A Little Competition is Healthy. Start from the Top.

Originally published by the Salt Lake City Economic Development on January 19, 2018.

Sometimes a little competition is just what you need to jump-start new habits. While Utah’s air quality is no laughing matter, the challenge is one way to amp up your daily routine and see how many miles and dollars you can save just by making more air-conscious decisions.

Clear the Air Challenge starts February 1st. And you can sign up your company for the team challenge. Get your employees and coworkers involved and see how easy it is to reduce emissions and help Utah’s air.

  • It’s easy to get started. Create an administrator account and have individual teams under one workplace. Competition could be for overall participation or based on % within your department. Or you can opt to compete for calories burned, $ saved, miles traveled, etc.
  • Prizes could be anything from cash gift cards, something with a sustainability theme like a bike light or a water bottle, or even an extra day off work. It could also be lunch with the boss or a certificate.
  • Clear the Air Challenge has made it easy with their business tool kit – it has all of the communication materials you need to send out to staff.

WHO’S IN THE LEAD?

Check back daily to CleartheAirChallenge.org to see the top winners in our business whoiscompetingcommunity. By signing up you will receive updates to let you know where your team stands in the running.

ADVICE FROM PAST CLEAR THE AIR CHALLENGE TEAMS

Here are some tips from past Clear the Air Challenge team leaders…

  • Communication is key. Make the Challenge an agenda item for your internal meetings, send weekly reminders to staff – the more airtime it gets the better your team will do.
  • Work with your employees. Help them identify opportunities for carpool matching, public transportation and flexible work arrangements, if applicable.
  • It starts from the top. Your CEO or president really needs to say, “This is important.”
  • Emphasize the impact. When you look at the emissions you can save by being involved in the Challenge, and when you look at the way we can improve our state, I think that is an easy thing to communicate to employees.
  • Don’t be afraid to just give it a try. My advice is to try it – the tools are provided for you. Put a committee together of people who believe in the issue – champions in your organization who can help share the message.

Salt Lake City Green has very helpful resources to keep your team informed. They recommend keeping these key tactics in mind: Carpool, take transit, telework, support active transportation, trip chain, and consider clean air vehicles (electric vehicles) for personal and fleet.

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Share your progress on social media. Follow SLC GreenSalt Lake ChamberUCAIRClear the Air Challenge, and other community clean air leaders. Share their content on your channels.

NOW is the time to start your team.  Join the Challenge and together we can clear Utah’s air.  Start at www.cleantheairchallenge.org

Make Clean Air Your Business: 5 Reasons to Participate in the Clear the Air Challenge

Originally published on January 18, 2018 by KSL.com.

We’ve all seen it — and breathed it, but what if there was something we could do to clean up Utah’s dirty air? The good news is, there is something we all can do to help create a better tomorrow, with cleaner air for our neighbors, children and grandchildren.

While Utah’s poor air quality is exacerbated by our geography that creates the inversions; it’s the emissions that get trapped in the inversions that are harmful to our health. So to clean up our air, we need to reduce our emissions. It’s that simple.

That’s why the Salt Lake Chamber is encouraging everyone to take part in the Clear the Air Challenge, a month-long competition that starts Feb. 1 and gives participants the chance to reduce their vehicle emissions by choosing alternative methods of transportation.

By driving less and driving smarter, which includes carpooling, telecommuting, taking public transit and more, we can see a significant reduction in our bad air days. For example, if all drivers living along the Wasatch Front were to park their cars just one day per week, vehicle emissions would be reduced by 6,500 tons per year!

If you’re still not convinced about why you should take the Clear the Air Challenge, here are five reasons you should reconsider:

1. Help improve the air you breathe
Reducing the number of cars on the road leads to improved air quality. As you change individual behavior to reduce your trips, and as you challenge your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers to do the same, you can collectively reduce emissions, improve our air quality and the well-being of all Utahns. Small actions add up to make a big difference for our air.

2. Enhance your corporate culture
A recent survey of Utah employees found that poor air quality is a top concern across the state. More than just a competition, participating in the challenge is the perfect way for your company to show a commitment to a cause your employees care about — improving air quality. Demonstrate good corporate citizenship by taking action to make a difference.

3. Save money
Did you know, if a person with a longer than average commute (e.g. more than 12 miles) carpooled 250 days a year, the potential savings in a two-person carpool could exceed $1,500? [source: rideshare.org] TravelWise strategies like carpooling, trip-chaining, teleworking, and alternative transportation can all reduce the amount of fuel you use, resulting in more money in your pocket.

