Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Clean Air NY Year in Review

Times Square Revelersimage by amelungc used under Creative Commons license

As we prepare to turn the page on another year, many of us will take some time to contemplate all that has happened in the past 12 months and to make plans for the year to come. In that spirit, here are some of the highlights for Clean Air NY from the past year. Thanks to the support from amazing partners and supporters, 2011 was yet another fantastic year for us!

Online communities have continued to be a strong base for Clean Air NY. The Clean Air NY Twitter account received a record-breaking number of mentions in July, just one of the things that helped us increase our following on Twitter by 63 percent this year! We also reached 20,000 Facebook friends and 40,000 total subscribers across all of our pages and e-mail lists. Thanks for helping to spread the word and recommending Clean Air NY to your friends and family — it has made a significant impact in reducing air pollution in the New York metro area.

Clean Air NY participated at Broadway in Bryant Park for the first time this year and our folks got to meet thousands of you in person over the six weeks of the event. Many of you stopped to talk with us and to have your picture taken with Fresh, the Clean Air NY mascot. Check out all of the great pictures we have from Broadway in Bryant Park on our Facebook photo albums.

Clean Air NY also connected with a number of great new businesses and community groups who became Clean Air NY Community Partners and Champions this year. Organizations such as Ikea: Brooklyn, Environment Action Association and Parking Auction have shown their commitment to making the air cleaner for all New Yorkers.

We hope that you had a great 2011 as well and we wish you a happy and successful 2012!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Three Ways to Give the Gift of Cleaner Air this Holiday Season

Happy Holidays!image by Sister72 used under Creative Commons license

Each year, we count down to New Year’s Day as the culmination of the holiday season. Many people have time off from work to celebrate religious holidays that occur now, allowing us to gather with our friends and family for festivities. Here are three ways you can give the gift of cleaner air this holiday season.

1) Tell Your Friends and Family to Join Clean Air NY. The best way to share the gift of cleaner air is to help Clean Air NY spread our message. Telling others about Clean Air NY and getting them to join our network will help raise awareness about poor air quality and will provide them with helpful tips for reducing pollution. Send an e-mail to your family, friends and co-workers with a link to our commit signup page and share our Facebook page with your friends on Facebook.

2) Spend Time Together While Carpooling to Holiday Parties. Carpooling to parties and other events this holiday season can help reduce pollution and improve air quality and can offer an opportunity to enjoy the company of friends and family. While you’re in transit, it can be a great time to connect with your fellow travelers before the excitement that occurs once you’ve arrived at your destination. Maybe you can even sing some carols!

3) Choose Eco-Friendly Gifts. For gifts this holiday season, some people on your list might appreciate one that also helps them reduce air pollution. Biking and walking are two great eco-friendly ways to travel that also provide perfect gift opportunities. While a new bicycle can be expensive, check out more affordable accessories, such as helmets, locks and tire pumps. For walkers, a pedometer, new hiking boots or reflective vests for walking at night could be great gifts.

Happy holidays from Clean Air NY!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Skating in Central Park Summary

Fresh and Skating Family
This past weekend, Clean Air NY participated in 106.7 Lite FM’s Skating in Central Park for the third year in a row. The event gets better every year! We got to meet thousands of New Yorkers and to share our mission for cleaner air with them. We are happy to welcome 650 new people as our partners in improving air quality. If you still haven’t signed up, help give the gift of cleaner air this holiday season by committing to cleaner air.

Clean Air NY’s mascot, Fresh the clean air cloud, was also at Wollman Rink to spread holiday cheer and to take pictures with guests. Check out all the great photos from the first day and the second day on our Facebook page and make sure you click “Like” while you’re there. Also, don’t forget to tag your picture if you took one with Fresh at Skating in Central Park for a chance to win free ice skating tickets, including skate rental, for Wollman Rink’s 2011-2012 season!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pedestrian Plazas Cause Midtown Air Pollution to Plummet

Midtown Pedestrian Plazaimage by Loozrboy used under Creative Commons license

A few weeks ago, in honor of United Nations Day, we looked at how two international cities were addressing the issue of air pollution. New York has implemented some great programs of its own recently, so today we wanted to share with you one way we are reducing pollution here.

During the summer of 2009, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned sections of Broadway near Times Square and Herald Square into pedestrian plazas to help ease congestion and to improve the flow of traffic through Midtown Manhattan; other benefits, such as reduced air pollution and increased pedestrian safety, were highlighted as part of the plan. After reviewing the program’s results, Mayor Bloomberg announced on February 11, 2010, that the pedestrian plazas would become a permanent part of the Midtown landscape.

While the project’s primary goal was to improve traffic flow through Midtown, whenever vehicle travel is reduced, that usually brings a decline in air pollution. This time was no different. Nitrogen oxide (NO) pollution fell by 61 percent after the pedestrian plazas were introduced, while nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution dropped by 41 percent. Now the approximately 250,000 people who visit Times Square every day can breathe easier, knowing that air quality has improved significantly in one of the city’s most populated areas.

For a complete summary of the project’s results, see the official press release.