One plus one and the 11th Annual Declaration for Idle Free In Utah

One plus one and the 11th Annual Declaration for Idle Free In Utah

What does eleven mean?  One more than ten and yet, in 2018, it means in one year so much can happen.  Does one year make a difference?  I think it can. The collective of many “ones” seems to be the spirit of Utah and the Idle Free movement.  It began with one person talking with another about the pollution that they could see, taste, feel and smell.  The questions grew from one to many, ”what is this black smoke we are seeing coming out of tailpipes?”, and “If it is burning my nose, lungs and eyes, what does that mean long-term for my health and the health of our children’s developing bodies?”  The questions kept coming and the Idle Free movement grew out of the biggest question, “Why Idle?” The question was asked in one fifth-grade classroom in Holladay, and responded to by one teacher, Patti White. Her students asked why the school buses were idling at neighborhood stops and schools zones?  They wanted an answer. And a solution.

This small question led to the action of countless others: big and small players, loud and quiet movements, one and many, again and again. Our collective voices were heard. Notably, Utah Clean Cities and the Utah State Board of Education provided the training to ensure school bus drivers were trained across the state to “Turn the Key and Be Idle Free”.  And they are, every year.  The school bus drivers are some of the biggest advocates, after all, they too are breathing the fumes along with their precious passengers.  Sharing the air at school loading zones are students, crossing guards, faculty and staff, and the people in the idling cars; all breathing the same air.  They are all within the HOT zones of pollution.

To this problem, our resolute and imperturbable Utahns, used warm tones (and sometimes HOT ones) offering solutions, and even demanding them, for the protection of themselves and loved ones at home, school and at work. Utah businesses are an unsung hero of the Idle Free movement, advocating for clean air and reducing costly, senseless wasted fuel and engine wear. Utah Clean Cities has dozens of partners who proudly use the Idle Free driver training, signage and display the little round logo, TURN THE KEY, BE IDLE FREE message on their refuse haulers, company cars, work trucks, buses, vans and heavy-duty equipment.  You can see them in drive-up windows, on doors and in parking lots throughout the state.

The collective of one: one teacher, one student, one mayor, one citizen, one school, one business, one city, and ultimately the one person who turns the key, is what makes this a remarkable grass-root program.  Turn the Key, Be Idle Free has become uniquely Utah’s motto for the environment and clean air.  It has become the movement that belongs to the one individual—the one who has awareness, who cares, and can take individual responsibility. We can all be Idle Free.

The fast turning of time has led to late summer and to the realization that the 11th Declaration for Idle Free Month and Idle Free Season is here again.  I reflected on last year and the great celebration of last year’s milestone 10 Year anniversary event. Many people — ordinary folks and extraordinary leaders –I like to say “from Alta to Zion and everywhere across the state” gathered at the Captiol to celebrate the success of Idle Free.

This year, we decided for the 11th Declaration, we wanted to set a new goal for 70 Mayors (we had 50). Utah leadership responded, and in less than a month of reaching out to Utah mayors for renewed support of the declaration, we surpassed our goal by one… just one more than seventy!

This year the support from Utah cities has grown to a historic high with seventy-one Mayors signing, along with Governor Gary Herbert, in support of Idle Free Awareness Month and Idle Free Utah 2018-2019.  This is highly significant.  Those seventy-one mayors represent the majority of Utah’s population, roughly 76%, and further, all seventeen mayors representing cities in Salt Lake County, along with Mayor Ben McAdams, have signed the Governor’s 2018-2019 Idle Free Declaration.

Join us in celebration!

On September 18th, Utah Clean Cities is celebrating the work of our dedicated partners: the “ones” and the many, the large and the small.  We are proud to announce that eight Utah cities are Idle Free cities complete with Idle Free ordinances and laws supporting local efforts to ensure communities have support with idle free education, signage, and ultimately enforcement if needed.  It’s all the right steps, one at a time, in the right direction.  This movement is important and we challenge every single city and town in Utah, one and all, to join in with the leadership and positive movement for Turn the Key, Be Idle Free.

Breathe Easier, Save Money and Protect Blue Sky. 

 

Please contact us to become an Idle Free City.  Contact Ashley Miller who diligently works with cities with the help of Breathe Utah and Utah Clean Cities.

 

Tammie Bostick-Cooper is on her third year with Utah Clean Cities.  She inherited the wonderful grass-roots program from her vigilant predecessors within Utah Clean Cities and the many partners who have been “the growth” of the program since the start more than 11 years ago.  She remains in awe of the one-plus-one-equals-three (1+1=3) concept and marvels at the fact that this year it equals eleven!   Despite her poor math, she remains, as her children call her, “the Idle-nista!”  She is humbled by all the Ones that made this Utah’s own- TURN YOUR KEY, BE IDLE FREE!

