To help combat the inversions the Wasatch Front often gets during the winter, the Ogden City Council and Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell have designated Jan. 14-21 as Idle-Free Week. The proclamation is intended to help promote air-quality awareness and challenge all residents to reduce their individual contributions to air pollution.
“We challenge residents, schools, businesses and community groups to join in this effort to reduce unnecessary idling and driving throughout this week and the entire year,” said the proclamation from the city council.
The proclamation encouraged residents to walk, ride bicycles, use public transit, carpool or find other modes of transportation throughout the year, but especially during this week, to help reduce air pollution.
The Ogden City Council felt maintaining clean air contributes to the health, safety and quality of life for residents, and that vehicle emissions make large contributions to air pollution, and wanted to raise awareness about this.
“It’s a simple way for residents to help reduce the impacts of the air pollution,” said Amy Mabey, communications coordinator for the Ogden City Council. “It’s hard to reduce driving in some cases, but idling is something that’s unnecessary. If you’re going through a drive-through, you can run in instead. Or even if you’re warming up the car in the morning, a lot of engines don’t need to be idling to warm up.”
Spencer Scott, a freshman at WSU studying computer science, said he feels sort of neutral on air pollution.
“I try to do what I can individually,” Scott said. “I’m not going to go force other people to do anything they don’t want to do, but I think, to a point, it’d be nice if everybody tried to help (with air pollution) where they can.”
Scott also said he takes the bus to school because he lives in Bountiful, and it just makes more sense for a variety of reasons, especially considering fuel costs.
The week of Jan. 14-21 was designated Idle-Free Week for good reason, Mabey said.
“When they made the determination,” Mabey said, “the council members specifically said, ‘You know, we really want to do this at a time when the inversion is at its worst.’ And so that’s really an awareness thing. Obviously, if you do it in the spring or in July, it may not be as touchy of a subject. You can actually see the pollution in the air right now, so it’s a little bit different, a little bit closer to home.”