October 5th was the fifth annual California Clean Air Day. As a Certified B Corporation, Civilian pays close attention to its carbon footprint. For the last several years, Civilian has celebrated the day by taking the Clean Air Pledge, joining 565 organizations that came together to do their part to help reduce pollution. California Clean Air Day is a project of the Coalition for Clean Air (CCA). The CCA was founded in 1971 and is the only statewide organization working exclusively to improve air quality in California.
In honor of Clean Air Day, Civilian encouraged employees to leave their cars at home, commute via public transit, and enjoy an emissions-free company lunch. The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) marked Clean Air Day by offering free rides, and our group of Civilians hopped on the MTS Trolley and from our office downtown to lunch in Old Town. The ride was the first time on MTS for a few employees who had never tried public transit in San Diego.
Every Civilian who used clean and green transportation to get to the office was entered into a Clean Commute Raffle. In addition to the fabulous prizes awarded to raffle winners, California Clean Air Day provided us with crucial insight into California’s air quality and some valuable takeaways to help improve it, including:
Transportation is the most significant source of air pollution in California. Utilizing public transit on a mass scale could significantly improve our air quality. We’ve seen vehicle miles return to 99% of pre-pandemic levels, despite estimates showing that more than a quarter of us are working at home.
What you can do:
- Walk, bike, or ride a scooter to work/school
- Take public transit
- Attend meetings remotely
- Do not idle your engine
- Switch from an old gas-guzzler car to a hybrid or zero-emission vehicle
Idling your vehicle for just 10 minutes emits approximately one pound of carbon dioxide, significantly impacting air quality.
What you can do:
- Turn off your car as soon as you’ve safely parked. Or if you’re sitting in your car waiting to pick someone up.
- Put your car in neutral when sitting in heavy traffic.
- Remind your friends and family of the harm caused by idling.
When it comes to air pollution, we can all do our part. Whether you’re an individual, business, government agency, or nonprofit organization, there are things we all can do to improve air quality and protect public health.
Visit www.ccair.org for more information on California’s air quality and what you can do to help clean it up.