TravelWise to Improve Utah’s Air Quality

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Suncrest Draper Utah. 1/7/15 Neisha (Knee-Sha) Johnson

star-sponsored-nativeThe following article is sponsored by UCAIR.

Now that inversion season has settled in you may be wondering if you can really make a difference when it comes to improving Utah’s air quality. The answer is simple – absolutely!

One of the biggest things you can do to improve the air we all breathe is make small changes to your daily routine. It might not seem like a lot at the time, but these changes all add up to make a big impact.

Using TravelWise strategies, you and your family can really make a difference:

Alternative Work Schedules – Alternative work schedules let employees arrange their schedules to fit their lifestyles. By commuting during less congested times of the day, employees reduce commute-related stress and are able to better align their schedule with transit times. At the same time, employers are able to reduce energy and operating costs and increase employee satisfaction and productivity. Alternative work schedules also help everyone by reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality.

Active Transportation – Walking and biking contributes to a healthier community — physically, socially and economically. Those who make active transportation a part of their lifestyle save money on fuel, spend less time in traffic congestion and integrate physical activity into their daily routine. Active transportation helps reduce rush-hour congestion, vehicle emissions and fuel consumption and lessens the amount of parking needed.

Carpooling and Vanpooling – Carpooling involves more than one person traveling together in a car and can be used for many occasions including commuting to work, attending special events or taking kids to school, practices or recreational activities. This strategy requires some coordination of schedules, but can be easily implemented to achieve significant results.

Public Transit – Using public transportation saves money on gas, parking and car maintenance. It also allows you to do your part to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and ease traffic congestion. In addition, with more time to read, relax, listen to music or work during your travel time, you can arrive at your destination less stressed than those who spend their drive fighting traffic.

Skip the Trip – The skip the trip strategy is as easy as it sounds. Just plan ahead to avoid unnecessary trips. These can be trips taken for work or for home activities. Couple together with other TravelWise strategies and you can make an even bigger impact.

Teleworking – Teleworking is possible from just about anywhere – from home, the local coffee shop or anywhere that has a wireless Internet connection. Teleworking can include conference calling or video conferencing for meetings instead of driving to an off-site location or working from a remote office. Teleworking not only saves time that would otherwise be spent traveling, it also saves you money on gas and parking. By teleworking you also gain increased schedule flexibility while reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality.

Trip Chaining – Trip chaining and planning your trips to avoid rush hour traffic are hassle-free ways to TravelWise. Trip chaining involves grouping errands or other activities into one trip instead of returning home in between each one. The more errands you group together, the more vehicle trips you save. Planning your errands or other trips to avoid peak traffic hours is also a great way to save time and money.

Plan Ahead – Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to avoid taking a trip – but you can still be TravelWise. There are many tools available today to help you choose the best route to your destination including the TravelWise Tracker.

The TravelWise Tracker is a free trip planning tool created by UDOT that allows users to track and measure the money, miles, gas and emissions saved by using TravelWise strategies to reduce trips. The tool allows you to put in your starting point and destination, then it will calculate all possibilities for your trip (driving, walking, transit) to help you find the best option for your schedule.

Using the Tracker daily will help you see how much making small changes to how you get around make a big difference when it comes to air quality and your wallet. Check out the tracker at travelwisetracker.com