Monday, December 27, 2010

Fall Fresh Fridays & Skating In Central Park Recap

Fresh & DJ Delilah
Fresh has been a busy cloud this fall! He has traveled all over the New York metro area spreading the word about Clean Air NY and encouraging people to make simple changes to their transportation habits, such as taking mass transit, carpooling and combining multiple errands into one trip to help improve the region’s air quality. Every Friday from October 29 to December 10, (except for November 26 when he was recovering from all the Thanksgiving turkey he ate) Fresh visited a different part of the region for “Fall Fresh Fridays.” He went to some exciting places, such as Grand Central Station, the White Plains TransCenter and the Smith Haven Mall. If you want to see all the great pictures of Fresh from Fall Fresh Fridays, check out our Fall Fresh Friday photo album on Facebook and make sure to friend us while you’re there!

Fall Fresh Fridays wrapped up ahead of the Skating in Central Park event on Saturday, December 11. Everyone who visited the Clean Air NY display at Wollman Rink enjoyed cookies, pretzels, hot chocolate and other goodies. Fresh made a lot of new friends; 446 of them signed up to receive our Air Quality Action Day updates! On days when the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation predicts air quality to be in the unhealthy range, we send out updates to our network, letting folks know how they can take action to protect themselves and the environment by making smart travel choices that day. Even if you weren’t at Skating in Central Park, you can sign up to receive our updates online!

Thanks again to everyone who came out — Fresh had a great time meeting all of you. If you couldn’t be there, we still appreciate your continued support of Clean Air NY! Together, we can make significant progress to improve the region’s air quality.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Four Tips For The Holidays That Save Money & Improve Air Quality

Holiday House Lights
image by Paul Lowry used under creative commons license

Even if you're not a procrastinator like me, you likely still have some holiday shopping left to do this season. We're here to give you four special Clean Air NY tips on how you can both save money and improve the air quality while you finish your holiday shopping.

Tip #1: Take One Car Trip Instead of Many

As we often say, combining different stops into one big trip, instead of taking multiple one-destination trips, will save you time, gas and money. This tip applies especially during the holidays because of all the extra shopping you have to do for gifts and party supplies on top of your normal errands. Get in the habit of asking yourself as you leave your house, "Is there anything else I can do while I'm on this trip?" If you combine five errands per week that you might normally break into five separate trips, you could end up driving 2,000 miles less per year. In doing so, you could save almost 100 gallons of gasoline and nearly $300!

Tip #2: Carpool To Holiday Parties

Like Tip #1, carpooling is another primary activity we encourage to promote cleaner air year-round that is helpful particularly during the holidays. With all the parties you probably have on your calendar, you'll drive a lot more this time of year. See if anyone you know will be going to the same party and ask them if they want to share a ride. Thanks to the popularity of Facebook (friend us!), most of your holiday parties will probably have event pages there for you to see who is attending. Not only will you save money by splitting the cost of gas, you'll reduce the number of cars on the road and the air pollution that goes along with it.

If you're interested in carpooling and want more information about how you can do it year-round, check out NY Rideshare at

Tip #3: Shop Online

What's better than combining all of your car trips into one big trip? Not taking any trips at all! Online shopping has become increasingly more reliable and popular across the country. Of Black Friday shoppers, 33.6 percent were online this year, up 7.1 percent from the 28.5 percent reported last year. As the number of people shopping online increased, so have the number of deals. This year's Cyber Monday saw 60.5 percent more coupons and discounts available than last year. While you have to factor in the time and cost for shipping, you can usually get what you want for cheaper online as long as you don't shop at the last minute.

Tip #4: Take Mass Transit To Your Holiday Entertainment Events

Last week, we posted a guide to taking mass transit to the New York metro area's arenas, and whether you're going to catch a show, game or concert, it's easier than ever to leave the car at home. As you bypass the headaches of traffic and ever-increasing parking costs, you’ll help reduce pollutants and improve the region’s air quality!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Take The Train To The Game

MSG Subway Station
image by wfyurasko used under creative commons license

With the NFL, NHL and NBA seasons in full swing, many New Yorkers are on the roads to see their favorite sports teams compete. Now, whether you're a Giants fan from White Plains or an Islanders fan living in Manhattan, there is a way to get to all major venues in the area using mass transit instead!

