Commuters challenged to leave car at home 

There is a special day during Canadian Environment Week (June 2-8) which is dedicated solely to air pollution.

On Wednesday, June 5, known as the Clean Air Day, Whistler will be joining in the Canada Commuter Challenge.

All residents and visitors are encouraged to "challenge" their co-workers, families and friends to leave their cars, SUVs or trucks at home for the day.

Instead they will be asked to ride the WAVE, car pool, hop on their bikes or find some other way of getting around town which is less taxing on the environment.

Myrtle Philip Community School and Whistler-Blackcomb are also getting in on the action by enticing participation with prizes.

The class with the highest percentage of participation at Myrtle Philip will win a class prize.

And everyone who joins in at Whistler-Blackcomb will have their names in a draw and be eligible to win a new mountain bike.

The Whistler-Blackcomb results will be calculated online to see how much the emissions were reduced on that day.

"It's pretty significant too for one day," said Allana Hamm, environmental co-ordinator with Whistler-Blackcomb, who has studied the results of previous years.

There will be other events throughout Environment Week.

On Saturday June 1 the Whistler Cycling Committee will host an open house to get comments from the pubic on a recreational cycling and mountain biking vision for the Whistler area. The open house will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Village Square.

Throughout June the Grade 3 students at Myrtle Philip will join in a Bike Smarts program to teach them safe handling of their bikes.

On Wednesday, June 12 municipal staff, among others, will be taking part in the Big Bike for Stroke, a fund-raiser for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of B.C. and Yukon.

The focus of Canadian Environment Week is "Make a difference."

Environment Canada is encouraging Canadians to get involved and create a healthier environment.

Whistler will have another commuter challenge at the end of September. It will be a two-week event running from World Car Free Day on Sept. 19 to International Walk to School Day on Oct. 2.

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