Recently the Salt Lake City team of HWM marched over to the state capitol building to stand up for better air quality. Although the turnout was not huge, given that it was bitter cold, humid, and a red air day outside, the turnout was not that bad. A group of folks, most wearing breathing masks, stood on the capitol steps. Several local politicians stood up to speak, along with concerned citizens of all ages.
Recently Utah has consistently capped the top five cities for worst air quality in the nation during our inversion days. This is quite concerning to us. What does such bad air quality look like? It’s pretty awful to be honest. It’s a bit post apocalyptic. There’s a thick fog that hangs over the valley reducing visibility to about a mile, sometimes less. The air tastes like car exhaust and it’s common to see people wearing respirators and breathing masks.
On the walk back to the office we discussed what we could do to make a difference. We mostly just came up with little things, but little things can add up (like compounded interest). A simple thing like walking or riding your bike to work on a bigger scale might make a big difference. There is of course the catch 22. The highway signs tell us not to drive on poor air quality days, however the air quality has gotten so bad at times that exercise is not recommended. That doesn’t leave you with a whole lot of options.
This is our home. We must work to make it a better place. Every petition signed, every vote cast, every step taken makes a difference.