New York sports fans are accustomed to taking mass transit to games; they have traveled this way to Madison Square Garden, Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium for years. The Mets and the Yankees have new homes now, but they are still highly accessible via the subway. The only place that had been difficult to reach using mass transit, until recently, was Giants Stadium.

Now, thanks to a new MTA Metro-North train route and extended NJ Transit service, fans from all over the area easily can take mass transit to the Jets' and Giants' new home — New Meadowlands Stadium. The updated Metro-North schedule includes trains that run from New Haven to Penn Station (instead of Grand Central) for all 1 p.m. Sunday football games at New Meadowlands Stadium. From there, it's an easy transfer to the NJ Transit service to New Meadowlands Stadium via Secaucus Junction. This allows fans living in the Lower Hudson Valley, who previously had to make numerous transfers taking mass transit to the game, to arrive with one easy change.

Taking mass transit to the region's venues for games, concerts, shows and other events is easier than ever. This action helps New Yorkers avoid the headaches of traffic and the ever-increasing parking costs and helps reduce pollutants, improving the region’s air quality.

Plan your trips using or check out this list of venues with links directly to mass transit directions. Share this information with your fellow sports fans in the area, too!

Madison Square Garden

New Meadowlands Stadium

Nassau Coliseum

New Yankee Stadium

Citi Field

Prudential Center

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fall Fresh Fridays are Here!

The leaves are turning colors and the air is crisp. Fall has arrived! Clean Air NY is celebrating the season with Fall Fresh Fridays. Every Friday between now and December 10, our beloved mascot Fresh will be out in New York City, the Lower Hudson Valley and Long Island, encouraging New Yorkers to make smart travel choices and to improve our air quality.

When you spot Fresh out and about on a Fall Fresh Friday, take a picture of him and post it on our Facebook wall at Everyone who posts a photo will be entered to win a free transit pass in our weekly drawing.
Upcoming Fall Fresh Fridays:
  • Friday, November 19 - White Plains Transit Station, malls in Westchester and Rockland Counties (stay tuned for more info)
  • Friday, December 4- Long Island (stay tuned for more info)
  • Friday, December 10- New York City (stay tuned for more info)

Jessica Horne, Marketing and Outreach Manager of Clean Air NY.

Friday, February 19, 2010

¡Presentación de información sobre el aire puro en español! / Introducing Clean Air Information En Espanol!

Nueva York se enorgullece de ser un crisol de culturas; alrededor del 36% de la población en los cinco distritos municipales de la Ciudad de Nueva York es de origen extranjero. Cuatro de los cinco distritos municipales se clasifican entre los 20 condados más heterogéneos de la nación.

Clean Air NY reconoce la necesidad de educar a todos los neoyorquinos, no solo aquellos que hablen inglés con fluidez. Por lo tanto, hemos traducido nuestra hoja informativa al español, el segundo idioma más hablado en Nueva York. Nos entusiasma difundir el mensaje de aire puro a más de 1,8 millones de hispanohablantes de Nueva York.

Puede encontrar nuestra hoja informativa en aquí en nuestro sitio web. También enviaremos alertas de los Días de acción por la calidad del aire en español, a fin de informarles a los hispanohablantes cuándo la calidad del aire estará en una categoría no saludable. Puede inscribirse para recibir alertas de los Días de acción por la calidad del aire aquí.

Debido a que nos esforzamos por ampliar la forma en la que publicamos nuestros mensajes, alerte a cualquier amigo o familiar que no hable inglés ni español sobre cuándo son los Días de acción por la calidad del aire. ¡Juntos podemos difundir información sobre el aire puro y ayudar a mejorar la calidad del aire de Nueva York!

