I am writing to invite all students, staff, and faculty to participate in celebrating Clean Air Month and Bike To Work/School Week this month.

UC Santa Cruz has a long tradition of concern and action regarding local and global environmental issues. Recent media attention toward regional traffic congestion, rising fossil fuel costs, and the impacts of climate change coincide with a growing awareness of how each of us can effect a positive change in the health of our society and the planet.

Every May, the statewide Clean Air Month campaign promotes practices that help improve air quality. More than half of the UCSC community already rely on sustainable transportation to travel to and from campus each day. Since 41 percent of California's greenhouse gas emissions originate from transportation sources, our travel choices have a substantial impact on the course of global warming.

I encourage you to make the commitment to carpool, bicycle, walk to work, ride the bus, vanpool, or telecommute at least four times during Clean Air Month. Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito County residents who do so--including those who already use commute options regularly--can participate in a chance to win $1,000. Visit www.cleanairmonth.net to register.

Some great activities, including Bike Week, take place during Clean Air Month. UCSC is a proud sponsor of the 20th Annual Spring Bike to Work/School Day on Thursday, May 17, and will host three Free Breakfast sites on campus and one at the Seymour Center. For complete information on the Bike Week activities visit: www.bike2work.com.

Thank you to all the staff, faculty, and students who already use sustainable transportation--and to those of you making a change this month. Your travel choices help make UCSC and Santa Cruz a more livable, vibrant community while demonstrating the positive effect we each can have on our local and global environment.