4. Help yourself and your community
Solo commuters have a large impact on our population, from traffic congestion and pollution to increased stress levels. Deciding to use an alternative form of transportation not only benefits your physical and mental health but the entire community.

5. It’s fun!
Sometimes a little competition is just what you need to jump-start new habits.While Utah’s air quality is no laughing matter, the challenge is one way to amp up your daily routine and see how many miles and dollars you can save just by making more air-conscious decisions. Get your coworkers involved and see how easy it is to reduce emissions and help Utah’s air.

Make clean air your business this winter. Challenge yourself and your co-workers to take part in the Clear the Air Challenge. The challenge starts Feb. 1.

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Community Celebrates the 8th Annual Clear the Air Challenge Awards

Utah’s largest, organized statewide effort to clear Utah’s air presents awards to community champions

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (August 22, 2016) – The Salt Lake Chamber, along with its partners UDOT TravelWiseUCAIRIntermountain HealthcareUTAPenna Powers and Fidelity Investments hosted the 8th Annual Clear the Air Challenge Awards Ceremony and Luncheon on Monday, August 22nd at noon.

The Clear the Air Challenge is a month-long initiative that encourages Utah residents to drive less and drive smarter during the month of July. Participants help improve air quality by avoiding trips alone in their car, using alternative modes of transportation such as carpooling, taking public transit, walking, biking or trip chaining.

Since the Challenge started in 2009, participants have saved over 13.5 million miles, eliminated over 998,000 trips, reduced over 4,700 tons of emissions and have saved over $6 million dollars total. Collectively, this year’s participants:

  • Eliminated 91,238 trips
  • Saved 1,907,945 miles
  • Reduced 495.6 tons of emissions
  • Saved $585,869

The following businesses and teams were recognized for their outstanding participation at the awards ceremony and luncheon:

1st Place Large Team: Fidelity Investments
2nd Place Large Team: The University of Utah
3rd Place Large Team: L-3 Communications Systems

1st Place Small Team: Enterprise Rent-A-Car
2nd Place Small Team: 90.9-FM KRCL
3rd Place Small Team: Utah Department of HR Management

“This year’s winners aren’t just Clear the Air Challenge champions. They’re also community champions. They, along with other businesses, showed that if our community works together, we really can make a difference,” said Joe Cannon, CEO of the Fuel Freedom Foundation.

The Challenge would like to recognize contributing partners: Armada SkisGREENbikeKuhlLagoon Amusement ParkLarry H. Miller Megaplex TheatresMomentum Indoor ClimbingNatural History Museum of UtahSalt Lake BeesSalt Lake City Arts CouncilSalt Lake Film SocietySquattersScheelsTwilight Concert SeriesRed Butte GardenUtah’s Hogle ZooUtah State Parks, and Utah Olympic Legacy.

Additionally, the Challenge recognizes media partners: KSL-News Radio90.9-FM KRCLCatalystKUTV-2X96 KXRK100.3-FMABC4-Utah, and 103.5-FM The Arrow.

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Partners Host 7th Annual Clear the Air Challenge Awards

The Salt Lake Chamber, along with its partners UDOT TravelWise, UCAIR, Intermountain Healthcare, UTA, Penna Powers, Fidelity Investments and Rio Tinto hosted the 7th Annual Clear the Challenge Awards Ceremony and Luncheon on Thursday, August 20th at noon.

The Clear the Air Challenge is a month-long initiative that encourages Utah residents to drive less and drive smarter during the month of July. Participants help improve air quality by avoiding trips alone in their car, using alternative modes of transportation such as carpooling, taking public transit, walking, biking or trip chaining.

“The Clear the Air Challenge is the state’s largest clean air initiative and it just keeps growing. The amount of new participants, who joined primarily through the involvement of their employers, speaks volumes about the willingness of the citizens in our state and our business community to come together to make our community a better place to live,” said Ryan Evans, vice president of business and community relations at the Salt Lake Chamber. “The numbers from this year’s Challenge show how valuable this program is to our community.”

