Student Life Editor

The East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition sponsored the first Run for Clean Air on Saturday to raise awareness for East Tennessee's problems with air pollution.
Jonathan Overly, assistant race director, said this year the coalition did not focus on fundraising, but instead on getting its message out. He said next year it may start a program for people who want to raise money.
"The main purpose of the event is to raise awareness about air quality in East Tennessee and let people know what they can do to help," Overly said.
During the race, the ETCFC displayed alternative fuel vehicles along the course to promote them as a more environmentally friendly kind of car. According to the race Web site, the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization also promoted Bike-Walk-Bus Week, which will be held April 17 to 24.
During the week, Knoxvillians are encouraged not to drive to work, but find alternate means of transportation.
Overly said that on days projected to be high ozone days, meaning days when potential to damage the ozone layer is high, people should reduce the amount of time they spend driving to minimize ozone damage. He suggests working at home, carpooling or saving extra trips for another day. He also said there are long term, easy changes people can make to help save the environment.
"Try to be more energy efficient in your home - turning the thermostat up a few degrees in the summer can certainly help," he said.
Overly said that even though East Tennessee's air quality isn't the worst in the country, it is still something to worry about.
"East Tennessee Clean Fuel Coalition is working to improve air quality in East Tennessee," Overly said. "We realize we don't have the worst air quality, but there are some issues. We're just looking to educate the people."
More than 100 people preregistered for the five kilometer race, and Overly said many more were expected to register the day of the race.