Commuting Clean June 18 – 24, For a Breath of Fresh Air

It seems like it was just yesterday we were celebrating Bike to Work Week, encouraging everyone to downsize from 4 wheels to 2. And we had a stellarly great time… almost 200 staff signed the biking pledge (just found out we had way more than we thought, yippee!), 30 got special bike swag,  20 took the Bike Safety Workshop (who knew I was biking so dangerously…ooops), and 42 attended the Hands-on Bike Clinics. But during the events, I had a staff member call and say “Hey, I walk to work every day, and no one’s giving me any prizes. You should do something for walkers”. To that I say “Hey, have you heard what’s happening next week?”

Step right up walkers, runners, public transitters, cyclists, carpoolers & telecommuters, it’s the annual Clean Air Commute, a great event put on by our friends at Pollution Probe. The goal is to encourage (and yes, reward with prizes, my walking friend) people to get to work by anything other than driving all alone. UHN is particularly good at this sort of thing, and last year we won the coveted “Highest Participation in Group F” award (that’s for organizations with over 5,000 staff…I didn’t know what group F was either). And we really hope to win the prize for group F again, otherwise, what the F?

We’ve also got a little something for drivers too, a lunch & learn on Eco Driving. If you have to drive, there are lots of ways to do it in a more planet and wallet-friendly way. That’s where the good folks at Windfall Ecology centre come in. Look for them to save you at the pump, at the dump, while on your rump at the lunch & learn, Wednesday, June 20, 12 – 1 PM, TGH RFE 3S -439. Contact me, to register soon as space is limited. 

This year, we decided to make it interesting. We’re tracking how many people participate from each location, so if say TWH wants to throw down the gauntlet to TRI, let the (friendly) competition begin. And if you read this blog but don’t work at UHN,  you can bring the  the competition to your staff too by registering. The more people register, the more pollution is kept out of the atmosphere and the more we all win. And that, my friends, is a breath of fresh air.


P.S. If you’d like to help promote this in your department, print (then later recycle) this Clean Air Commute Poster

5 thoughts on “Commuting Clean June 18 – 24, For a Breath of Fresh Air

  1. It’s great that you’re encouraging cycling. I work remotely from home, so I have the cleanest commute of all, I guess. It lacks the physical benefits of cycling but it’s very safe. I am wondering if a post about the pros and cons of cycling in a heat wave/smog alert situation might be warranted especially since we’ll probably get a smog alert any minute now, for the duration of the week. Those of us who suffer from respiratory allergies, asthma, migraines, and other conditions find exercise during weeks like this a challenge from a health standpoint. And yet we know that cars are (should be) verboten in the summer. Public transit is our best bet.


    • Hi Janet,
      Great points. We might do something about smog and air quality in an upcoming blog post. In the meantime, it’s good to note that experts often say that the benefits of exercising even in the smog outweigh the dangers of smog. The caveat is that people need to stay more hydrated, take it easier and pay attention to their bodies. Also, better times of day for smog are before 7 AM and after 8 pm, though that might not be the most convenient commute times unless you really love working long hours. Bottom line is that if you normally bike to work and you are healthy, you still can, though drink more and go slower. If your health is less than optimal, you might want to take the TTC on smog days, and exercise indoors instead.

      all the best,


  2. Pingback: Squeaky Clean Air Commute « Talkin' Trash With UHN

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