spare the air | 511 Contra Costa

California Clean Air Day – October 6

October 6 is California Clean Air Day – an annual day of action to improve air quality across California. Small actions on your part can help make a big difference.

The Pledge

One of the key elements of the event is the Clean Air Pledge. By taking it, individuals and organizations commit to doing their part to help clean the air on October 6, through actions both big and small.

If you take the Clean Air Pledge as an individual or household, you select actions to take from three main categories: Switching Things Out, Planting Something, and Reducing Vehicle Use. For example, you might choose to change your home air filter, plant a tree, or take public transit to work instead of driving. How many action items you choose is completely up to you.

Here’s a sample of actions you can choose from:

There’s also a Clean Air Pledge for Kids (with more actions to choose from on the website):

Organizations and businesses can take the pledge, choosing which business practices to modify and educational efforts to undertake for Clean Air Day. Not only will participating organizations be listed on the Clean Air Day website, but employers can get a count of how many employees have decided to take the Clean Air Pledge as individuals.

Local Events

The California Clean Air Day website has a list of events, some leading up to October 6 and some on Clean Air Day. Here are some events happening locally:

Other Ways to Get Involved

If you’re looking for other ways to get involved in California Clean Air Day, here are some ideas:

Every Little Bit Helps

No matter how small you might think an action is, like not idling your engine or adding a plant to your office, it all adds up. Contributing to better air quality is easier than you might think. So consider taking the Clean Air Pledge an committing to at least one action on October 6 and be an active part of California Clean Air Day.

Bike To Work Day 2018 – Nearly 20,000 Riders in the East Bay

Great Weather Creates High Bike to Work Day Turnout

An EBRPD staff member installs a bike bell

Thousands of East Bay residents pedaled to work on Thursday, May 10 to celebrate the 24th annual Bay Area Bike to Work Day. Morning counts taken at East Bay Energizer Stations tallied 19,800 people either stopping in or rolling by. In Contra Costa alone, over 4,000 riders were counted.

The event’s 48 Energizer Stations were located next to popular bike commute routes, along regional trails, at BART and other transit stations, and in downtown areas around Contra Costa. Volunteers cheered cyclists on by giving away coffee, snacks, and free Bike to Work Day bags.

Free Bike Bells: At the 511 Contra Costa Energizer station in Walnut Creek, the East Bay Regional Park District affixed over 200 free bike bells as part of their “Share Our Trails: Ring or Call Out” trail safety and etiquette program.

K. Myers bike-blending a smoothie

A BTWD Success Story: Sometimes all it takes is one bike commute for people to realize they’d like to bike to work regularly. That’s what happened with K. Myers – she literally started cycling on Bike to Work Day and is now committed to making her commute between Concord and Walnut Creek by bicycle every Thursday to work at AAA. When asked how she would get home in the case of emergency, she said, “Uber, Lyft or GIG if it was available in Walnut Creek.”
Clayton to Concord for a Decade: Steve Biggs has been bike commuting between Clayton and Concord most days for the past 10 years. Although he biked for fitness throughout much of his life, it was only 10 years ago that Bike to Work Day inspired him to try biking to work. This year’s BTWD was his 10th year anniversary as a bike commuter, so he whipped up a bike-blended smoothie on the trail.

Steve Biggs: Bike commuting for a decade

Steve recently bought an e-bike which allowed him to commute in the driving rain this past winter. He discovered that with his e-bike he was able to travel more in step with cars on the road, making him feel safer.
During the summer Steve rides his road bike. He loves cycling to work and to the grocery store. An added bonus from cycling to work is that it has increased his fitness level for his double centuries (200 mi. rides).

Bike to School Events: Bike to Work Day wasn’t just for commuters – local students and teachers joined in the fun with 117 schools hosting Bike to School Day festivities on Thursday and throughout National Bike Month this May.

Participation Up Substantially: Participation in Bike to Work Day has increased 30% over the past five years.

Elected Officials Join on Two Wheels

Brentwood Mayor Robert Taylor & friends

In Brentwood, Mayor Robert Taylor and Brentwood Traffic Engineer, Steve Kersevan, joined the Delta Pedalers Bicycle Club at their City Park Energizer Station.

