Commute. Your thoughts. Seven words. Please send.

CleanAir This year, we asked people to submit a super-short seven-word story that provides a window into their personal experience commuting to work or school using an alternate mode. Alternate modes of travel include bicycling, walking, taking transit, teleworking, carpooling, and using compressed work schedules.

Concise descriptive words can be surprisingly witty, profound and poetic...and they did not disappoint! Check out the 54 stories and 11 photos that were submitted below. Seven randomly drawn winners are indicated in bold.

► Bike down Fourth Ave, coffee and burrito. -J.Prietto (bike)

► Relaxing, safer, cheaper for me and environment. -K. McDonald (bus)

► Sunrise, burning thighs, work. roving sunset. bedtime. - S.Graves (bike, bus, streetcar, walk)

► Fresh air, easy, fun, sunshine, addictive, AWESOME! -C.Stevens (bike)

► I bike to exercise, save $$, reduce carbon. -K.Chavez (bike)

► Shorter work week. Less pollution. Everyone wins. -J.Doranski (desires compressed schedule)

► Pedaling through heat and wind to joy. -B.Finkelstein (bike)

► Precious time allocated for reading, not driving. -A.Katzenmeyer (bus)

► What a way to start the day! -B.Deangelo (bike)

► I retired and exercise on The Loop. -J.Crandall (walk)

► Stronger lungs, stronger legs, better air today. -R.Rountree (telecommute)

► Car: 20 minutes. Bus 2 hours 3 busses. -C.Unknown (transit doesn't work for everyone)

► Palo verde inflorescense and mesquite caterpillar friends. -K.Sawyer (bike, walk) ► By riding, traffic jam jail sentence commuted. -B.Jones ((bike, bus, telecommute)

► Rural residents desperately need SOME public transit. -R.Byrd (walk)

► Biking. Makes my legs look sexy BIG! -R.Hastings (bike)

► Neighborhood bike routes make my ride fun! -M.Lemen (bike, walk)

► A daily convenient, relaxing, and economical journey. -M.Campbell (bus)

► Some extra time for the little things. -E.Manos (bus)

► Biking, scooting, walking, telecommuting...out of excuses. -B.Escobar (telecommute, scooter)
► Tucsonan biking for transportation for 16 years. -C.Kelli (bike, walk)

► Disabled, in bed, travel in my head. -K.McBride

► No need to fuss. Ride the bus. -J.Vecchia (bus)

► Telecommuting - 230 miles weekly of clean air. -K.Schneider (telecommute)

► Zipping around in EV; saving the planet. -M.Houy (electric car)

► Fresh air. Sunshine. Power of the pedals! K.Harrison (bike)

► Lots of reading happening while riding buses! -C.Burgan (bus)

► Bus friends keep me entertained for miles. -E.Gedanic (bus)

► Pedal harder knowing the air is cleaner. -A.Smith (bike, telecommute, condensed hours)

► Telecommuting in yoga pants and flip flops. -B.Escobar (telecommute, scooter)

► Saving our air working from my lair. -D.Webster (telecommute)

► Bike bus.....bike 45 door to door. --J.Chan (bike, bus)

► Oro Valley to work and back, seriously loopy! -R.Patel (bike, telecommute)

► Flying in the scooter, better move over! -B. Escobar (telecommute, scooter)
► Working compressed helps with getting less stress. -E.Jacobs (compressed schedule)

► Uphill both ways, feeling my legs burn. -Steven (bike, telecommute)

► This totally beats fighting cross town traffic. -B.Hoffner (bike)

► Great healthy start. Engaged, liberated from traffic. -M.Singh (bike)
► Warm breeze through you as you cruise. -R.Perez (bike)

► Angry large objects. Determined not to die. -Oma (bike)

► Walk to work. Enjoy birds in sky. - S.Dhruv (bike, walk)

► Sweaty. Simple. Riding in with pride. -D.Oslik (bike)

► Four tens for Pima County clean air. -D.Paszkiet (compressed schedule)

S.Jenkins J.Ramsey M.Reynolds J.Lorentzen U.Schwarz
Morning bike commute: sunshine, invigorating wind, birdsong. Telework: doggo snuggles plus cleaner air? WIN!  I commute with coyotes on The Loop. 

