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!