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EcoSociety challenges basin to car-free commute

Nelson Daily Editor
By Nelson Daily Editor
June 5th, 2011

The gauntlet is being dropped again, but on a wider scale this year.

The 2011 National Commuter Challenge Week is June 5-11, but this year the challenge has been extended from Nelson throughout the Kootenay region.

Nelson had the best participation in Canada last year, and — with grants from Columbia Basin Trust and Osprey Community Foundation — the West Kootenay EcoSociety is expanding the challenge throughout the Kootenays.  

The Commuter Challenge is a national program that encourages Canadians to walk, cycle, ride-share, car pool, tele-work or take transit instead of driving alone to work.

The Commuter Challenge is based on friendly competition between communities across Canada to see which has the highest percentage of participation rates per capita during the week.

By recording participation and tracking kilometers traveled, Canadians are able to see how their greener commutes translate into a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Challenge encourages Canadians to choose greener commuting for the sake of their own personal health, the health and safety of the community, and in order to mitigate the negative climate change and air quality impacts caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

People can sign up with their workplace or as individuals and participate in the challenge for the right to be the greenest commuting town in Canada.

“Last year Nelson came first throughout all of Canada for towns in the 5,000-10,000 size category, and this year we want the all the towns in the West Kootenay to have that kind of participation”, said John Alton of the West Kootenay EcoSociety. “With gas prices so high, it’s a great opportunity to get in the habit of green commuting.”

The commuterchallenge.ca website has undergone a major revision this year to make it more user-friendly. To get involved, each workplace or individual can register and then a workplace point person can log commuting results for everyone at the workplace.

People can also sign up and log their personal commuting habits.  Registrations and results will be accepted up until June 11, when there will be a wrap-up celebration and award ceremony at Nelson’s Cottonwood Community Market at noon.

 For more information contact John or Vincent at the EcoSociety at 250-354-1909 or via email at vincent@ecosociety.ca.

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