Moment of the Day

Longtime Bike to Work Day volunteer Dick Anderson (age 82), who hosted the Martinez Amtrak Energizer Station, had a story to share which seems sums up the ‘people helping people’ spirit behind Energizer Stations:
A young couple got off the last train of the morning commute. They were about to transfer their boxed bikes to an AMTRAK bus to continue their journey. After I presented them with bike bags, Gatorade and bagels they offered to pay me for them. I told her that I do this strictly as a volunteer and I’d never accept any payment anyway.
Since I was ready to pack up for the day, the fellow offered to take the table I borrowed from AMTRAK back for me, saving me the effort.

Photo Gallery

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BIKE TO WORK DAY 2017 – THURSDAY, MAY 11

Bike to Work Day is a promotional event to encourage the use of a bicycle instead of a car

About Bike To Work Day

On Thursday, May 11, almost 10,000 Bay Area cyclists celebrated National Bike Month by commuting to work by bicycle! 400+ Energizer Stations were set up dwhere cyclists could stop for refreshments and promotional items.
511 Contra Costa has supported cyclists and Energizer Station hosts throughout Contra Costa County since 2001 using Bay Area Air Quality Management District funds and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority’s half-cent sales tax for transportation funds.
Bike to Work Day 2017 was presented by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 511 and Kaiser Permanente.  Regional sponsors included the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Clear Channel Outdoor and Clif Bar.

Wondering what Bike To Work Day looked like across Contra Costa? Click any thumbnail below to access our gallery of photos from energizer stations across the county, or view them on Facebook. We also suggest visiting the photo gallery at YouCanBikeThere.com. (Note: As energizer stations hosts send in photos, we’ll be adding them. If you have photos to share, email them to tips@511contracosta.org!)

Morning Energizer Stations

Brentwood: City Park at 2nd & Oak St – Host: Delta Pedalers Bicycle Club

Concord BART Station – Host: Bank of America & TRC Solutions

Concord: Monument Corridor Trail at Monument Blvd – Host: City of Concord

Martinez: Imhoff Pl & Imhoff Dr (Central San HQ) – Host: Central San

Martinez: John Muir National Historic Site – Host: John Muir National Historic Site

Walnut Creek: Contra Costa Canal Trail off of N Wiget Ln – Host: Renaissance ClubSport

Walnut Creek: Iron Horse & Contra Costa Canal Trail – Hosts: 511CCCCTAEBRPD

Walnut Creek: Olympic Blvd & Newell Ave – Host: Walnut Creek: Walnut Creek BART – Host: Bike Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek: Walnut Creek City Hall – Host: City of Walnut Creek

Afternoon Energizer Stations

Concord: Todos Santos Plaza – Host: Bike Concord

Walnut Creek: Iron Horse & Contra Costa Canal Trail – Hosts: 511CCCCTAEBRPD

Walnut Creek: Walnut Creek BART – Host: Bike Walnut Creek

Any Day Can Be Bike to Work Day

1st time biking to work PHill to San RamonBike To Work Day is a great time to try commuting by bike, but it doesn’t have to be the only day you give it a shot! Just remember: Biking to work is all about what works for you. Maybe the weather, or having a bike buddy, or the copious amounts of stuff you have to haul on a bike factors into your decision to cycle to work, and that’s okay!
Biking to work should be enjoyable, so pick days when riding seems fun and reasonable, then go for it. Do that and you might find yourself planning more rides to work. Just like these first-time Bike To Work Day participants.

Tips: Preparing to Bike Commute

Need help getting ready to ride to work? Preparing for a bike commute isn’t as difficult as you might think. Taking a little time to get familiar with your bike, figure out how to carry your stuff & find a good route (or even a bike buddy) can make things much easier.
Take the guesswork out of preparing with our Tips & Tricks for Bike Commuting!

Isabella Zizi: 2017 Contra Costa Bike Commuter of the Year

Bike Party is what made Isabella Zizi start riding as an adult. That’s where “I broke in my orange ’70s Peugeot and introduced it to the fun.” Those rides opened the door to her commuting by bike, and she now regularly uses her bike to commute the six miles to Gathering Tribes in Albany, a Native American arts, crafts & jewelry store.
For Isabella, biking is more than just transportation, it provides a link to her community and its history. These days she rides the Richmond Greenway, but she used to live by it before it was green. “It was just dirt and rocks, and now it has been transformed. I love the connections it provides. The edible garden, the murals, it is so cool to see everything come to life and be open to the whole community.” During rides around Richmond, she also builds connections with her neighbors and strengthens friendships with other riders.
To get further inspired, read the rest of Isabella’s story and the stories of other 2017 Bike Commuter of the Year winners at YouCanBikeThere.com!

