’ve been inspired to see more of our friends and colleagues carpooling, walking, biking, and taking public transit to get around Salt Lake City.

Transportation emissions cause nearly 50% of the pollutants that become trapped in our airshed during inversions, so finding ways to get out of the car makes a difference!

That also why Salt Lake City continues to invest in programs that make using transit easier and more affordable for residents.

Have you heard of the Frequent Transit Network?

In 2018, the City passed a sales tax and bond initiative called Funding our Future, with the goal of increasing funding to support public safety, street repair, better transit service, and greater housing opportunities.

A robust transit system is the backbone of a thriving community. It also supports the city’s goal of curbing carbon emissions and clearing the air, so we are grateful that Salt Lake City voters supported it!

After significant public outreach, the first phase of the transit expansion began in August 2019.

Three east-west UTA bus routes were enhanced to provide more transit, for more people, with more convenience and reliability.

What does “Frequent Transit Network” mean?

Very simply, it means buses that run every 15 minutes during peak times, with early-morning, later-night, and Sunday service. That means you can rely on these lines to get you where you need to go, on your schedule.

Critically, these lines also offer key east-west connectivity, which is an enhancement to the Salt Lake City transportation network. These routes are the 2, 9, and 21 routes.

Graphic describing the Frequent Transit Network. Text reads "For the first time, Salt Lake City has launched a Frequent Transit Network. 200 South Route 2, 900 South Route 9, 2100 South Route 21." The graphic includes an illustration of a UTA bus.

Routes 2 (200 S), 9 (900 S), and 21 (2100 S) now provide: 

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Join the Clear the Air Challenge 2020

Are you ready for a new challenge? How about one that will help you save money, burn calories, and improve our air quality? Salt Lake City employees are already on board and want to invite you to join the 2020 Clear the Air Challenge. During the month of February, keep our air clear of pollutants by limiting your driving!

You can aim to reduce your “driving-alone” trips every day in February, or pick a goal that’s manageable for you. It all helps!

If you don’t have a team and want to challenge yourself, please join the Clear the Air Challenge SLCgreen Team!

What is the Clear the Air Challenge?

Since 2009, Utahns have been participating in the month-long Clear the Air Challenge. During February, when air quality in Utah is historically bad, participants track their trips with the goal of avoiding single-occupancy vehicle travel and reducing air pollution. Participants carpool, bike, walk, telecommute, trip chain, take public transit, drive electric vehicles, and ride electric bikes or scooters– all to help clear the air!

In 2019, participants in the Clear the Air Challenge eliminated 84,421 single-occupancy vehicle trips. This saved 1,244,624 miles of traveling and $0.4 Million! Together, all these efforts reduced 359.8 tons of CO2!

This year, the Clear the Air Challenge needs everyone’s help to reach the goal of eliminating 100,000 single-occupant trips.  

Clear the Air to Protect Our Health

Winters in Utah can be beautiful, but when inversion starts, polluted air gets caught in our valleys. PM 2.5 and other pollutants threaten our health the well-being of our communities.

On bad air days, our activity is limited. Moreover, children, older adults, and people with heart diseases or respiratory problems are at a higher risk for suffering from poorer health due to bad air. Poor air quality is associated with a range of negative impacts including pregnancy losspremature deathchild asthma, and increased cases of pneumonia.

In Salt Lake City, nearly 50% of air pollution comes from cars, trucks, and other vehicles. That’s why the Clear the Air Challenge is more important than ever.

We love it when the air is clear!

What We’re Doing

Salt Lake City Corporation employees are already signing up to do their part to Clear the Air this year (see our previous Challenge roundup).

Each participating department has its own team. Salt Lake City employees live all over the Wasatch Front. Many of us take public transit to work every day. Others carpool or bike. For the month of February, we’re doing all we can to cut back on our single occupancy car rides!

Salt Lake City departments compete with each other for the coveted Clear the Air Challenge “Mayor’s Cup” and “SLCgreen Team Spirit” award.
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Thanks to the recent public transit expansions, the robust network of bike paths for the sunny days, as well as the Clear the Air Challenge app’s handy carpool guide, the Clear the Air Challenge will make February an exciting and competitive month!

