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  • Resolve to Drive Less and Smile More in 2020

    Dec 31, 2019 | Read More News
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    ‘Tis the season to ponder ways to make positive changes in your life for the coming year. Some New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside quickly. But here is one that has so many benefits that you will keep it going all year long. Drive Less and Smile More in 2020.Healthy Air Drive Less Smile More

    The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality’s Clean Air Program suggests you try to drive less by sharing rides with friends and coworkers, trying transit, or using The Loop for your commute. By the end of 2020, you will have saved hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars, reduced traffic congestion, created new relationships with people you meet along the way, experienced your surroundings more than if you were alone inside your car, and helped the planet by reducing carbon emissions.  

    “Being an SOV - single occupant vehicle - is so last year,” said Beth Gorman, Senior Program Manager with PDEQ.  “Ask yourself if there are other transportation options that will work for you and then check out the multiple benefits the change can provide,” said Gorman. 

    A large portion of our air pollution in the Tucson area is caused by using our motor vehicles, so whenever we can skip a trip or share a ride, it will benefit the air we breathe. According to information from Pima Association of Governments, every 1.17 miles driven creates 1 pound of air pollution. 
    And your vehicle doesn’t have to be driven to pollute the air -- idling vehicles create air pollution in a concentrated area.  Research by Argonne National Laboratory indicates that idling your vehicle’s engine for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and emits more carbon dioxide than turning the engine off and restarting it. In addition, vehicles warm up faster by driving slowly than by idling. So, if you choose to use your vehicle, reduce idling by avoiding drive thru lanes and warm up the engine while driving instead of sitting in the driveway. 

    Carpooling, riding the bus or streetcar, or hopping on the bike are effective ways to reduce vehicle wear and tear, gasoline use, and air pollution. And you may find that you enjoy the chance to save money, reduce stress, catch up on reading, make new friends, get some exercise and feel good about the transportation choices you make in 2020. While you are enjoying your commute and smiling more, you can make plans for what you will do with all that extra money you’ll save! That’s definitely a resolution you can benefit from all year long.