Bike Mapper: Choose the Route Best for You

511 Contra Costa’s Bike Mapper is an innovative bicycle mapping system designed to find the flattest, most direct, or fastest route anywhere in Contra Costa. Read more about the 511CC Interactive Bike Mapper here, or check out our selection of free paper and online bike maps.

Employers: Tips on Encouraging Bike Commuting

If you’re an employer and want to inspire more of your employees to commute by bike, we can help! You’ll find some great strategies on promoting bike commuting year-round when you download the Bike To Work Day Employer Toolkit!

Thanks to Our 2017 Energizer Station Hosts!

Summer Spare the Air Season Is Here: Stay Informed (2016)

Spare the AirSummer Spare the Air Season is upon us! Get Spare the Air Alerts & other air quality information sent directly to your phone with the iSmog App.
During the summer months, ozone levels in the Bay Area can exceed Federal health-based standards. The Air District’s Spare the Air program issues alerts to let residents know when air quality is expected to be unhealthy. Beyond encouraging people to drive less on high-pollution days, Spare the Air alerts provide critical information for people who suffer from asthma or other respiratory problems.
With 511CC’s free iSmog app for iPhone, you’ll receive Spare the Air alerts and be able to display air quality information for the Bay Area as an easy-to-understand map. Users with allergies or other environmental sensitivities are able to customize air quality notifications based on their level of sensitivity & geographic area.
Download the iSmog app for iPhone, or visit the SpareTheAir.org for more information on how to stay updated on Bay Area air quality.
 

Winter Spare the Air Season Has Begun (2015)

During the winter season, wood smoke is the largest source of harmful particulate pollution in the Bay Area. On a typical winter night, wood burning produces about one-third of the pollution in the air. From November 1 through the end of February, the Air District helps manage airborne pollution by calling Winter Spare the Air Alerts when the air quality is expected to be unhealthy.

Each day by early afternoon, the Air District will issue an air quality forecast for the next day. If a Winter Spare the Air Alert is called, it will be in effect the entire next day, for a full 24 hours. When an Alert is in effect, it is illegal to burn wood, manufactured fire logs, pellets, or any other solid fuels in your fireplace, woodstove or outdoor fire pit.
Residents can find information about the health effects of wood smoke, as well as detailed information about the Wood Burning Rule and how to comply with it on SpareTheAir.org’s website. You can also file a wood smoke complaint online.

Dump the Pump Day: June 18, 2015 – Free Rides & More

Dump The Pump
June 18 is National Dump the Pump Day! It’s a great opportunity to change up your routine, ride public transportation (instead of driving) and save some money. A recent report from the American Public Transportation Association shows that a two-person household downsizing to one car can save, on average, more than $9,569 a year!
Saving money isn’t the only reason to try riding transit on Dump the Pump Day. This year Spare the Air, WestCAT, BART, Wheels (LAVTA) & SolTrans are all offering something extra to encourage you to ri5de the bus or train. We’ve compiled their tweets (showing what they’ve got going on for June 18) below.
And if Dump the Pump Day inspires you to take transit more often, you might qualify for the $25 Drive Less Commuter Incentive! Find out more on our Public Transit page.

Take the 2015 Idle Free Pledge: 'Turn the Key' to Reduce Pollution


Take the Idle Free Pledge and help the environment by reducing air pollution! Taking the pledge means promising to ‘turn the key’ and shut off your vehicle when waiting for more than 30 seconds.
30 seconds of idling uses more fuel than stopping and starting your vehicle’s engine. Since idling also produces pollution that affects our environment and our health, following the 30-second Rule helps you breathe easier, keep the sky blue, reduce your carbon footprint and save money. If you’re waiting to pick someone up, sitting at a drive-through or car wash, or maybe even checking your phone in a stopped vehicle, please turn the key.
The Turn the Key – Be Idle Free campaign is a collaboration between the Spare the Air Resource Team, its partner organizations, and schools to educate parents and community members about vehicle idling.