Utah Clean Cities at Jefferson Jr. High 2016

Idle Free Spanish Poster 8.5 x 11 DownloadIdle Free English Poster Download 8.5 x 11

Idle Free Cards Blue Download

 

 

SLC Parking Enforcement Electrifies Fleet! Saves 90% on Energy Costs.

SLC Parking Enforcement Electrifies Fleet, Saves 90% on Energy Costs

 

August 1, 2018  By Ryan Anderson, Salt Lake City Sustainability Intern

The Salt Lake City Compliance Division has a colorful, new addition to their Parking Enforcement fleet. Four all-electric Chevrolet Bolts have replaced old JEEP Wranglers to deliver financial savings and notable pollution reductions.

“It’s important that we lead by example and demonstrate how electric vehicles offer a reliable, safe and efficient alternative to gas-powered cars,” stated Greg Fieseler, Compliance Division Field Supervisor. “The electric cars are fun to drive too!”

Greg acknowledged there was initially some skepticism among staff that the new EVs would prove viable as fleet vehicles. That skepticism has been replaced by enthusiasm as the electric cars are now “the preferred choice” for most employees. Compliance has been able to seamlessly integrate these vehicles without any modifications to routes or other significant operational changes.  Even with 90 degree-plus heat throughout July, and the A/C running for most of the day, the 200-plus mile range of the Bolts has allowed officers to complete their daily routes with energy to spare.

Lorna Vogt, Deputy Director of Operations for Salt Lake City Public Services, also likes the look of the new cars and the message they convey to the community. The old JEEP Wranglers were sometimes perceived as intimidating, whereas the Chevy Bolts have a friendlier look that aligns with the Division’s “primary mission of educating and not simply penalizing people for violating parking rules.”

In addition to stylish looks and a fun driving experience, the EVs are also delivering serious operational savings. Low-speed travel and frequent stopping led to fuel consumption averaging around 10 MPG for JEEP Wranglers in the fleet. Compare this to a Chevy Bolt which averages around 119 MPG-equivalent according to FuelEconomy.gov.

Use in actual operations for Compliance shows the vehicles are averaging around 3 miles per kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed through three months. This equates to an energy cost of 3 cents per mile for the EVs (assumes 9.0 cents / kWh) compared to 30 cents per mile for the Wranglers (assumes $3.00 / gallon) – an energy cost savings of 90%!

For a vehicle traveling 12,000 miles per year, energy cost savings like these add up to over $3,000 annually and quickly pay back any initial cost premium.

The new electric cars are also expected to have far fewer maintenance costs than their gasoline counterparts. The Compliance Division will be able to track and quantify actual savings over time, but reports published by organizations like AAA suggest EVs have the lowest maintenance and repair costs of any vehicle type.

While low operating costs are attractive, these new vehicles arguably deliver their most important benefits when it comes to pollution reductions and air quality improvements. The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) published an evaluation in 2017 of EVs operating along the Wasatch Front in Utah that demonstrated up to a 99% reduction in local air quality pollutants relative to a new gasoline vehicle.

The SWEEP research also documented a carbon emissions benefit of 19% for EVs in Utah, but analysis of the Compliance Division fleet suggests an even bigger savings for their operations. Based on the energy consumption averages mentioned above, Salt Lake City expects the Chevy Bolts will reduce carbon emissions 72% on a mile-per-mile basis relative to the JEEP Wranglers. This is certainly a step in the right direction for the City and its Climate Positive community goals.

Range Confidence with Ride and Drives Electric Vehicles Charge Ahead

Range Confidence with Ride and Drives Electric Vehicles Charge Ahead in the Future of Transportation Sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Energy Development

 

The air pollution problem we face in Utah is complicated to say the least. There are several significant sources, but the largest source comes from the mobile sector, contributing nearly half of the pollution emitted along the Wasatch Front every single day.

 

In collaboration with Salt Lake City and local non-profits like Breathe Utah and the Utah Clean Air Partnership, Utah Clean Cities set out to address this issue at a consumer level. We started with local dealerships, where we trained sales managers and sales staff to have a better understanding of battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and hybrids. You see, each vehicle for sale has an EPA label within the window sticker. A smog rating identifies the amount of criteria pollutants a vehicle emits from the tailpipe. The larger the number on the scale, the better. For example, a full battery electric vehicle has a smog rating of 10, since it has zero tailpipe emissions. We wanted the sales people negotiating with customers to be conversant in the language of a cleaner choice for air quality, and discuss the smog rating right alongside miles per gallon.

