Clean Air Team

Orlando Mayor’s Bike to Work Day in 2017

 

Beyond its tourist attractions, Central Florida is recognized for its diverse natural environment that welcomes residents and visitors who enjoy hiking, biking, water sports and other outdoor activities. The Central Florida Clean Air Team includes businesses, organizations and people just like you – all working together to raise awareness of air-quality concerns, while promoting activities and programs that improve the quality of one of our most precious assets – the air we breathe.

There are a number of positive steps all of us can take each day to improve air quality. Chief among these is choosing a more efficient means of transportation. The Clean Air Team occasionally meets to discuss strategies for improving transportation options and ways to encourage people to develop and practice good clean air habits.

The team is always looking for new members, and we want your thoughts on how to improve our region’s air quality. If you would like more information, please contact Mary Ann Horne at 407 481-5672 x305 or mhorne@MetroPlanOrlando.org.

Clean Air Month

May is Clean Air Month – a time to celebrate the impact the Clean Air Act has had on our environment and the overall health of our communities. The Clean Air Team celebrates by hosting and participating in events throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.

Clean Air Award

For several years, a local business or organization was recognized each year with the Clean Air Award. We’re currently re-thinking how to best recognize our clean air champions, but we’re still interested in hearing about local projects and ideas that promote good air quality in Central Florida. If you or your organization have a clean air project you’d like to bring attention to, please contact Mary Ann Horne, mhorne@MetroPlanOrlando.org

 

PAST Central Florida Clean Air Award Winners

 

The Seminole County Public Schools Transportation Hub, featuring propane tanks.


Seminole Schools Recognized for Alternative Fuel Efforts

An SCPS propane bus gets maintenance.

Seminole County Public Schools’ Transportation Services won the 2017 Clean Air Award for a commitment to alternative fuel buses.

For the past three years Seminole County Public Schools Transportation Services has committed to buying alternative fueled buses.

Recent data shows that by switching to propane buses from diesel, the school district has reduced carbon emissions by 6.4 million pounds. School district personnel cite health benefits to students and employees – as well as the smaller carbon footprint – among reasons for making the switch to the cleaner fuel. In addition to being a leader in this effort, SCPS has provided information on cost comparisons and benefits to other school districts contemplating a switch to alternative fuels.

See photos from our 2017 Clean Air Award presentation to SCPS here.

2016 Clean Air Award Winner

Wekiva Island, an environmentally friendly education and recreation venue near Longwood,  strives to be a carbon-neutral recreation destination. The organization’s environmental philosophy goes by the acronym CERO — Conservation, Efficiency, Renewable and Offset. Since 2008, Wekiva Island has drastically reduced its carbon footprint, and it boasts Seminole County’s first LEED Platinum building — the Mike Barr Education Center.

2015 Clean Air Award Winner

Orange County Public Schools Transportation Department was recognized for its Green Fleet initiative, which resulted in a cost saving of $1.3 million in the 2014-15 school year, as well as a significant avoidance of carbon emissions through several techniques.

2014 Clean Air Award Winner

The Orange County Public Schools Facilities Department combined technology, policy, outreach and operating efficiency to avoid more than 16 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, while also saving more than $2 million.

2013 Clean Air Award Winner

The City of Casselberry realized significant energy savings when it instituted a Compressed Work Week for its employees in 2011. By documenting the effort meticulously, the city also served as a model to help other local governments and businesses find ways to use creative scheduling to improve their energy use and bottom lines.

2012 Clean Air Award Winner

The region’s commuter assistance program, ReThink Your Commute, is committed to reducing congestion by helping Central Floridians choose smarter ways to get to work.  Whether it’s carpooling, vanpooling, mass transit or telecommuting, reThink has an idea on how to help employers and employees use these techniques to improve their commutes and make our air cleaner.

2011 Clean Air Award Winner

Orange County wants to be a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving energy efficiency. In 2007, the county launched Orange to Green, a program designed to work with citizens and businesses to reduce their energy consumption and improve fuel efficiency.

2010 Clean Air Award Winner

LYNX converted 100% of its bus fleet to biodiesel, which has the capacity to reduce annual fuel consumption by 800,000 gallons.  The process is expected to lower carbon dioxide emissions by 16%, improving air quality in Central Florida.  LYNX was presented the award as part of the grand opening celebration of the blending station.

2009 Clean Air Award Winner

The Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens implemented a Styrofoam recycling program on-site.  Visit the zoo’s website to learn more about their green initiatives.

2008 Clean Air Award Winner

Waterford Elementary School and Progress Energy Florida installed 12 solar panels on school grounds to help reduce energy costs. The project was made possible by SolarWise for Schools. 

 

Future Air Quality Experts: Clean Air Student Awards

Today’s students are learning more about air quality than in past years. They understand the impact cars and other transportation options have on air and are eager to encourage change that will have a positive effect on our community’s future.

The Clean Air Team recognizes the efforts of students who are doing exceptional work related to air quality.

If you know of a student or student group exploring how to make our air cleaner, please let us know! Email: mhorne@metroplanorlando.org

2018 Student Award Winners

MetroPlan Orlando and the Central Florida Clean Air Team honored two outstanding students for their work at science fairs in the region with 2018 Student Clean Air Awards. Our winners undertook experiments that examined different ways to improve air quality through creative science — one involving air purification and the other looking at wind energy. Each of them received a trophy and a cash prize from MetroPlan Orlando and the Central Florida Clean Air Team for their efforts.

Congratulations to these young scientists and all the others who competed in our regional science fairs!

Florida Virtual School student Uma Menon, who lives in Orange County, displays data from her experiments with a chemical method of removing harmful gases from the air.

 

Srieehari Muthu of Sanford Middle School, in Seminole County, compared different types of windmills to understand which design generated the clean energy most efficiently.

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