Ebikes are the future of bike commuting.   Bike to PACC to walk stressed dogs. 
-S.Jenkins (bike) -J.Ramsey (telework) -M.Reynolds (bike) -J.Lorentzen (bike) -U.Schwarz (bike, walk)

C.Cassell C.Beach
K.Badeau M.Friel A.Fernendez
Happy working from home saves the earth.  OV to St. Mary's all on The Loop! This is for me. Interest convergence. See every bird species in Pima County. I bike to breathe and enjoy nature. Fresh, green, lean, cruising. Thank you bicycle.
 -C.Kiser (telecommute)  -C.Cassell (bike)  -C.Beach (bike)  -K.Badeau (bike, walk, telecommute) -M.Friel (bike) A.Fernandez


Prizes include winner's choice (as supplies last): Hydro Flask bottle, insulated backpack cooler, bicycle pannier, Loop jersey (designs and sizes may be limited).

 Hydro Flask  Backpack cooler Bike pannier
Loop Jersey Loop Jersey  Loop Jersey 

Why focus on alternate modes?

Driving motor vehicles is the single largest source of air pollution and greenhouse gases in Pima County. PDEQ’s Clean Air Program encourages all drivers to travel as efficiently as possible and choose alternate modes of transportation when feasible. Choosing to bike, walk, telework, take transit or carpool even one day a week will help keep air healthy and reduce the effects of climate change.

Driving less will help protect the health of those most at risk, including young children, older adults, and those with respiratory diseases such as asthma and heart disease. Even healthy individuals who work or exercise outdoors can experience respiratory distress during times of high exposure to air pollution. 


Email: HealthyAir@pima.gov

Note: By participating in the #ThisIsCleanAir challenge, you give permission for the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality to share your photos or poetry via social media and other outreach methods as we promote healthy air. We will give you credit by using your first name initial and last name.

Health effects, pollution sources, and actions to protect air
Love the air

Air pollution negatively affects the health of living organisms and non-living things, too.

There are many sources of ground-level ozone and particulate air pollution that result from our everyday activities and product choices.

The good news is there are also lots of actions we can take to minimize air pollution.

Poetry & Photo Contest: Air Quality Awareness Week | Spring 2021

Themes: Wildfires & smoke, asthma & health, citizen science, environmental justice, air quality around the world.

Fire from June 2020 B. Boyd   BighornFire-J.Willis  AirQualityEnvJustice-N.Befus  Fire On the Mountain-L.Klotzer
 Fires from June 2020
- B. Boyd
First Place
Bighorn Fire
- J. Willis
Second Place

 Air Quality Env. Justice
- N. Befus
Third Place
 Fire On the Mountain
- L. Klotzer
Honorable Mention
 Help Me Breathe, A. Classen Air-A. Classen   Our Blue Skies  Summer 2020
Help Me Breathe
- A. Classen
First Place
- A. Classen
Second Place
 Our Blue Skies
- M. Moran
Third Place
 Summer Fire 2020
- G. Peterson
Honorable Mention

Winning photos of our September 2020 challenge

Theme: Transportation

How do you travel in a clean-air way, navigating COVID-19 restrictions and the warmth of Tucson's weather? Below are the three top photos chosen by the community. Congrats to all the participants for Driving Less and Smiling More for Healthy Air!

Skateboard  Dirty Hands

Family Rides Together 
Grand Prize: "Protect Your Mother"
Ava P., saving 150 miles/wk
 "Dirty Hands for Clean Air" Diego S. saves 30 miles/wk
 "Family & Dog Rides Together"
Carissa S. saving 250 miles/wk
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