ST. GEORGE — Students and community members gave shoutouts to the community Saturday afternoon, advocating the cause of maintaining clean air in Utah at a rally that took place at the 900 E. 100 South crosswalk on the Dixie State University Campus.
The “Clean Air No Excuses” rally, presented by the DSU Sustainability Club, began at noon and drew in about 30 participants who created clean air support signs and displayed them to people driving by. The rally was a sister event to one that drew approximately 5,000 people in Salt Lake City last year as an active way to discuss clean air, DSU Sustainability Club President Trevor Anderson said.
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The St. George rally was one of three other rallies that took place Saturday in Salt lake City, Moab and Logan, Anderson said.
St. George does not have an air pollution problem like Salt Lake City with its inversion, he said, but with the continual population increase in St. George, the air can become more polluted.
Aside from the rally, Anderson said, he also wants to help DSU become a community leader in the clean air effort by implementing a bike share program on campus.
“If we get more students riding bikes than using cars, that’s helping the air,” he said. “We’re trying to expand recycling. We are trying to plant more trees and do a lot more sustainable practices on campus.”
Dorothy Engelman, former Democratic Candidate for the Utah House of Representatives, also came to support the rally.
“I was one of those people that moved to Utah because of its beauty, and I think it’s very important that we are proactive to keep our air here in Southern Utah clear as well as the rest of the state,” Engelman said.
Although St. George does not have an inversion problem like Salt Lake City, she added, having air monitors in the city would help prevent pollution.
Sustainability Club Advisor Tracey O’Kelly offered some suggestions on how community members can help keep the air clean:
- Get your cars tuned up regularly
- Make sure your tires are inflated correctly
- Don’t sit in a parking lot with your car running, but save gas and clean air by turning the car off if you have to sit more than a few minutes
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