Commuter Challenge: Is Rossland up for it?

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
May 20th, 2010

Get your bike geared up, your walking shoes broken in, and start mapping out your active transportation routes to work as the Commuter Challenge returns May 30th. Last year Nelson jumped on board the Commuter Challenge in a big way, logging the highest level of participation in the small/mid size city category. The West Kootenay Eco Society (organizers of the challenge in our area) are hoping to change that this year and get Rossland out walking and biking to work more often.

The nationally-run program is designed to encourage Canadians to walk, ride their bikes, skateboard, rideshare or carpool to work rather than driving in alone. “It’s a week-long event, and during the week participants can record their green commutes online. The website tracks it automatically and will tell you how much emissions you are saving as well as how much money you are saving,” explained local coordinator Kayli Koel. “This year we’re really putting on an extra push to try and encourage the other surrounding towns to participate because only one municipality (Nelson) participated last year.”

Koel hopes businesses, organizations and individuals alike will register at commuterchallenge.ca and log what they’ve done to reduce their commuting emissions.

“We really want to get the word out because it’s a really great initiative and we really believe strongly in it,” commented Koel. “It’s an important time in the world to get away from using oil and fuel to get around and for us all to get back to original non-motorized methods of transportation.”

The challenge will run from May 30th to June 5th this year. Registration is open now on the site, however, for registration.

Why bother? Besides the usual benefits of getting out of your car and onto a trail, sidewalk or bike seat there are also some great prizes up for grabs, including gym passes, dinners and new shoes.

Don’t have an organization or work as a team of one? Don’t worry: there are plenty of individual awards such as ‘top walker’, ‘top biker’ and so on. On top of it all, as the Eco-Society notes, “Even if the challenge and the prizes aren’t enough for you, there is always the chance that you could discover you really enjoy walking or biking to work so there’s really no way to lose by participating.”

Note: The challenge also includes a green-friendly telecommuting option. The Rossland Telegraph will be signing up and participating as a team as we walk from meeting to meeting and telecommute to our virtual offices in the ether. The Telegraph challenges other businesses and organizations to sign up and participate in a friendly competition as well to see who can reduce their commuting emmissions the most over the week.





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