Green groups gear up for Enviro Week 

Commuter Challenge still registering individuals, businesses

Smart Car filled to capacity with seven Whistler bylaw officers and fire fighters in order to promote this week's Commuter Challenge. Photo by Maureen Provencal
  • Smart Car filled to capacity with seven Whistler bylaw officers and fire fighters in
    order to promote this week's Commuter Challenge. Photo by Maureen Provencal

There are a lot of different ways to show off your green colours next week, as Whistler joins the rest of the country in celebrating Canadian Environment Week, June 4-10.

The main event of Whistler’s Environment Week will be the fifth annual Whistler Way Commuter Challenge.

Whistler was first, in terms of participation, out of 105 communities with comparable populations in the one-day national challenge last year. It is estimated that participants cut 15,994 km in single passenger trips in a single day, saving close to three tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to the one-day event, Whistler has held a two-week Commuter Challenge in the fall for the past three years involving individuals and businesses. Last year 828 people participated in that event, opting for alternatives to the single passenger vehicle while earning points to qualify for the prize draw.

This year Whistler will combine both the one-day and two-week challenge events into a single week-long event. There’s still time to register yourself as an individual, or to register your business.

All participants, individuals and employees registered in the challenge through their workplace will earn points for walking, jogging, cycling, taking the bus, carpooling and teleworking during Environment Week, and everyone who earns 20 points will be entered into the grand prize draw.

In addition, businesses can earn awards based on participation (percentage of employees enrolled) and for the most possible points earned by the participants.

If you wish to participate as an individual or coordinate the challenge at your workplace, contact Environment Week coordinator Marc Zurbuchen at 604-935-8322 or email :keepwhistlercool@whistler.ca. You can also sign up at the official launch on Monday, June 5 in Function Junction, during the Pique NewsMagazine and WAVE sponsored Commuter Challenge Bus Buffet, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the WAVE Transit Garage. Free hot dogs will be available.

Despite the change of dates, registration has been going well.

"We’re starting to see lots of registration forms coming," said Zurbuchen. "People can sign up until the end of the challenge, but we’re encouraging people to sign up early because the first 500 will get a free seven-day WAVE card which is good for riding the bus all next week."

Zurbuchen says most of the business participants from past years have already signed up, "but we’ve seen quite a few new businesses come in, which is great," he said. "We’re encouraging more businesses to take part that haven’t in the past. It’s a fun community event, and businesses can do pretty well in their first year. Last year the Four Seasons was new to the contest and they ended up winning the award for the highest possible points for a large business."

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