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Posts tagged with air quality

It's a fun, free competition where workplaces compete to see who can get the most people riding a bike.

Recruit coworkers to ride a bike to climb up the leaderboard and win the Challenge. People only need to cycle for 10 minutes or more! It’s easy and fun! The Atlanta Bike Challenge runs from September 28-October 19. To learn more and sign up, visit

In my life, I’ve had the privilege to see Death Valley at sunrise and the Pacific Ocean from the La Jolla Cliffs at sunset. I’ve seen the falls at Yosemite, and the snow covering the expanse of Bryce Canyon. But it is all a little harder to see than it used to be. Less frequently do we actually see with the vivid colors that were once abundant to our parents and grandparents. Instead everything is a little more muted. The air is not as clean or clear as it used to be.

Today when I take in the view from Black Rock Mountain in North Georgia, to the south toward Athens and Atlanta, I see a haze. Much of the time, it is not a haze caused by the sticky sweet humidity that seems to be overly present here, but rather the end result of decisions made by every member of our increasingly mobile and hectic world. We have polluted our air by many means, including the amount of driving we do.

In the aftermath of the attacks of 9/11, there was an air travel restriction. Basically there were no airplanes allowed over the United States for weeks. I remember the sky being more clear than I can ever recall. The planet was given a break from some of the pollution that fills the sky.

Imagine what we could do to make our air cleaner if we all pitched in to prevent the pollution coming from our tailpipes. If we decided we would take just one day a week, and not drive - anywhere. Just any random day that fits our own schedule, but at least once a week for an entire year. Get all our “running around” out of the way, and plan a single day where we never even attempt to crank the engine. What a difference we could make!

I am fortunate. My employer, Shaw Industries, encourages teleworking for those who can. With the help of The Clean Air Campaign, Shaw associates have reduced about 1 million vehicle miles from the roads since 2010, as well as 600 tons emissions. Participating employees have saved a collective $500,000 in vehicle fuel and maintenance.

So most weeks, I am able to take at least one day and “park it.” I purposefully put my car keys in another room, and work online all day. I get more work done in the same amount of time, all while contributing to a better, cleaner air supply. If we all picked one day, and made a conscious effort to “park it,” we could make that huge difference. Let’s do it, Georgia.

Jim Nielsen is manager of enterprise technology, architecture and planning for Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer and a leading floorcovering provider. Shaw supplies carpet, rugs, hardwood, laminate, resilient, tile & stone flooring products and synthetic turf to residential and commercial markets worldwide. A wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. with more than $4 billion in annual sales and 23,000 associates, Shaw is headquartered in Dalton, Georgia. Click here to learn more about Shaw’s commitment to sustainability.

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