SALT LAKE CITY — Elected leaders throughout Utah are encouraging residents to carpool, use public transportation or telecommute in January.

The Care to Clear the Air initiative encourages Utahns to utilize TravelWise strategies at least once a week to help clear the air in January. Participants can register online at CareToClearTheAir.org.

"During the Clear the Air challenge of the past two summers, Utahns have kept over 4.1 million pounds of emissions out of the air," Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker said.

"We're ready to take it to the next level and tackle our wintertime inversions with our new Care to Clear the Air initiative."

Through interactive community events, real-time yellow/red air text alerts, weekly newsletters and giveaways, the initiative seeks to make it easy for Utahns to limit the scope and impact of the temperature inversions that trap air pollutants in the valley.

Ted Wilson, Gov. Gary Herbert's senior environmental adviser, said more than 50 percent of wintertime air pollution along the Wasatch Front comes from motor vehicles, "which means we all have a role to play to help keep our air clear all year-round."

"Utahns never shy away from a challenge," Wilson said, "and I encourage all residents to do what they can to help limit the impact of inversions this winter season."

Becker said a recent survey shows that 69 percent of Salt Lake County residents already are taking steps to reduce emissions on red air days during winter inversions. "We want to build on that positive action," he said.

Businesses also are encouraged to participate in the Care to Clear the Air campaign. Interested businesses can contact: cleartheairutah@gmail.com.