CLEVELAND — Editor's note: Video at the top of this story was originally published in a previous article on May 7, 2022.
WKYC Studios is launching monthly challenges to help preserve our environment, and our first call to action is the "Drive Less Challenge."
From now until the end of May, we are challenging our staff and viewers to reduce their amount of driving by at least one car trip. It’s all part of WKYC Studios’ Planet CLE initiative, which kicked off on Earth Day.
The reasoning behind the challenge is this: Driving is a major contributor to air pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation represents 29% of greenhouse gas emissions by sector. Other sectors include electricity, industry, agriculture, commercial and residential.
As this NASA video shows, greenhouse gas emissions are gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. Examples of greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. As the video explains, the earth needs to keep a certain balance of greenhouse gases to have the right temperature for humans and animals. Human activity such as driving can lead to not only climate change but can also cause people to get sick.
“Cleveland historically has ranked in the top 10 worst cities for air pollution -- much of that coming from cars -- and the direct result of that is we have more people affected by asthma and COPD than a lot of other regions in the country," said John Mitterholzer, climate and environmental justice director for the George Gund Foundation. “If everyone in the region drove one day less, it is not an understatement to say we would see much better air quality.”
He also added that Ohio is the nation’s third biggest greenhouse gas emitter, according to the Rhodium Group, which does analysis every year for climate funders.
So how can you help? Try to reduce your driving by at least one car trip. Can you walk or bike to do your weekend errands or catch the bus to a downtown sporting event instead of driving? Give it a try, and take a picture of yourself doing it! Be sure to use the hashtag #PlanetCLE, and post your pictures on social media by May 31. We may share your photos on 3News.
Below are a few transportation resources to help...
This system will help you explore commute options.
Summit Bike Share
This organization offers a free bicycle share system in Summit County. They have 40 available bikes at nine stations across Summit County.
CLICK HERE for more information.
Lorain Public Library System
Main and South Lorain Branches
Check out an adult bike and helmet with your library card. Bikes must be returned by closing time each day. More information: Non-Traditional Items Available (lorainpubliclibrary.org)