Join SLCgreen’s Clear the Air Challenge Team

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The 2018 Clear the Air Challenge is Here!

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It’s February which means it’s time for the Ninth Annual Clear the Air Challenge! If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to get signed up and start identifying how you can drive less and drive smarter to save pollution. Read more

Help Clear the Air! Sign up for the February Challenge

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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!

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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.

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Inversion Season is Here — Here’s What You Can Do

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We’re getting into dirty air season. Our first big inversion is starting this week and is expected to last awhile.

What this means is that a high pressure system is setting up, trapping cold air on the valley floors– and with it all the pollution we collectively emit. Pollution doubles every day during inversions— and it can get yucky.

Salt Lake City is committed to reducing emissions and helping our community breathe easier.

But we need your help. 

A significant source of pollution comes from our cars (roughly 50%), as well as our homes and buildings (roughly 35%). That means each of us can make a difference to our air quality.

This winter, the SLC Sustainability Department will be pushing out regular air quality tips and reminders.

Please join us! Follow along on social media and right here on our blog.  We also encourage you to join our email list to have tips delivered right to your inbox.

Share, repost, and demonstrate your commitment to clearing the air.

The top three things you can do this winter are listed in the graphic above. Click here for more information.

  1. Drive Less— aim to increase your #CarFreeDays to have the most impact. Make use of the Hive Pass if you live in Salt Lake City.
  2. Be Idle Free
  3. Skip the wood burning

Read more

Clear the Air for a Cleaner, Healthier City

6631_2_PromotedPosts1Throughout Utah, air pollution is reaching alarmingly unhealthy levels.  In fact, many areas along the Wasatch Front are currently out of compliance with portions of the Clean Air Act.

Transportation is a major cause of the problem.  Vehicle emissions are responsible for 50 percent of ground level ozone, meaning that each time we turn the key, we produce pollution which harms our health and the health of our children.

The 2016 Clear the Air Challenge kicks off July 1st and is a great opportunity to explore alternative methods of transit to improve our air quality. For the past several years, local businesses and citizens have participated in reducing emissions.  In 2015, we  kept 646.5 tons of CO2 out of the air!

This year our goal is even greater: eliminating 700 tons of CO2, in addition to the many other pollutants coming out of our tail pipes.

How to Take the Challenge!

Besides helping everyone breathe a little easier, participants are eligible to win prizes from the Challenge!

The challenge is open to all residents of Utah and offers many options for reducing trips in vehicles.

Employers can encourage employees to participate as a team (to earn prizes and be recognized by the City for good performance!).  They can also provide support incentives including the following:

  • Transit passes
  • Bike parking
  • Car-pool incentive programs
  • Bus-to-work days
  • Telecommute days
  • Alternative schedules
  • Commuter reimbursement benefits, and
  • Employee recognition of participation in the challenge.

Don’t have an employer who’s participating?  Individuals can sign up by tracking their trips and miles saved using the TravelWise Tracker.  Individual participants compete against one another based on total miles saved for prizes and recognition.

Miles can be updated throughout the entire month.  Your information is used to determine the total emissions saved and, collectively, show us how little changes can make a big difference!

Resources

Taking part has never been easier:

  • Visit Ride UTA for fares and schedules.  If you live in Salt Lake City, consider signing up for the HIVE pass, which saves you 50 percent!
  • The city’s green bike program can help you get around downtown without a car, and new bike lanes make traveling on city streets safer and easier.
  • Partner with a co-worker to alternate who drives to work each day.

Don’t forget to sign up!

And thank you for helping make our city a cleaner, healthier place to live, work, and play!

Climate Week: What SLC is Doing to Combat Climate Change

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Salt Lake City has been recognized as a Climate Action Champion for showing leadership on climate change. The accomplishments of Salt Lake City in the past seven years demonstrate a commitment and successful track record of innovation and leadership to integrate the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and enhance climate resilience into local and regional planning and decision-making.

