Okay, I’ll admit it. I think I heard about a Clear the Air Challenge thing last year but didn’t pay much attention to it. I should have because heaven knows I’m tired of the inversions for which Utah is famous and constantly worried about the effect that air has on our health (see photo at end of post).
Plus it’s a real bummer when the kids don’t get to go outside for recess because the air quality is at another record low. They come home extra grumpy, which makes for an even grumpier mom.
Truth be told, I’m even more tired of hearing my husband threaten to leave Utah every time one hits. You better believe I’m all over Utah’s Clear the Air Challenge if only to stop Nathan from acting on those hopefully idle threats.
I mean, look how happy we are when the ozone isn’t on steroids:
On a related note, as a true California girl, I never thought I’d love Utah as much as I do. Every college summer when it was time to leave BYU and head home, I was more than ready to go. But after living here for close to 12 years, I’m totally sold. Now whenever I leave those gorgeous Wasatch mountains, I miss them something fierce.
And the worse the inversions get, the less I get to see of my mountains. (Yes, they’re my mountains but I’m happy to share.)
So what’s this whole Clear the Air Challenge thing? Well, it’s a competition that runs August 1st through 31st and gives Utahns a chance to reduce their vehicle emissions by using alternative transportation. The goal is “to eliminate 300,000 single-occupant vehicle trips, averting 2 million miles and reducing 1.7 million pounds of emissions.”
I’m a sucker for impressive goals.
When it comes to alternative transportation, we’re talking things like:
- Public transit
- Biking and walking
- Telecommuting (or teleworking)
- E-traveling (e.g., shopping online instead of driving to every mall in Salt Lake County)
- Flexible workweeks
- Trip chaining (i.e., cramming all those errands into one “trip” instead of making multiple trips throughout the day)
Clear the Air’s travel options page breaks down all these alternatives and gives some great ideas on how to incorporate these options into your day. I’m so thinking of ways to clear the air, I came up with three just while writing this post:
- How about taking TRAX to the Gateway, City Creek or the beautiful Salt Lake City Library? Heck, visit all three in one afternoon!
- What about encouraging your kids to ride their bikes to the local park or community pool (if it’s a safe distance, of course)?
- Have you tried picking up take-out on the way home from work and enjoying a movie night at home? It can make for a fabulous—and often much less expensive—date night!
Those are some pretty great ideas, right? And to think I came up with them all by myself at 12:14am!
Teams are already forming for the Clear the Air Challange, and not just because Utahns love their state and love the idea of cleaner air.
Prizes are involved.
Prizes. And Utah residents travelers of all ages are welcome to join. Now we’re talking!
The people behind Clear the Air are so excited about this year’s challenge, they’re giving away prizes left and right on the Clear the Air Challenge Facebook page thanks to their Share. Win! sweepstakes.
I so totally entered.
You know, that whole ozone thing can have a devastating effect on the quality of life. If we’re not careful, more Utah families might end up looking like this:
Okay, not really. But that should be incentive enough to register.
I’d love for you to join the TodaysMama Clear the Air team. To register for the Clear the Air Challenge and join the TodaysMama team because everybody’s doing it:
- Visit ClearTheAirChallenge.org.
- Click the REGISTER HERE button.
- Select CREATE NEW ACCOUNT.
- Answer the questions on the PERSONAL INFORMATION screen. Be sure to select the
- TodaysMama team from the dropdown list!
- Click SAVE PROFILE.
Now your’e ready to get tracking! Clear the Air’s TravelWise Tracker allows you to track the trips and miles you save each day during August. Visit your Tracker at least once a week to log your progress. (Tip: Do it before 12pm each Monday in August for your chance to win prizes!)
Ready. Set. GO!
P.S. The TravelWise For Moms Fact Sheet is a great resource for ideas on how to limit your impact on poor air quality.
P.P.S. Feel free to “like” is this REALLY my life? on Facebook. It won’t earn you an extra entry in any giveaway but it will give you warm fuzzies. Even better.
Disclosure: I was compensated by Today’s Mama for this post but that doesn’t mean I won’t be finding ways to clear the air during the month of August and throughout the rest of the year. It just makes sense.