2014 Winter Spare the Air Season Has Begun


During the winter season, wood smoke is the largest source of harmful particulate pollution in the Bay Area. On a typical winter night, wood burning produces about one-third of the pollution in the air. From November 1 through the end of February, the Air District helps manage airborne pollution by calling Winter Spare the Air Alerts when the air quality is expected to be unhealthy.
Each day by early afternoon, the Air District will issue an air quality forecast for the next day. The alert will be in effect the entire next day, for a full 24 hours. When a Winter Spare the Air Alert is in effect, it is illegal to burn wood, manufactured fire logs, pellets, or any other solid fuels in your fireplace, woodstove or outdoor fire pit.
Residents can find information about the health effects of wood smoke, as well as detailed information about the Wood Burning Rule and how to comply with it on SpareTheAir.org’s website. You can also file a wood smoke complaint online.

Great Race For Clean Air (2014)

topgraphic

Join us in the Great Race for Clean Air! March 1 – April 30, 2014

The Great Race for Clean Air is a friendly competition between Bay Area companies to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion by encouraging employees to change how they commute to work.
Register to receive a Great Race toolkit including posters and outreach materials. Participating employees use the 511 Trip Diary to track their clean commutes.
Clean commutes include:

  • Walking
  • Biking
  • Transit
  • Carpooling
  • Anything but driving alone to work! Companies and individuals can win recognition and prizes.

Registration for the Great Race for Clean Air commuter challenge opens on January 6, 2014 at www.sparetheair.org. Contact Stephanie Anderson sanderson@communityfocus.org for details.

Sparing the Air This Winter (2012)

November 1st signaled the beginning of “Winter Spare the Air“, which will run through until the end of February. What does this mean and how does it differ from Summer Spare the Air? As explained by Spare the Air website:

The Winter Spare the Air program notifies Bay Area residents when fine particulate, or soot, levels are anticipated to be unhealthy.

In the wintertime, particulate matter — especially particulate matter 2.5 microns or smaller in size (PM2.5) — can become a serious problem in the region. To protect public health, the Air District will issue a Winter Spare the Air Alert when PM2.5 concentrations are expected to be unhealthy.

From November 1 through the end of February, under the Air District’s wood-burning regulation, when a Winter Spare the Air Alert has been called, burning wood, firelogs, pellets, or any other solid fuels in your fireplace, woodstove, or other wood-burning device is illegal.

For further clarification of what this entails, be sure to visit the Winter Spare the Air Frequently Asked Questions page.

Great Race for Clean Air 2012

It’s back!
The Great Race for Clean Air is a friendly competition between Bay Area companies to encourage the use of commute alternatives such as transit, carpooling, vanpooling, walking and bicycling rather than driving alone to work to reduce greenhouse gases and smog levels in the Bay Area. Last year, 190 companies throughout the Bay Area saved 435 tons of CO2 by using commute alternatives.
Register your company to get started by August 31, 2012. Winning employers will be presented with trophies at a local Board of Supervisors meeting. Every participating employer will receive a certificate for participating. Take a look on how to sign up.

Your employees and co-workers can record their commutes online from September 1 to October 31, 2012. There will be weekly prize drawings for participants who record their commute. See how to log in your commute below.

Let the competition begin! Have fun and good luck!

Take a Deep Breath– Spare The Air Season Starts!

Tuesday, May 2nd, marked the beginning of Spare the Air season!
But what does this exactly mean?
Summertime is when smog becomes a major health problem here in the Bay and for the past 20 years the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, or  BAAQMD, has managed the Spare the Air program to “educate people about air pollution and to encourage them to change their behavior to improve air quality.”
LA Smog
A layer of smog over Los Angeles. Photo credit: G&R
Between now and through October we are all urged to cut back on polluting activities like driving, using aerosol sprays or gas powered lawn mowers. On days where air quality is particularly bad, there will be “Spare the Air” smog alerts issued; those sensitive to unhealthy air are encouraged to limit outdoor time these days.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to breathe healthy air, you needn’t just cut back on activities that cause pollution, you can embrace environmentally friendly ones to help make this a cleaner summer and spare our air!
When it comes to transportation, 511 Contra Costa offers plenty of resources to help change habits for a cleaner air: walking and bicycling, public transit, or carpooling.
You can also download iSmog, an iPhone app that will send push notifications when the air quality in your area is unhealthy. The app allows you to customize when you would like to receive alerts and is free to download.
You can even plan a fantastic vacation while sparing the air thanks to offMetro SF!
If you want to stay informed about local air quality, or get involved to improve conditions, be sure to check out Spare the Air.