Here are some of the City’s climate actions, goals, and key initiatives:

Joint Resolution To Reduce Carbon Footprint. Mayor Ralph Becker and the Salt Lake City Council signed a joint resolution in 2008 committing the City to reduce its municipal carbon footprint 20% below the 2005 level by 2020; 50% below the 2005 level by 2040; and, 80% below the 2005 level by 2050.

Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory. The City completed its first community GHG inventory in 2009, which quantified 4.75 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions – or 26 metric tons per person – and prompted the City’s commitment to eliminate 1.3 million metric tons of CO2e by 2020. The City also has a goal for reduction of GHG emissions in the community by 80% below the 2005 level by 2050.

Clear the Air Challenge. The City created the Clear the Air Challenge to engage citizens in voluntary reductions in vehicle miles traveled, resulting in the elimination of over 9.5 million single-occupant vehicle miles traveled and reducing more than 7.5 million pounds of GHG emissions between 2009 and 2014.

Salt Lake City Sustainable Code Revision. The Salt Lake City Sustainable Code Revision project is a ground-breaking initiative to incorporate sustainability provisions into zoning and subdivision ordinances.

Salt Lake City Energy and Transportation Sustainability Plan. The Salt Lake City Energy and Transportation Sustainability Plan (2011) details strategies for the City to contribute to climate resilience, cleaner air, greater energy security, a green energy economy, and protection of our water supply, wildlife, and other natural resources. Salt Lake City Energy and Transportation Sustainability Plan goals include:

  • Decrease total building energy use in the city by 5%, to 35 million MBTUs by 2015
  • Transform all City government buildings into net-zero facilities
  • Increase renewable energy generation on City facilities to 2.5 megawatt by 2015
  • Generation of 10 megawatts of solar energy in the community by 2015
  • Reduction of vehicle miles traveled by residents by 6.5% by 2015

Salt Lake City Public Safety Building. The City’s $125 million Public Safety Building is the first public safety building in the nation constructed to achieve Net Zero energy use due to the use of multiple innovative energy efficiencies and solar-photovoltaic (PV) technologies.

Livability in Salt Lake City 2012-2016. Mayor Becker published his agenda, Livability in Salt Lake City 2012-2016, to frame a broad vision of local climate response goals, strategies, and actions that lead to greater resiliency, vitality, accessibility, sustainability, and diversity further distilled in the Sustainable Salt Lake Plan 2015.

Sustainable Salt Lake – Plan 2015. The Sustainable Salt Lake – Plan 2015 (Plan 2015) grounds the City’s broad and ambitious climate response strategy with goals, key metrics, and milestones related to air quality, energy, transportation, water resources, urban forestry, and open space. Sustainable City Dashboard. The Sustainable City Dashboard is an innovative new online tool to track key metrics and milestones associated with the Plan 2015 and promote an increased level of public engagement and feedback on climate response initiatives.

To learn more about Salt Lake City’s climate actions, visit SLCgreen.com!

Idle Free City Celebration

An Idle Free City celebration took place at Liberty Park Tuesday morning.  This media event included speeches by Mayor Becker, UCAIR Director, Ted Wilson, and Youth City students.  High pollution levels are affecting air quality this summer.  Join the Clear the Air Challenge, which starts today, and remember, turn your key, be idle free!

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Drive Less, Clear the Air & Win Prizes this July

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The 2014 Challenge kicked off at the Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday, June 14.

Are you ready to help clear the air? The 2014 Clear the Air Challenge starts next week on Tuesday, July 1!

The month long Challenge is just that — an excellent way to challenge yourself to “drive down your miles” and reduce your emissions. Choose alternatives to driving alone and track your impact on air quality.

(And keep an eye on the leader board for the Salt Lake City Corporation network, which is SLCgreen’s home team!)

