It’s official – the 14th annual Clear the Air Challenge is over! Thanks to participation from our communities, businesses and individuals like you, we were able to reduce 365.1 tons of CO2 emissions, eliminate 55,179 trips, reduce 1,027,027.3 miles traveled, save $600,000, and burn 1.9 million calories in just 31 days.
However, just because July is over doesn’t mean we should stop being mindful of our air quality. The Clear the Air Challenge may be a month-long event, but the effects of Utah’s air quality on our community are felt year-round. Luckily, there are steps each of us can take to benefit air quality all year long:
If you participated in the Challenge, you’ve probably realized by now that small changes can make a big difference. By driving alone less, you’re not only reducing your emissions, but you’re also saving money on gas, maintenance and parking costs. Even though the Challenge is over, you can still use TravelWise strategies to get around. It’s a win-win for both you and our air!
Making a difference in air quality isn’t just about driving, either. At home, try making small changes like replacing old fuel containers, buying water-based paints and choosing green lawn and garden products. And, of course, don’t forget to flip off the lights whenever you leave the room.
During the Clear the Air Challenge, dozens of businesses and organizations across the state created teams to encourage their employees to drive alone less. Your organization’s commitment to air quality doesn’t have to end just because the Challenge did. Ask your coworkers if they would be interested in a carpool group. Or, see if there are any TRAX or bus stations near your office – it might be easier to use public transportation than you think.
If you are a part of your company’s leadership, see what you can do on an administrative level. UCAIR has established a grant program to encourage businesses, government entities and non-profit organizations to invest in emissions-reducing and energy-efficient technology. You and your company might just benefit!
In The Community
The air we breathe affects all of us, so we should all be involved in the conversation. Seek out community opportunities to get involved in clean air efforts by keeping your ears and eyes open! You can participate in air quality planning through the Division of Air Quality or other state and local government groups. Lend your voice and speak up for Utah’s air.
And, when the Clear the Air Challenge comes around again next year, don’t forget to participate! The Challenge depends on the participation of community members like you to be successful. The impact of our actions reverberates through the year, influencing the quality of the air we all share. By embracing simple changes at home, collaborating with colleagues at work and engaging actively within our communities, we are sowing the seeds of a cleaner, healthier future.
For more ways you can support and improve Utah’s air quality, visit the UCAIR website.