Clear the Air Challenge Kick-Off
Friday January 12, 2019
Utah’s 10th annual Clear the Air Challenge is underway. The program was created as a method for businesses and individuals to try new, less polluting ways to get around for the month of February. This quest for cleaner air in our valley is a collaboration of UCAIR, the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce and Travelwise. Derek Miller, president of the Downtown Alliance and Salt Lake Chamber says, “We want people to be empowered with knowledge so that they can develop better habits to clear the air. It’s air that we all breathe and it’s important that people recognize we all have a stake, we all have an investment. There’s something that each one of us can do to improve the air quality in Utah.”
During a time when our air quality is visibly at its worst, this month-long competition encourages people to use alternatives to driving alone, either by carpooling, driving less, or choosing another mode of transportation. Vehicle emissions are responsible for nearly 50% of winter air pollutants. Small, individual changes can and will improve our air. By revising our commuting patterns we can reduce emissions, protect our health, improve our economy and seek a better quality of life in our city. According to Dave Smith of Penne Powers. “If every person rode public transit even just one day a week, UTA would take 300,000 cars off the road and eliminate 10 million of vehicle miles everyday.” Businesses joining the challenge encourage employees to carpool, walk to work, ride UTA (bus, TRAX or Front Runner), and provide opportunity to work from home. It’s the organizers’ intention that establishing these behaviors now instills habits that many participants will continue far after the challenge is over.
Since the Challenge started in 2009, participants have eliminated nearly 1,000,000 trips, conserved 15,000,000 miles, and reduced air emissions by 5,000 tons, saving over $6.5 million.
Tom Carter, UCAIR Executive director noted at the kick-off, “While the Clear the Air Challenge takes place for just one month, we hope it serves as a way to motivate Utahns to jumpstart their habits and think about how individual behaviors contribute to our air quality challenges.“
You can sign up for free online or on your phone. Once registered you’ll be able to track your mileage, see the money you’ve saved, and view stats for other members in your area. To join the challenge visit CleartheAirChallenge.org/