 

From this project, our mission grew into preparing and educating the dealerships on all of the current incentives for purchasing clean vehicles, as well as local programs, like Work Electric, which focuses on significant discounts for businesses looking to upgrade their fleets. Utah is uniquely situated, along with seven other states, entering into a memorandum of understanding that each state will invest in, and build out, an electrified connected highway charging system, boosting range confidence in drivers looking to travel long distances in a BEV.

 

With all the great EV incentives and programs available to consumers today, demand is increasing rapidly. More and more Utahns are walking on to local lots asking for EVs. Some face the problem of not having vehicles physically available to try out. To give consumers a taste of what it’s like to drive an EV, we host fun and informative Ride and Drives. Ride and Drives are perfect opportunities for consumers to “try on” EV ownership. Dealers and owners of EVs graciously bring vehicles to these events for test-drive, and are able to answer the questions consumers have about various aspects of owning an EV, including where they charge and how often, and which businesses around town have free charging available. The first thing our participants notice when they step into the drivers seat is the “zip” of an EV! These cars are fast and fun to drive. And quiet! It’s not often you see seven people pile into a Tesla Model X with huge smiles on their faces. But this is one of the scenes you’ll see if you attend a Ride and Drive event.

 

Utah Clean Cities and the Governor’s Office of Energy Development hosted two very successful EV Ride and Drives this spring. The first event was held at the Fourth Annual Salt Lake County Health Department’s Climate Change Symposium, hosting over a dozen EVs and an impressive line-up of drivers to experience first hand the vehicles of the future. Over 60 symposium attendees participated in the ride and drive during lunch.

In May, Utah Clean Cities, in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Energy Development brought together Utah’s leading EV dealerships to help educate and encourage hybrid and EVs at the 2018 Governor’s Energy Summit. This ride and drive proved to be our largest event to date with over 300 participants getting to check out various clean vehicle makes and models from BMW of Murray, Larry H. Miller, Ken Garff, Mark Miller, Tesla, Strong Auto Group, Ford, Tim Dahle Nissan, and XL Hybrid.

 

Programs like the Ride and Drives and EV workshops hosted by Utah Clean Cities are working to increase the consumer appetite for clean vehicle technology. More of these vehicles on Utah’s roads — especially replacing older, dirtier combustion models — will mean cleaner air for all.

How the ‘Inconvenient Youth’ Can Influence (Pester?) Others on Clean Air Action

By Edwin Stafford (ed.stafford@usu.edu) and Roslynn Brain (roslynn.brain@usu.edu)
See the past winner posters here!

Social influence is often instrumental for encouraging pro-social behavioral change in others.  Who else are the most influential in our lives but our own children – with whom we want to maintain mutual love and respect?   We call this the “Inconvenient Youth” effect, and it is our current focus with the Utah High School Clean Air Poster Contest (cleanaircontest.usu.edu).  

Now in its fourth year, we piloted the contest at Logan High in 2015 to engage teens learning to drive to understand the air pollution implications of their new driving privilege through a fun poster contest where participants could win desirable prizes donated by local businesses (merchandise, gift cards and cash).  Posters have been funny, edgy, and reflecting teen values and pop culture.  Winning posters have then been displayed throughout the community.   

What we’ve discovered, however, is that not only do teens learn driving strategies to help preserve air quality, such as refrain from idling and engage in trip-chaining and carpooling, but they also become clean air evangelists, influencing (pestering?) their parent, families and friends to take the same actions as well.  

For our expanded 2017 iteration of the contest involving over 400 teens in Cache Valley, we found approximately two-thirds of surveyed participants reported encouraging others to engage in clean air actions – even though we did not instruct them to do so – and 43% believed that they actually changed others’ behaviors for good.  

Can the Inconvenient Youth effect be harnessed and encouraged?  That’s what we’re investigating next!  We’ve published our current findings in the December 2017 issue of Sustainability:  The Journal of Record (article available upon request).  Specifically, we overview some strategies and future research for further harnessing the ‘Inconvenient Youth’ and how teens may be further empowered to foster clean air behaviors within their families and social networks.  

 

Utah Embraces Alternative Fuel for Fleets


Green Fleets – Save Money and Clear the Air

The following post was featured on Salt Lake City’s Economic Development blog, highlighting the benefits that local businesses have observed following their switch to clean vehicles. We at SLCgreen wanted to thank Utah Clean Cities and their partners who provided statistics and success stories for this post. Our hope is to continue to encourage and promote the use of clean vehicle technology, which we see as a harmonious method to create economic growth and a healthier community.  It has been updated for Utah Clean Cities Mind Fuel.