Free Webinar June 7, 2012 on Teleworking through the Spare the Air Employer Program


Spare the Air Employer Program invites you to a FREE webinar on Teleworking. Learn how teleworking can eliminate your employees’ commute, reduce emissions and improve your bottom-line!
When: Thursday, June 07, 2012
Time: 10:30 AM – 12 PM (Noon)
Presenter: Elham Shirazi, Telework Expert
Topics covered will include:

  • The latest facts on teleworking
  • Impact on vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and emissions
  • Case studies
  • Implementation steps
  • How to overcome objections at your workplace

Please RSVP by Friday, June 01, 2012

For more information, contact Stephanie Anderson at sanderson@communityfocus.org or 510.763.2500.

Why do we spare the air?

During this time of year, we all hear about Spare the Air Days. The Bay Area Air Quality Management District puts out the call, and everyone is encouraged to leave their cars at home and take less polluting modes of transportation.
How does BAAQMD decide we’re going to have a Spare the Air Day?
Two things make summer Spare the Air Days special:

  • Hot temperatures, and
  • Low wind.

When the weather is warmer, our pollutants “bake” into ground-level ozone. Without wind to push it around, the smog accumulates all around us. When the temperature and wind forecasts exceed the federal health standard, organizations like BAAQMD, 511CC, and others put out the warning.
The summer Spare the Air season runs from about May through October.
These days of ground-level ozone are particularly dangerous to the very young, very old, and anyone with a respiratory condition, but really, no one should be breathing that junk.
That’s why on Spare the Air Days, we encourage residents to cut back on activities that generate ozone. That includes:

  • driving
  • using oil-based paints or household aerosol products, like hair spray
  • operating a gas-powered lawn mowers, or two-stroke motorized recreational vehicles
Looking for more information on Summer Spare the Air Days?
  • Learn more about the health effects of ozone.
  • View historical “box scores” listing the number of times ozone standards have been exceeded on an annual basis in the Bay Area.
  • Watch Bay Area Ozone Animations showing smog activity on selected days.
  • Read the Spare the Air FAQs.

Unfortunately, summer isn’t the only season where weather can exacerbate the danger of air pollution. In winter, particulate matter is the threat. What are large household contributors of small particulate matters (smaller than 2.5 microns)? Wood burning.
From November through February, the Air District’s wood-burning regulation prohibits burning wood, firelogs, pellets, or any other solid fuels in your fireplace, woodstove, or other wood-burning device on a Spare the Air Day.
When wood burning is allowed, residents who do burn in a fireplace or outdoor fire pit must still burn cleanly using dry, seasoned firewood, and not burn garbage, leaves or other material that would cause excessive smoke. Residents who exceed the excess visible smoke provision in the wood-burning rule could still be subject to an Air District citation or penalty.
Follow these links for more information on the Air District’s wood-burning regulation, and instructions on how to comply.
You can also file a wood smoke complaint online.
Read more about how to get Spare the Air Day alerts from 511CC.
Photo from drtran‘s Flicker.

When is idling wasteful?

Idling, or letting the engine run while the car is parked, is a  point of argument. How long is too long? At what point does the engine use more gas than if you just turned off the engine and restarted?
Families, couples, and friends go back and forth on this, with everyone quoting different statistics and numbers. Here’s the straight truth – idling uses more fuel than you think. The general rule of thought is that if you are are waiting more than 10 seconds it’s more cost effective and cleaner to turn off your engine and restart.
Here are three busted myths from the Hinkle Charitable Foundation, an environmental advocacy group.

Myth 1: Cars should run in an idling mode for several minutes before being driven.

Wrong. Modern engines do not need more than a few seconds of idling time before they can be driven safely. Moreover, the best way to warm up a car is to drive it, since that warms up the catalytic converter and other mechanical parts of the car, in addition to the engine.

Myth 2: Each time you start your car you waste more gasoline than if you let it idle.

Wrong. Automotive engines do not operate efficiently when they idle. Experts say there is a maximum 10 second break-even rule. If you are idling longer than 10 seconds, both you and the engine are better off if the engine is turned off and restarted.

Myth 3: Repeatedly restarting your car is hard on the engine and quickly drains the battery.

Wrong. Frequently restarting your engine does negligible damage to the engine and does not drain modern batteries excessively. In fact, the opposite is true; idling an engine forces it to operate in a very inefficient and gasoline-rich mode that, over time, can degrade the engine’s performance.
Continue reading “When is idling wasteful?”

