"There's no need to smell and breathe excess exhaust in an area that is supposed to take you away from it all," said Maura Olivos, Sustainability Coordinator for the Alta Environmental Center. The Alta Environmental Center, along with the Town of Alta, Friends of Alta, and Alta Community Enrichment, have bumped knuckles to promote Idle Free Utah - a campaign that started in 2008.
A formal proclamation against idling was issued in January 2009 and now the idea is spreading up and down Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon. Kill your engines. The town hopes to encourage (no citations will be issued) drivers to reduce vehicle pollution. Locals everywhere have been handing out 'Idle Free' car decals.
"Hopefully this increased visibility and vocal stance shows how committed Alta is to a cleaner environment and will encourage others to rethink their habits and the consequences of their actions," said Olivos. Since then, the partners increased their efforts to create a comprehensive and consistent program of awareness with posters, Alta Ski Area employee education, and newsletters.
Efforts became so well received that residents and employees of Alta were inspired to help spread the word and further encouraged the partners to increase visibility of the campaign and Alta's commitment to clean air. Now, you'll see Alta Idle Free signs and posters placed throughout the town.
The Alta Environmental Center and partners of Idle Free hope other Utahns, skiers, and ski towns take the Idle Free message with some conviction. Now, if only they felt the same way about cigarette smoke and followed Tahoe's Heavenly Resort's protocol. That giant resort banned smoking on chairlifts and in lift lines after complaints from customers about secondhand smoke. Even Utah's Brighton Resort, who holds regular anti-tobacco nights, hasn't officially done anything yet to put the butts to rest.