The Basics

  • The Clear the Air Challenge runs July 1-31, 2014.
  • Register at www.CleartheAirChallenge.org (registration details below).
  • Track the trips and miles you save by using alternatives to driving alone:
    • Active transportation (walk, bike) — Biking and walking, also known as active transportation, are gaining popularity as healthy, efficient and sustainable means of transportation.
    • Public transit — To put it simply, ride UTA!
    • Carpool — Carpooling involves more than one person traveling together in a car and can be used for many occasions including commuting to work, attending special events or taking kids to school, practices or recreational activities. This strategy requires some coordination of schedules, but can be easily implemented to achieve significant results.
    • Telework — Teleworking is possible from just about anywhere – from home, a telecenter, the local coffee shop or anywhere that has a wireless Internet connection. Teleworking can include conference calling or video conferencing for meetings instead of driving to an off-site location or working from a remote office.
    • Skip the trip — The skip the trip strategy is as easy as it sounds. Just plan ahead to avoid unnecessary trips. These can be trips taken for work or for home activities.
    • Learn more about these strategies at TravelWise.utah.gov.
  • Join a network, track your impact and compete for great prizes!

Registration

This year there is a new and greatly improved tracking tool for the Clear the Air Challenge. The new tool will require all users to re-register, but the registration process will only take about 30 seconds and users now have the ability to sign up using their Facebook profile.

During the registration process you will be asked to join a team/network, although it’s not required. If you do not see your team/network listed, please email tracker@ppbh.com with the following information:

  • Team/network name
  • Team/network admin name (the person on your team who will have admin rights)
  • Admin’s email
  • Team/network address
  • Team/network description (a little about who your team is- optional)

Prizes

The Challenge has approximately $10,000 in prizes to give out this year to participants. A number of weekly prizes will be randomly given to people who have earned badges. Grand prizes will be given to the winners in various categories, including: most trips saved, most miles saved and overall champion. The Grand Prize for the overall individual champion will be a $1,300 pair of powder skis provided by Ramp Sports.

New technology

Here are some of the features of the new technology implemented this year:

  • Social media integration: Sign up with your Facebook account and share Clear the Air Challenge posts to your Timeline.
  • Easier tracking and recording of saved trips:
    • Set up favorite trips – Trips you take often can be easily added to your tracker dashboard
    • Multiple day trip recording – Forgot to track each time you took the TRAX over the past week? Simply click on each of the days you made the same trip and record them all at once!
  • Trip Planner: Not sure how you might use alternative transportation to get somewhere rather than your car? Simply enter in your starting and ending locations, and you’ll receive carpool, vanpool, transit, walking and biking options to get to your destination. Use this feature all year round whether you are tracking trips or not!

 

Farmers Markets are in Bloom!

Summer is kicking into gear, and Farmers Markets are returning to Salt Lake City! The highly popular Downtown Farmers Market opens this Saturday, June 14th at Pioneer Park. Spring and early summer crops include greens, herbs, asparagus, strawberries, kale and spinach. Baked goods, locally-raised meats, jams and spreads, sauces and local crafts are also available.

SLCgreen will be there, so be sure to stop by our booth to grab information about home composting, air quality and all of your curbside sanitation services in SLC. Our booth is located on the north side of the park.

And if you do stop by the market this Saturday, head to the center of the park to catch the 2014 Clear the Air Challenge kickoff event at 10 a.m. We’re gearing up for another summer of driving less, driving smarter to reduce vehicle emissions and help clear the air!

Here’s our quick rundown of Farmers Market opportunities in the city.

*Downtown Farmers Market
Sat: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Jun 14 – Oct 25)
Tues: 4 p.m. – dusk (Aug 5 – Oct 21)
Historic Pioneer Park, 300 S. 300 W.

*International Rescue Committee’s Farm Stand
New Roots Farm Stand Valley Center Park (4013 South 700 West)
Every Saturday from June 14 until October 11 from 1–3 p.m.
Information: 801-328-1091

*9th West Farmers Market (formerly the People’s Market)
Sun: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (May 11 – Oct 26)
International Peace Gardens, 1000 S. 900 W.

*Sugar House Farmers Market
Fri: 4pm – 8pm (Jul 11 – Oct 13)
Sugarmont Plaza (2200 S. Highland Dr.)
The Sugar House Farmers (mini) Market is in full swing right now!
Stop by every Friday in June and early July for a mini version of the full market.

*University of Utah Farmers Market
Thurs: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. (Aug 28 – Oct 9)
U of U Tanner Plaza, 201 S. 1460 E.

*SNAP/Food Stamps accepted