Tomorrow, Wednesday September 28th is a Spare the Air day

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued a Spare the Air alert for tomorrow, Wednesday September 28th. Ground-level pollution, or smog, has been forecasted to be at unhealthy levels and Bay Area residents are encouraged to cut back on air pollution. If you are sensitive to unhealthy air, you are advised to minimize the amount of time you spend outdoors.
What are some ways you can spare the air?

Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 20 and Wednesday, September 30, are Spare the Air days in the San Francisco Bay Area


Concentrations of ground-level ozone pollution are forecast to be unhealthy tomorrow, Tuesday September 20th and Wednesday, September 21st. Hot temperatures and light winds will combine to produce poor air quality for the Bay Area.
To help prevent smog, please:

Visit https://511contracosta.org/ismog/ to download our FREE iSmog application for alert notifications and local air quality forecasts.

Join the Great Race for Clean Air!

Are you looking for an opportunity to kickstart greener commuting at your workplace?
The Great Race for Clean Air is a friendly competition between Bay Area employers to determine who will reign as the company with the best Bay Area Commuters!
Register your company online to get started. Your employees and co-workers can log their commutes online from September 1 to October 31. Winners will be selected for greatest CO2 savings and for greatest participation rate.
Winners will be recognized at a local Board of Supervisors meeting, and all participants will receive a certificate!
What did last year’s winners have to say about the Great Race for Clean Air?
“The Great Race organizers made it easy for the company to participate, and promoting it to employees was simple. We were delighted by the huge participation which led to Yahoo! receiving an award in 2010!”
“The Great Race for Clean Air was a great way to promote our commute programs and we were pleased to have such a high percentage of participants.”
“The Great Race for Clean Air was the perfect opportunity to help our employees become familiar with the transportation services available in a fun, competitive way. We are very proud to be one of the 2010 winners.”
The Great Race for Clean Air – it’s fun, and it helps Spare the Air! Register today!

Today, Tuesday June 21, 2011 is a Spare the Air Day


Today is Spare the Air Day. When hot temperature and light winds combine to produce poor air quality for the Bay Area, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District issues a Spare the Air Day alert. To help prevent smog, please consider:

More:

Spare the Air turns 20!

Thanks to two decades of the Bay Area Spare the Air Program, we can all breathe a little bit better this summer.
The Spare the Air Program, organized by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD, “BACH-mid”), works in two ways:

  • resources to help us protect our air, and
  • tools to predict air quality near your home

The goal: to encourage people to leave their car at home at least one day a week.
511 Contra Costa helps you spare the air 365 days a year.
Whether it’s carpooling, transit, biking, or walking, we have tips and tools to take you from commuter padawan to traveling Jedi in no time.
511 Contra Costa also has a few air quality tools of our own.
The Air Quality page keeps you up to date on air quality forecasts for your area.
You can sign up to receive email, text or phone notifications if the air quality in your area is expected to pass the threshold of your choice.
And of course, with the iSmog app (for iPhone), you can browse current air quality as well as forecasts.

How are you preparing for the smoggy summer?
 

350Green to build network of EV charging stations in Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO – 350Green announced its plans yesterday for a national network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Starting with its first project in the San Francisco Bay Area, the company plans to install and operate stations across urban retail shopping centers and other places near where EV drivers live and work. This approach aims to address two of the most vexing challenges facing widespread adoption of EVs: range anxiety and access to a garage for overnight charging.
“Most of the early focus around EV infrastructure has been on putting charging stations in the home garages of customers, which is great if you have a garage. But since many residents in cities don’t have access to a garage, this effectively limits the number of people who can participate in the EV revolution,” said Mariana Gerzanych, 350Green’s founder and CEO. “Because our public charging stations with fast chargers will be widely and conveniently located near where residents live and work, EV ownership will suddenly become an option for all, regardless of whether they have access to charging in a personal garage.”
The Bay Area project is funded in part by a grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) as part of its Spare the Air program, which also aims to make owning an electric vehicle in the Bay Area a viable option for residents.
“As part of protecting the air quality in the Bay Area, we’re committed to making electric vehicle technology available to all,” said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of BAAQMD.  “Adding to our electric vehicle charging infrastructure will make it easier for Bay Area residents to Spare the Air every day by going electric.”
350Green will build and operate fast charging station plazas in six cities around the area: Albany, Menlo Park, Milbrae, Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Sunnyvale. All of the plazas will be installed in the parking lots of select, high-traffic retail locations, at no cost to the host location.
According to the BAAQMD, the transportation sector accounts for more than 50 percent of air pollution in the Bay Area. Significant emission reductions from the transportation sector will help the Bay Area attain and maintain state and national air quality standards.
Production numbers from EV automakers project approximately one million EVs on US roads by 2015, and possibly 27 million (or 10 percent of all vehicles in the US) by 2020. In the Bay Area, the percentages are even higher: there may be almost 400,000 EVs on the road in the Bay Area by 2020 – or 12 percent of all the area’s vehicles.
350Green will announce specific locations in the coming weeks, and construction, operation and management of its Bay Area network of direct-current (DC) fast chargers and Level 2 chargers will be complete by June 2012. Additional markets around the country in which 350Green will build networks will be determined in collaboration with the company’s city and state partners, as well as stakeholders in the various communities.
Source: 350Green press release, February 1, 2011

