Working for Cleaner Air in the Upstate

You may not think that improperly inflated tires on your vehicle are a big deal, but they are.  Each year in the United States, there are over 650 deaths, 33,000 auto accidents and 2.4 million roadside assistance calls directly attributed to under inflated tires. They also affect the environment by adding over 100 pounds of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere each month for every vehicle on the road.

United Tire Care

That's where Les Campbell and his company, United Tire Care, come in. "Tire pressure is just one of the things that any company can do to reduce their carbon footprint," says Les, Owner of United Tire Care (UTC). After several years of research, his company started service in 2013. Since then he's been inflating tires and trying to keep the roads safer in the Upstate.

Proper tire pressure helps fuel efficiency in your vehicle as well as extending the life of your tires. Vehicles lose up to 10 % of their air pressure each month and, because 95% of your vehicle's weight is supported by the air pressure in your tires, it can also lead to worn and uneven tire wear, greatly reducing the tread life.

UTC works with area businesses in providing monthly tire inflating service for their employees. Businesses can either choose to pay the $3.99 per employee charge as a benefit or employees can pay the fee themselves. When Les and his team arrive on site, there's no disruption to the business workday after the initial setup. They simply locate each vehicle registered in the program, inflate the tires and send an email when the process is completed. The entire process only takes about 2-1/2 minutes per vehicle.

Part of the success in keeping the low price per employee is technology. UTC worked closely with Mediasation, a local web development company, to create a mobile app that UTC uses to not only track each employee's vehicle information such as tire pressure, tire tread depth, tire manufacturer and other basic information but also sends out email alerts when it's time to replace those tires or get them rotated. Another benefit of UTC's service also includes free tire rotation at Tire Kingdom locations.

Businesses benefit from the program by promoting cleaner air as a sustainability program and to reduce their carbon footprint. Employees like the service because it's one less thing they need to think about while also helping the and "you can save about $120 a year in fuel costs," says Les.

Clean Air Upstate

Having clean air that allows all Upstate residents to safely enjoy outdoor activity is a crucial component of our quality of life. However, ensuring that the air quality in the Upstate of South Carolina is safe and within standards set by the Federal Clean Air Act is not just important to our physical health, but also to our regional economic vitality. This issue is not limited to particular cities or counties, but an issue facing all areas within our region.

The Upstate is at a critical crossroads in relation to air quality attainment.  Ozone monitors within the region are barely compliant with current federal standards and those standards are scheduled to be reviewed and likely strengthened in 2013.

Clean Air Upstate is a coalition of about 45 leaders that are committed to identifying strategies and help to reduce air emissions and promote clean air in the Upstate. Members work with the Upstate Air Quality Advisory Commission and SCDHEC (South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control) to make sure that any actions are included in the EPA's Ozone Advance Program.

The group also advocates clean air by going to Upstate businesses, city and county governments and asking them to sign an Upstate Air Quality Pledge and Resolution of Support. This pledge includes things like having employees use a ride-sharing program, encouraging alternative work schedules and utilizing tire pressure checks such as those provided by United Tire Care.

Cleaner air is something that affects everyone here in the Upstate so whether it's checking your tire pressure, catching a ride to work or turning off your car while in the school pickup lane, you can do your part to ensure we have clean air for future generations to come.

Sherry Jackson is a freelance writer, editor and entrepreneur. Her articles have been featured in InfoWorld Magazine,, USA Today, Blue Ridge Country, Jetsetter, Bootsnall, Gadling, Yahoo, See the South, Beckett Media, The Simpsonville Sentinel and many other print and online publications. For clips and examples of her work, please visit her website at