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Earth Friendly: Event brings awareness to air quality

By By Kate Garcia
April 11, 2013 at midnight
Updated April 10, 2013 at 11:11 p.m.


If you haven't already picked up on it by now, I do love quotes. While cruising around Pinterest, I found one that really struck a chord; "Change the way you think, and you can change the world."

At environmental services, we try to help change the way people think about one of the most transparent subjects. Air isn't exactly the easiest thing to educate on since you can't even see it most of the time.

So, we've put our thinking caps on to come up with the most fun, interesting way to raise awareness about air quality and why it's so important to keep it clean. We introduce to you the Idle Free Jamboree soap box derby races.

We also introduce to you a guest writer for this installation of Earth Friendly, Breanna Plunkett. As our education specialist, I feel it's only fitting she tell you a little about the Idle Free Jamboree.

Thanks, Kate. We live in the great big state of Texas where we have lots of land and lots of air, so why should we worry about keeping our air clean?

On average, each person breathes more than 3,000 gallons of air each day. What we breathe in is important to our overall health, especially for those who have asthma, cancer or other respiratory problems.

Through research, we've learned that most contributors of bad ozone creation come from motor vehicles. Every time we drive, our cars release pollutants into the air we breathe. If we all choose to drive and idle less or walk to lunch more often, Victoria's air quality would be better off.

The Idle Free Jamboree helps with this mission; to educate Victorians about our air quality and how we can positively impact the air we'll all breathe for years to come. Area students of all ages will be racing to win the first-place trophy while at the same time enjoying the clean air outdoors.

Thanks to our generous sponsors, such as Republic Waste Services, Killebrew Inc., H-E-B and Wal-Mart, attendees will enjoy the races, be treated to a free lunch, be informed about how they can help keep our air clean and have a chance to win various free raffle prizes.

If you are interested in watching a good race, learning more about Victoria's air quality or are looking for a good time for the entire family, come by on April 13 near the Rose Garden in Riverside Park.

The opening race begins at 10 a.m. and will be between City Manager Charmelle Garrett and VISD Superintendent Robert Jaklich.

Next, students will then race down the hill. Lastly, the closing exhibition race will be between the Victoria Police Chief J.J. Craig and Victoria Fire Chief Taner Drake. Come and support the adult and children racers as they remind us of how every day we can help keep our air cleaner.

Thanks, Breanna. I'll be in Riverside Park, 10 a.m. Saturday to with my pompoms in tote to cheer on the Idle Free Jamboree racers.

Kate Garcia is the interim programs coordinator for the city of Victoria, Environmental Services.

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