New York prides itself on being a melting pot of culture – about 36 percent of the population in the five boroughs of New York City is foreign-born. Four of the five boroughs are ranked among the nation’s 20 most diverse counties.

Clean Air NY recognizes the need to educate all New Yorkers, not just those who are fluent in English. So, we’ve translated our fact sheet into Spanish, the second most widely spoken language in New York. We’re excited to spread the clean air message to more than 1.8 million Spanish speakers in New York.

Our fact sheet can be found on here on our Web site. We’ll also be sending out Air Quality Action Day alerts in Spanish, to let Spanish speakers know when the air quality will be in the unhealthy range. You can sign up for Air Quality Action Day alerts here.

As we strive to broaden how we get our message out, please alert any friends or family members who do not speak English or Spanish when there are Air Quality Action Days. Together, we can spread the clean air word and help improve New York’s air quality!

Friday, January 29, 2010

All Aboard – New York is Surrounded by Water, Take a Ferry to Work

The other day I had a Clean Air NY Partner meeting on Staten Island and I was considering my transportation options to the outer borough. Among them was renting a car, but since I didn’t have a carpool buddy that was not a smart choice to improve air quality. I used the 511NY transit trip planner and learned that taking the Staten Island Ferry was the best option. It was only a 25-minute ferry ride. What better way to commute to Staten Island than by taking the relaxing, quick, easy and low-carbon-footprint ferry? I boarded, easily found a seat, read my book and the next thing I knew we were docked at St. George Terminal in Staten Island.

Ferries are the forgotten public transportation option. But in New York, where a lot of our land mass is surrounded by water – the Hudson River, East River, Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean – ferries just make so much sense.

Did you know that in the 12-county downstate region that Clean Air NY covers, there are 22 different ferry line options from which commuters can choose? Check out the list to see if any of them work for you and your commute.

All in all, large passenger ferries are a great, environmentally friendly alternative to driving alone in your car, so all aboard!

Written by Jessica Horne, Clean Air NY Outreach and Marketing Associate.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Upper Green Side Joins Clean Air NY as Community Partner

According to a new air quality study, the Upper East Side (UES) is home to some of the most polluted air in New York City. New York City’s Department of Health’s first Community Air Survey (pdf) used highly technical sensors to monitor the level of five types of air pollutants - fine particles, nitrogen oxides, elemental carbon, sulfur dioxide and ozone. These have been linked to a variety of health problems, such as asthma, in more than 150 locations throughout the five boroughs. Download the full report here (pdf).

While many people may be shocked to hear that the UES air is, in fact, so polluted, the news should sadly come as no surprise. The neighborhood has long been home to a high concentration of older buildings, many of which still house old boilers and furnaces that burn a heavy grade of heating oil. In addition, heavy traffic from two nearby bridges and streets full of taxis, cars and trucks do more than their fair share to contribute particulate matter and other toxins to the district’s poor air quality.

Upper Green Side is proud to be Clean Air NY’s newest Community Partner. We will be working with other local community groups and stakeholders to help raise awareness about the need to clean our polluted air. Together, we can clean our air and provide a cleaner and safer environment for all!

Guest Blogger: Michael Auerbach, President of Upper Green Side

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

This New Year, Re-evaluate Your Commute

Welcome to 2010, New Yorkers! Were you trying to think of a good New Year’s resolution? How about changing your driving habits? Cars and trucks are responsible for about 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, so the less you drive, the less you pollute. It’s that simple.

Every situation is different, but there are clean-air actions for every commuter. If you work on Long Island or in the Lower Hudson Valley, it may be less practical for you to walk to work. Instead, try a carpool, vanpool bus or train. If you work in New York City, you may want to consider walking or biking. New York City’s Bicycle Access to Buildings Law, announced in December, allows bicycles in buildings, so take advantage of this new law! Walking or biking also keeps you in shape, so you’ll be improving your health and local air quality at the same time.

So, this New Year, find an alternative commute that works for you. Visit or to get started.