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The Salt Lake Chamber, along with its clean air partners UCAIR and TravelWise, kicked off the 10th Annual Clear the Air Challenge.

The Challenge, issued by business, government and community leaders, is a month-long competition designed to encourage Utahns to reduce their vehicle emissions by choosing alternatives to driving alone.  

Transportation emissions are responsible for nearly fifty percent of the pollutants that make up our poor air quality. By reducing vehicle trips, we can protect our health, environment, economy and quality of life. That’s why participants of the Clear the Air Challenge use TravelWise strategies like carpooling, using public transit, teleworking, trip chaining, using electric vehicles, walking or riding their bike or scooter to reduce their emissions and help clear Utah’s air.

“While we can’t do much about our geography, we can control the choices we make to decrease the emissions that cause air pollution,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “The Clear the Air Challenge shows us that small individual changes can, and do, make a difference to Utah’s air quality. And when we improve our air quality, we enhance the well-being of all Utahns and ensure our continued economic success.”

Since the Challenge started in 2009, participants have helped make a big difference in improving Utah’s air quality. In that time, more than a million trips have been eliminated, 15 million miles saved, 5,000 tons of emissions reduced and $6.5 million saved.

“As we all know, there are no perfect answers to solving Utah’s air quality problems, but there are practical solutions,” said Thom Carter, UCAIR executive director. “The Clear the Air Challenge is one way to engage the citizens of Utah in finding practical solutions that make a real difference in improving our air quality.”

Business and organization participation is a key component of the challenge. By encouraging employees to participate, businesses can create a team to make an even bigger impact.  

“Penna Powers is proud to have been a partner and a participant in the Clear the Air Challenge for the last 10 years,” said Dave Smith, president of Penna Powers. “We incentivize our employees to participate in the challenge by offering fare reimbursement for those who take public transit, flex schedules, teleworking options as well as encourage carpooling whenever possible. As a result, Penna Powers employees are proud to work for a business that cares about the environment as much as they do.”

Tracking your miles during the Clear the Air Challenge just got easier thanks to the new Commute Tracker app. Now participants can log their trips on the go. The Commute Tracker app allows Clear the Air Challenge participants to log their regular trips, like those from home to the office, automatically. It also allows users to manually log their trips from their phone throughout the challenge. To sign up for the challenge and to get your personal identification pin for the Commute Tracker app, log on to ClearTheAirChallenge.org

As always, you can track your trips saved from your mobile device or computer with the TravelWise Tracker. Once you register for the challenge at ClearTheAirChallenge.org you can enter in a starting and ending location and receive carpool options, transit routes, or biking and walking routes. The TravelWise tracker gives the amount of emissions you’ll save and the time it will take to make your trip.  

The Clear the Air Challenge starts February 1st.  Register your team of coworkers, family or friends at ClearTheAirChallenge.org and be part of the solution.

The Challenge would like to recognize community supporters: Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce, Cedar City Chamber of Commerce, Davis Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Alliance, Greater Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Heber Valley Chamber, Holladay Chamber of Commerce, Hurricane Valley Chamber of Commerce, Moab Chamber of Commerce, Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce, Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce, South Jordan Chamber of Commerce, Tooele County Chamber of Commerce, Vernal Area Chamber of Commerce, West Jordan Chamber of Commerce, and Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce.