As part of Salt Lake City’s participation in the annual Clear The Air Challenge, and in an effort to help keep the City’s winter inversion at bay, Mayor Mendenhall today announced that her Mayor’s Office staff will be encouraged to telecommute at least once a week, as possible,  for the month of February.

The Mayor has also given the option to participate in weekly February telecommuting to department leaders city-wide to use with their staff at their discretion.

“This year we wanted to encourage staff to be creative in how they might plan ahead to work at home and take an extra step in our emission reduction. This experiment will help us further reduce our trips during what is typically the worst month for air quality,” Mayor Mendenhall said. “We’ve been fortunate this winter to have not experienced a lot of bad air days, but that doesn’t mean we can stop being vigilant about what we put out in the atmosphere, and perhaps change our thinking about travel patterns for the long-term.”

While the majority of the Mayor’s 24 person staff will participate in a once-a-week telecommute, staff will alternate days in order to ensure the Mayor’s Office is open during its regular business hours.

The Mayor’s Office staff began the month competing in the Clear The Air Challenge through practices like trip-chaining and using public transit, but this extra step will be an opportunity to further decrease emissions.

The Clear The Air Challenge is a month-long, statewide competition that challenges people to reduce vehicle emissions by choosing alternative methods of transportation using TravelWise strategies.