Thursday, January 6, 2011 is a Winter Spare the Air Day


Tomorrow, Thursday, January 6, 2011 has been declared a Winter Spare the Air Day for the Bay Area by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.
To reduce your contribution to air pollution, please consider taking transit, telecommuting.
Wood burning is a major cause of wintertime particulate matter (PM) pollution in the Bay Area. The presence of fine particulate matter in the air is associated with:

  • Decreased lung function
  • Aggravated asthma
  • Nose and throat irritation
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Lung damage
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Premature death in people with lung and heart disease

Continue reading “Thursday, January 6, 2011 is a Winter Spare the Air Day”

Spare the Air Day called for December 12, 2010


Tomorrow, Sunday December 12, 2010 has been declared a Winter Spare the Air Day for the Bay Area by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Wood burning is not allowed; second time violators could receive fines of $400.
Please consider reducing your contribution to air pollution by taking transit, ridesharing, and telecommuting.
From baaqmd.gov, here are 10 things you can do to reduce wood smoke pollution:

  • Give your fireplace or wood stove the night off.
  • Replace your fireplace or wood stove with a clean burning natural gas device.
  • Insulate your house to keep warmth in.
  • Save energy and reduce pollution by wearing a sweater on chilly nights.
  • Switch to an EPA-certified wood burning device or pellet stove, which emit up to 70% less PM.
  • Burn clean, hotter fires with plenty of air, in order to prevent visible smoke from a chimney or flue; smoke which indicates poor combustion so adjust dampers or fuel accordingly.
  • Never burn, painted wood, treated wood, particle board, plastics, wrapping paper or other garbage; burning them releases toxic chemicals.
  • Burn only dry hardwood fuel such as oak or cherry, which produces less smoke and burns hotter; never burn wet wood.
  • Store wood in a dry or covered area, off the ground to keep it from getting wet.
  • Keep your fireplace and stove well maintained to improve air flow and reduce emissions.

For more information, visit sparetheair.org.

Spare the Air Day called for December 1, 2010


Tomorrow has been declared a Winter Spare the Air Day for the Bay Area by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Wood burning is not allowed; second time violators could receive fines of $400.
Please consider reducing your contribution to air pollution by taking transit, ridesharing, and telecommuting.
From baaqmd.gov, here are 10 things you can do to reduce wood smoke pollution:

  • Give your fireplace or wood stove the night off.
  • Replace your fireplace or wood stove with a clean burning natural gas device.
  • Insulate your house to keep warmth in.
  • Save energy and reduce pollution by wearing a sweater on chilly nights.
  • Switch to an EPA-certified wood burning device or pellet stove, which emit up to 70% less PM.
  • Burn clean, hotter fires with plenty of air, in order to prevent visible smoke from a chimney or flue; smoke which indicates poor combustion so adjust dampers or fuel accordingly.
  • Never burn, painted wood, treated wood, particle board, plastics, wrapping paper or other garbage; burning them releases toxic chemicals.
  • Burn only dry hardwood fuel such as oak or cherry, which produces less smoke and burns hotter; never burn wet wood.
  • Store wood in a dry or covered area, off the ground to keep it from getting wet.
  • Keep your fireplace and stove well maintained to improve air flow and reduce emissions.

For more information, visit sparetheair.org.