Since the Challenge started in 2009, participants have saved over 11.7 million miles, eliminated over 900,000 trips, reduced over 4,200 tons of emissions and have saved over $5 million dollars total. Collectively, this year’s 7,656 participants:

  • Eliminated 141,557 trips
  • Saved 2,464,140 miles
  • Reduced 646.2 tons of emissions
  • Saved $694,620

The following businesses and teams were recognized for their outstanding participation at the awards ceremony and luncheon:

  • 1st Place Large Team: University of Utah
  • 2nd Place Large Team: Fidelity Investments
  • 3rd Place Large Team: L-3 Communications Systems – West
  • 1st Place Small Team: Enterprise Holdings
  • 2nd Place Small Team: 90.9-FM KRCL
  • 3rd Place Small Team: Salt Lake City Corporation

“This year’s winners aren’t just Clear the Air Challenge champions. They’re also community champions. They, along with other businesses, showed that if our community works together, we really can make a difference,” said Keith McMullin, CEO of Deseret Management Corporation.

The Challenge would like to recognize contributing partners: Salt Lake Comic Con, Greenstar Bikes, Downtown SLC Farmers Market, ProBar, GreenBike SLC, Ogden Made, the Salt Lake Bees, Utah State Parks, the Utah Jazz, Overstock.com, Enterprise CarShare, Kingsbury Hall, Wasatch Brewery, Squatters Craft Beers, Kuru Footwear, Jay Bird, Power Practical, Goal Zero, Fezzari, Kuhl, and Camp Chef.

Additionally, the Challenge recognizes media partners: KSL-News Radio, 90.9-FM KRCL, KUTV-2, X96 KXRK, KSL-TV5, 100.3-FM, ABC4-Utah, and 103.5-FM The Arrow.

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Clear the Air Challenge Aims High for 2014

The 6th Annual Clear the Air Challenge is starting again in Utah this July—with goals to take it further than any year prior and new tools to help make it possible. The Clear the Air Challenge will take place July 1 – 31, 2014.

“We’ve had big successes in the past, but we can and will strengthen our efforts this year,” said Jonathan Johnson, Chairman of the Board of Overstock.com. “During the month-long Clear the Air, we encourage Utahns to drive less and drive smarter to reduce vehicle emissions and collectively improve Utah’s air quality. Each trip saved makes a difference to the quality of our air.”

The Clear the Air Challenge goals for this year aim to:

  • Eliminate 250,000 vehicle trips (up from the 176,000 trips eliminated last year)
  • Save 2 million vehicle miles driven (up from the 1.9 million miles saved last year)
  • Engage 10,000 participants (up from the 8,400 participants last year)

Over the past five years, Clear the Air Challenge participants have saved more than 7.1 million vehicle miles traveled, saving more than nine million pounds of emissions and eliminating more than 600,000 car trips. We encourage people and businesses throughout Utah to take the Challenge this summer to increase those numbers even further, to make an even bigger difference in Utah’s overall air quality.

Thanks to a partnership with UDOT TravelWise and a grant from UCAIR, the Challenge invested in new tracking technology this year that makes logging your trips saved faster and easier—from your mobile device or computer. There is a built-in trip planner as part of the new tracker. Anyone can enter in a starting and ending location and receive carpool options, transit routes, or biking and walking routes. The new tracker gives the amount of emissions you’ll save and the time it will take to make your trip. The new tracker also integrates with social media and participants can, for example, share a trip saved on Facebook. Through this new tool, the Challenge hopes more people who don’t typically use transit or carpool programs see other options to get to their destinations. The new tracker can be found at ClearTheAirChallenge.org.

To encourage people to use transit, Utah Transit Authority is giving away 4,500 RideClear passes during the month randomly via Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/RideUTA. Additionally, the Challenge has also established a partnership with Enterprise CarShare whereby they will provide Challenge participants usage of their cars in July.

By participating in the Challenge and tracking your miles saved, participants are eligible for great prizes from Clear the Air Challenge sponsors, from bikes, skis, clothing, gift cards and much more.

“The Clear the Air Challenge is the perfect opportunity for people in SLC, Ogden, Logan, Provo, Moab, St. George—everywhere,” said Amanda Smith, Executive Director, Utah Department of Environmental Quality. “We all need to think about how we travel and how it impacts the air we breathe.”

The Clear the Air Challenge is an excellent time to try new ways of transportation – from your daily commute to family errands. Our communities are changing quickly making alternative transportation easier and faster. These small personal actions add up to cleaner air for everyone.

You can sign up for the Clear the Air Challenge, join a team and start tracking your miles saved at www.cleartheairchallenge.org.

A big thank you goes to the sponsors of the Clear the Air Challenge for making it possible this year: Salt Lake Chamber, TravelWise, UCAIR, Fidelity Investments, Penna Power Brian Hayes, RioTinto, Overstock.com, UTA, Zions Bank and Enterprise CarShare.