Thousands of elected officials, Business leaders, non-profits, schools, and individuals take more than 1.2 million actions to clear the air on California’s annual Clean Air Day.
LOS ANGELES, CA – Over 650,000 people took part in California Clean Air Day, the annual statewide day of action to reduce air pollution in schools, cities, homes, and businesses across the state.
Clean Air Day was launched to address misconceptions that we’ve addressed our air quality issues and reinforce the message that individuals, organizations, and communities across the state can take simple steps to clean the air. Individuals and organizations have been taking an online pledge to take action on Clean Air Day, and those pledges resulted in more than 1.2 million actions.
Created and led by the Coalition for Clean Air, Clean Air Day allows everyone to take some step to cleaner air. Carpooling, switching out harmful cleaning products and dirty air filters, planting something, taking transit, and opting not to drive were just some actions taken by individuals who took the pledge.
“Everyone has a right to breathe clean air,” said Dr. Joseph K. Lyou, President & CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air. “By raising awareness and actively working to reduce air pollution, every Californian can help ensure that every breath you take is a breath of clean air.”
The number one action individuals pledged to do was to reduce vehicle emissions. And in communities across the state, businesses, non-profits, and government agencies were leading efforts to change behaviors to clear the air.
More than 300 businesses, agencies, and organizations participated, including more than 50 Mayors on the Clean Air Day Mayors Council, who pledged to lead their cities to cleaner air. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff promoted the day with a mid-day ride through the city to encourage alternatives to driving to lunch in downtown Oakland.
Promoting the use of public transport was a key component to the second annual Clean Air Day with transit agencies across the state participating. Free rides were offered at Sacramento Regional Transit, San Diego MTS, North County Transit, LADOT, and many others. LA Metro issued Clean Air Day TAP cards and provided free 30-minute rides on their bike share system.
“Metro is one of many agencies in Southern California that is dedicated to reducing tailpipe emissions and air pollution by providing more sustainable ways to get around while identifying greener ways to move freight,” said Metro Board Chair and Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. “Sustainability is at the core of Metro’s mission and you can see that in our pursuit of a zero emission bus fleet, expanded rail program and better roadways that more efficiently move car and truck traffic.”
Youth were engaged in school districts across the state. In Los Angeles, the LA Unified School District Board voted to use Clean Air Day to provide more air quality monitoring devices to schools, designating “idle-free” zones where feasible and providing school communities with information about how to reduce their own carbon footprint.
“It is important for our district to take a stand and be an example when it comes to health and safety for our students,” LAUSD Board President Dr. Richard Vladovic said. “Protecting our planet and making sure our students know about how we can be mindful about improving the environment is the right thing to do. Let’s encourage our students to think of green-friendly alternatives in their everyday lives.”
In Santa Cruz, the City launched a “no idling” campaign at all district schools to educate parents on the impact of idling on student heath by talking to them in the drop-off and pick-up lines around schools.
Businesses also participated in Clean Air Day by incentivizing employees and customers to take action. From Gensler who ran a competition between their six offices across California to Dignity Health who educated their Inland Empire stakeholders about asthma to Fox Sports West who helped create a public service announcement to AEG, who made announcements at stadiums across the region and engaged employees in volunteer activities, hundreds of organizations participated across the state. (A regularly updated list can be found at cleanairday.org.)
Organizations also hosted tree plantings from the Inland Empire to South LA to Ventura County to cities up and down the state. Pledges to “plant something” numbered more than 5,000.
College campuses participated from Oxnard College to Fresno State to UC Berkeley and UC Davis, each engaging its student body to take action to reduce air pollution.
Clean Air Day was designated and commemorated in some unique ways, as well. Caltrans programmed the message boards to “Clean Air Day Oct 2 Walk Bike Carpool Transit” in the days leading up to October 2, and then “Clean Air Day Travel Clean AND Green” on Clean Air Day. Even the pylons at LAX were turned blue for Clean Air Day. Many cities, counties and special districts also adopted formal resolutions declaring the first Wednesday of October as CA Clean Air Day.
California Clean Air Day for 2020 will be October 7th, the first Wednesday in October.
About Coalition for Clean Air
Since 1971, the Coalition for Clean Air (CCA) has worked to protect public health, improve air quality and prevent climate change in California. With offices in Los Angeles and Sacramento, CCA advocates for effective policy solutions to achieve clean air for California. Learn more about our work at www.ccair.org.