By Johnny Jackson
The Clean Air Campaign has partnered with consumer advocate, Clark Howard, and WSB Radio in a campaign to promote alternative commutes among metro-Atlanta residents.
A not-for-profit organization, The Clean Air Campaign works with Georgia employers, commuters and schools, to encourage actions that result in reduced traffic congestion, and improved air quality, according to the organization's web site.
Commuters are being asked to choose at least one day next week, Sept. 20-24, to find a more environmentally friendly way to work, other than driving alone, said Brian Carr, communications director for The Clean Air Campaign.
"Clark Howard has been a terrific spokesperson for 'Give Your Car the Day Off,'" Carr said. "I think he's does a great job in leading by example -- he walks to work most days."
Carr said workers who sign-up for next week's "Give Your Car the Day Off" event can choose commute alternatives such as carpooling, vanpooling, teleworking, taking transit, biking, or walking to work. In doing so, he said, workers will get a free sandwich from Chick-fil-A, which will be provided by WSB Radio.
"The event comes at a really critical time, because this week, we've experienced our 20th ground-level ozone violation -- 20 days of smog," he said. "With the end of smog season just a couple of weeks away [ending on Sept. 30], this would be a great way to make sure we don't have anymore bad air days."
The communications director said using a commute alternative can be a part-time proposition. He said if every metro Atlanta commuter gave their cars a day off one day a week, the region would experience a 20 percent reduction in traffic as well as improved air quality.
"We tell people, try it once, if it works for you, do it more often," Carr said. "Hopefully, that can set the foundation for the habit to continue."
Carr noted that commuters who start using a commute alternative -- this week or any other week throughout the year -- can earn $3 a day, up to $100, for making the change. Three- and four-person carpools are also eligible for monthly gas cards worth $40 and $60, respectively.
"In metro Atlanta, 84 percent of commuters drive alone on their way to work," he added. "We're trying to get people to see that the small things can be impactful."
Commuters interested in participating in the "Give Your Car the Day Off" event, can register online at WSBRadio.com/cleanair until Sept. 24. Those interested in continuing with The Clean Air Campaign's commute alternatives programs, should visit www.CleanAirCampaign.org.