 

Inversion season is nearly upon us. Poor air quality is something Salt Lake City, other municipalities along the Wasatch Front, and the State of Utah are actively working to improve.The biggest source of emissions comes from vehicles which contribute to over half of the wintertime inversion pollution. The good news is that cars, trucks, and other equipment are getting cleaner!

Businesses can help by taking advantage of the newest technologies to reduce emissions from their vehicles fleets.

Doing so can save pollution, of course, but also offers a whole host of other benefits, including saving your business money. Clean vehicles have had an unprecedented growth rate over the past few years. This new technology has caught the attention of businesses across the nation, with many starting to integrate a variety of electric, hybrid, clean diesel, compressed natural gas (CNG), and other alternative-fueled vehicles into their corporate fleets.

CNG and Clean Diesel

CNG can replace large traditionally diesel-powered vehicles like refuse trucks or cement mixers and burn 45-90% cleaner and have a much longer lifecycle than their traditional diesel counterparts.Similarly, “clean diesel“– which is a combination of low-sulfur diesel fuel, advanced engines, and better emissions controls can significantly reduce the emissions from heavy duty vehicles. Salt Lake City now has several “clean diesel” garbage trucks in our fleet.

Electric Vehicles

For passenger class vehicles, EVs are a sound option. One reason: Driving an electric car in Utah costs half as much, mile per mile, as driving a gas car. EVs are also great for our air. In fact, according to a 2017 analysis, compared to a gasoline-fueled vehicle, all-electric vehicles along the Wasatch Front produce 98% fewer Sulfur Oxides, 99% fewer Volatile Organic Compounds, and 90% fewer Nitrogen Oxides with significant additional reductions in Particulate Matter (81% for PM2.5 and 57% for PM10). Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles reduces emissions significantly as well.

That’s a lot of pollution saved!

Plus, when you drive electric, many routine maintenance tasks (for example, oil changes, timing belt replacements, emissions testing) become a thing of the past! Electric options are making their way to larger vehicles too– including buses, semi-trucks, and more (check out Utah-based Nikola Motors with its electric-hydrogen semi-truck!)

Local Examples

This trend is on the rise here in Utah, with government and corporate fleets shifting towards cleaner vehicles. Here are some examples of organizations that are saving money with clean fleets:

  • Salt Lake City: Currently has 57 CNG vehicles, 50 clean diesel trucks, 14 fully electric vehicles, and 117 hybrid electric cars in the city-wide fleet.
  • Park City Transit: Introduced 6 all-electric buses and plans to buy only all-electric moving forward.
  • UTA: Currently using 47 CNG buses and expects to save $10,000 to $13,000 a year in fuel costs per CNG bus that it operates. Planning on releasing 5 all-electric busesin 2018.
  • ACE Recycling: Currently using 88 CNG refuse trucks.
  • Geneva Rock: Currently using 24 CNG cement trucks (90% cleaner than diesel predecessors).
  • Snowbird:Currently exploring alternative fuel options, including biodiesel and providing Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations for guests.
  • UPS: Invested $90 Million in CNG vehicles and infrastructure nationwide.
  • Waste Management: West Jordan and Orem sites are about 65% CNG.  Each new vehicle obtained in these areas will be CNG moving forward. Each CNG vehicle costs about $50,000 more than diesel but the savings in maintenance costs make the vehicles last longer.
  • Momentum Recycling: Has invested in CNG fueling infrastructure for on-site refueling and runs 3 out of 7 recycling trucks on CNG (with a fourth one on the way).

Business Incentives

So how can your business go electric?

  1. Rocky Mountain Power incentivesare offered to Utah non-residential customers and multifamily dwellings to offset the cost of installing charging stations.

Funds are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so take advantage!

Think about how much it costs your business when gas prices spike.

Investing capital in low maintenance electric vehicles is more than a lofty ideal. Utah Clean Cities is here to help you start reducing the dependence on fossil fuels that exposes you to economic risk.  The Rocky Mountain Live Electric offers up to $5,000 to businesses to cover the incremental costs of adding an electric vehicle to fleets.  Plus, the Live Electric grant is offering workshops and ride and drives to help expose Utah business leaders to the joy of going electric and further, offering their employees workplace charging with the Lead Electric program.

