Honors Praxis Lab Clean Air Initiative
We are University of Utah students in an Honors College Praxis Lab titled "Air Quality, Health, and Society." This is an innovative, project-based, yearlong class devoted to studying and making a difference on air quality issues facing the Wasatch Front. Since the Praxis Lab is about theory and action, we spent our first semester educating ourselves on health, environmental, and economic impacts of air pollution. We invited medical doctors, air quality researchers, government officials, industry representatives, citizen activists, lawyers, and non-profit organizations to provide the students with a broad range of perspectives on local air quality issues. A complete list of our guest speakers can be found here. During the second semester, we focused on the action portion, coming up with multiple ideas, and trying to decide which ones were viable. From this we came up with two projects, a letter to give businesses a voice on air quality and an educational video in partnership with Breathe Utah.
Focusing on one project at a time, we decided a business letter would be our priority. We wanted to make sure businesses in Utah have their voice on air quality heard during the legislative session. We put together the letter as a class taking on different drafts in order to clearly state our message. This letter could be signed by any or all companies located in Utah. At the end of our year long adventure, more than 40 companies signed the letter that was delivered to Governor Gary Herbert on March 6, 2015. A public announcement of this clean air initiative was also made at the 20th Annual Stegner Center Symposium on Air Quality: Health, Energy, and Economics.
Our plan is to keep collecting signatures from Utah businesses and deliver our message to the Governor each year prior to the beginning of the legislative session.
As the number of businesses that sign the letter grows, so too will its impact.