Community air care


Adam Rubin

Analeah Vaughn (right) the Sustainability Coordinator and Green Department Program Manager at WSU, and Korynn Martinez (left) a student sustainability coordinator at the sustainability office at WSU promote the Clear the Air ‘23 challenge, Jan. 31.

Weber State University’s commitment to environmental sustainability is well-known among the Wildcat Family. The campus goal of being carbon-neutral by 2040 is supported by the “Clear the Air Challenge,” which takes place each February.

Analeah Vaughn, WSU’s sustainability coordinator and Green Department Certification Program manager, recently held a presentation in the Shepherd Union Building.

“February is the Transportation and Air Quality Month, and we like to bring awareness to air quality,” Vaughn said. “It was created by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce. Usually, they do it in July; however, since most of our students are off campus, … we do it in February.”

According to Vaughn, the goal of the Clear the Air Challenge is to promote alternative transportation, or what she refers to as “active transportation.” This includes but is not limited to walking, scootering, public transportation, riding the bus and carpooling.

Student sustainability coordinator Korynn Martinez was inspired to become involved in WSU sustainability after seeing the waste produced in healthcare.

“Coming from a nursing major, and one thing that I noticed was that there was a lot of waste and there was a lot of health and wellness that was not being taken care of,” Martinez said. “From what I experienced, there is numerous food waste and there’s tons of biohazard waste and a lot of plastic waste. Everything is single use, especially in healthcare facilities, and that waste really started to build up in my mind over the years.”

There are four clubs that focus on sustainability at WSU: Environmental Ambassadors, Food Recovery Network, Community Garden Club, and Citizens Climate Lobby WSU Chapter. According to Martinez, there is something for everyone on campus, regardless of their availability, even if you only have time to hang a few fliers each month.

“Everybody can get involved as much as they would like at any time,” Martinez said. “There is room for everybody and there are no requirements involved.”

WSU’s Clear the Air Challenge is part of the Energy and Sustainability Office’s theme for this month, and a challenge to impact air quality statewide. Each month, there is a new theme for students, faculty and staff to keep up on.