Stepping up to the challenge

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 at 6:07 pm and is filed under Air Quality, Chamber News, Economic Development. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Today marks the beginning of the 2012 Clear the Air Challenge. It is a month-long challenge that is open to all Utah travelers, drivers and commuters. You can register as an individual, as a team or as a company.

Air quality is not only a health issue, but also an economic development issue as well. If the air isn’t healthy to breathe, then it can cause health issues, which in turn could lead to low work productivity.

Did you know that each trip you take in a vehicle negatively impacts Utah’s clean air? Nearly 50 percent of air pollution comes from vehicle emissions alone. According to the Utah Division of Air Quality, vehicle emissions would drop to 6,500 lbs. each year if every driver in the Wasatch Front parked their car for one day a week. Every trip counts–and this challenge can help you see just how easy it can be to reduce the number of vehicle trips you take.

The goal of the Clear the Air Challenge is to reduce emissions clogging up our air by using TravelWise strategies to drive less and drive smarter. By the numbers, the Challenge goals for this year are to eliminate 300,000 trips, save two million miles and reduce 1.7 million pounds of emissions through reducing the number of single-occupant vehicle trips. By doing this, we can help improve air quality, conserve energy and also lessen that annoying traffic congestion.

Some of the ways you can do your part is by taking public transit (like TRAX or buses), walking, biking, teleworking, trip chaining or carpooling. Participants will set achievable goals, track how many trips they take, how many miles are traveled and how many were saved.

The Challenge offers weekly prize drawings and a grand prize at the end of the month. Any person or team that reaches their goals will be eligible to win. Companies that participate are not eligible for these prizes, but they will receive statewide recognition for their participation in the Clear the Air Challenge.

If you register as a team, you as an individual are still responsible for logging your trips. Doing so will make you eligible to win weekly prizes. The team totals are what will earn teams recognition at the end of the Challenge.

Companies, on the other hand, do not have individuals keep track of trips. Instead, companies will track their trips as one cumulative total each day. While companies aren’t eligible for weekly prizes, they will be ranked by the average amount of miles saved per person.

Even though the Challenge has already begun, it’s not too late to register! You can still make a difference.

The Chamber supports clean air practices and encourages businesses to get involved. For more information, visit ClearTheAirChallenge.org.

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