Check out the Live Electric Website to see what the grant partners are doing to support the Lead Electric workplace charging program. The decision to start implementing clean strategies helps your employees feel that their company is committed to making Utah a healthier place to live. Utah Clean Cities is here to help you make the switch to cleaner-fueled vehicles.

See the cost savings for yourself

Meanwhile, if you want to crunch numbers for yourself, check out fueleconomy.gov to see side by side comparisons of each vehicle make and model sold in the US. This website is a valuable resource that many organizations use when running a cost-benefit analysis. It has information regarding vehicle smog ratings and fuel economy.

Additional Resources

Salt Lake City recently built out public charging infrastructure this year.

Utah Clean Cities

Live Electric Now

Salt Lake City Green Vehicle parking permit

A new study says that today’s electric vehicles can handle almost 90 percent of all car travel in the U.S.

Where can I charge? 

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Come to Snowbird…together!

Come to Snowbird…together!

Hilary Arens, Director of Sustainability & Water Resources, Snowbird

Since its founding in 1971, Snowbird has welcomed visitors to the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon. As air quality and traffic congestion are of major concerns to us all, Snowbird is committed to finding ways to help reduce the number of cars on the road and emissions in the air while traveling to the resort.

To meet this goal, Snowbird has updated the R.I.D.E. program (Reducing Individual Driving for the Environment) this year by creating a new R.I.D.E. app! R.I.D.E. is an incentive-based tracking and reward program to help influence our guests and employees to travel to the resort by carpool or bus. Rewards include VIP parking, half-priced transferable tickets, Early Ups, and more! Last season, the R.I.D.E. program helped keep 290,000 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere (the equivalent to not consuming 15,000 gallons of gasoline!) while also rewarding hundreds of carpoolers and bus riders with half-priced tickets and early morning untouched powder runs. We hope to increase these numbers this coming season! (The R.I.D.E. app will be available for download late November 2017.)

 

New for this season! Snowbird will introduce free Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations at the Cliff Lodge Parking Structure on Level 2. These charging stations are made possible by partnerships with Utah Leaders for Clean Air, Tesla, and Rocky Mountain Power. Additionally, Snowbird’s fleet added two electric, zero-emissions utility vehicles this past summer.

 

Snowbird continues to provide UTA bus passes to all season pass holders and employees, and will work with UTA to provide frequent and reliable bus service from Salt Lake Valley to Snowbird (https://www.rideuta.com/Rider-Info/UTA-Ski-Service). Additionally, Snowbird continues to offer Canyon Transportation (http://canyontransport.com) vanpool options and provide UTA Rideshare vans for employees.

 

As Snowbird provides a mountain escape adjacent to a major city, we are committed to finding better ways to help people travel here. We hope that the new R.I.D.E. app becomes popular, and that the UTA bus services and EV charging stations are widely-used this winter. Together, we can all help improve the environment as we travel to and around the resort.

About me:

In 2016, I was hired to direct Snowbird’s water resources and environmental programs. Previous to Snowbird, I received a Masters in Watershed Science from Colorado State University and worked at the Utah Division of Water Quality. My husband and I feel grateful to call the Wasatch home for us and our young twins.

Reminder- Turn the Key, be Idle Free

The sights and smells of back-to-school are here: new pencils and paper, first-day clothes, and the hint of fall in the air. It’s an exciting time for many kids, parents, and teachers as we enter another year and get back into the school day routine.

And with the return of that familiar routine, we’d like to encourage you to be Idle Free. Whether dropping off the kids or running errands around town, one thing we can all do to improve air quality is to “Turn the Key and Be Idle Free.”

It’s easy. If you’re stopped for more than ten seconds, turn the engine off. Read more

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Idling is gets us nowhere fast!

Idling is gets us nowhere fast!

Ten years ago, my niece came to my mountain home and announced her class was campaigning to stop the dirty old school buses from idling at her Morningside school.  She talked expertly about carbon footprints, asthma, and PM 2.5.  I was getting my first education on the dire effects of idling from a nine year old activist.  Over the last year, I would say I have become an Idle.   My college kids call me the Idle Free Fairy, passing out Idle Free stickers and knocking on idling car windows and asking, reminding, and sometimes retreating from annoyed drivers.

There is almost no reason to idle for while parking, there are exceptions, but there are even better solutions.  Each year American’s burn over 6 million gallons of gas going nowhere—they are simply idling.  Estimates in Utah say that ¼ of our emissions are a result of idling. If you can see something coming out of the tail pipe, its particulate matter and it’s dangerous, especially to developing lungs and vulnerable populations.PM2.5, the tiny particles you can’t often see, lodges in the lungs and crosses the blood barrier.

Read more